Vendor Takes on Media Domination of Politics

(When John McCain Came to Town)

 Commentary by Marsha Rizzo

             When John McCain came to the West Side Market, I went up to the front where everybody was yelling, “Yeah for McCain,” and I was listening to the garbage that he was selling to the people and stating that he was going to take out the special interests and give back to the people.

             Somehow he wants to give the rich 20 million dollars more.  The poor people would get nothing.  In other words, the rich would get richer and the poor get poorer.  Thirty dollars a piece.

             When I heard that he was going to take special interests out and give back money to the American People, I yelled out that I know that I’m not homeless, but are the homeless people going to get anything if you become president?  Then I heard from someone in the media say, “Now John McCain is going to take questions from the media.”

             I got up and yelled, “What do you mean ask the media questions?  You need to ask the constituents questions!  The media can take down whatever is asked by your constituents.  The media is not here to ask questions, we are; and the media needs to let us ask the questions so that the people know what it is that he is going to do for us!”

             Meanwhile, as I was yelling, someone, I don’t know if it was someone who was angry or whether it was someone from the media.  SHE KNOWS WHO SHE IS, told me to SHUT my mouth.  The said that we were going to have a town hall meeting, but would not give me information about the meeting because she was trying to blow me off.  I, myself, do no get blown off so easily.  I gave her a Homeless Grapevine and told her my name was Marsha Rizzo, and that I sole the newspaper.

             I told her, “Give this paper to John McCain so that he can read it and hear about what’s happening with the homeless people here in Cleveland, since you are the media and you don’t care about us, the people, asking questions.  So please give him the paper and ask him to what it was that he was going to do to help the homeless.”

             Whether she gave him the paper or not I don’t know.  The media does not care whether we live or die but any time they need a story they will come up and sweet talk you.  The media wants to look out for the publishers but they don’t care about us—only what they can gain by exploiting people.

             As I said before, I’m not homeless, but I care for the homeless.  They are people too.  God did not make junk.  Homeless people have talent, too.  People forget that homeless people need to be treated with respect.  Since I started working for the Grapevine, I have seen quite a lot of homeless people who have a lot of talent and need the opportunity to use their abilities and be respected, not downsized and thrown aside like pieces of paper.  Homeless people have love and compassion because they have to struggle.

             If our elected officials had to suffer the pain and humiliation of being homeless, maybe they would learn what compassion is.  I believe compassion comes from living hard and having to struggle.

             I’m not talking about anger because we all have anger in us.  I’m talking about not shutting the homeless out.  It makes them discouraged and not understanding.

             When they tell you to go get a job, to me it’s somebody who already has a job.  I think you need to tell these people, “If you want us to get a job, why don’t you give us one.”  I myself have credentials, and due to age discrimination. Which has not yet been proven, I have no job.  I have to sell the Grapevine to make ends meet.

             But I need to get back o the real issue; when John McCain came to the market and left, and nothing happened, and everyone went back to the real issues of living day by day as usual.  Nothing changed.  Like usual.

 Copyright NEOCH and the Homeless Grapevine Issue #41 March – April 2000