Do you think it’s bad now? It’s only going to get worse.
Sorry for the pessimism, but now that the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures has expired and the federal government is bickering over the next pandemic stimulus bill that could expand unemployment benefits and prevent millions from sliding into poverty after their jobs have evaporated, homelessness and hunger will reach levels in the United States that haven’t been seen since the 1930s.
That can’t happen here in the 21st century, you say? Modern Americans simply won’t allow it to happen, you think?
Well, take a look at what’s already happened in Memphis, Tennessee as revealed in a video by the folks at TNHoller.
The video shows an eviction in progress, the sudden and unannounced eviction of Leslie Nelson, a 56-year-old woman who was just released from the hospital and is still suffering from the lingering effects of a COVID-19 infection.
The reason for the eviction? A lawyer representing those owed medical debts by the late mother of the woman’s also deceased partner had gone to court to order the home seized and sold to pay those debts, claiming that the house was “abandoned” while the woman was being treated for her coronavirus in a local hospital.
As police and sheriffs galore pile her belongings on the front lawn, Hunter Dempster, a friend of the woman, live streams the scene on Facebook, interviews the distraught woman about the reasons for her plight, and confronts the police for executing an eviction that the county health department has declared is illegal because of the woman’s COVID-positivity status.
🚨WATCH: “Y’ALL ARE EVICTING A WOMAN WITH FUCKING COVID.” @MEM_PoliceDept (Memphis) EVICTS A COVID-SICK WOMAN FRESH OUT OF THE HOSPITAL w/o warning- to recover her dead partner’s dead mom’s MEDICAL DEBT—despite @ShelbyTNHealth saying STOP 🛑
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) August 8, 2020
A horrifying and disturbing scene it is.
It is only the beginning. The first of countless evictions that will replay similar scenes again and again.
Some of the people being evicted may have COVID-19 infections, whether they are aware of it or not. Some will be healthy.
All will be homeless, many will be jobless, all will be desperate.
Meanwhile, Republicans are opposing a new pandemic stimulus bill because they feel that an extra $600 a week will not lead to enough desperation that people will be willing to go back to work in unsafe workplaces as they fight to shield employers from any liability for conditions that could lead to their employees catching the deadly disease while at work.
If this doesn’t give you the impetus to vote each and every one of the Republican sadists masquerading as politicians out of office, then nothing ever will.
Original reporting by Micaela A Watts at The Memphis Commercial Appeal.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.