Everyone take a seat. We’re going to stray from our typical topics of dick jokes and boob praise in order to have a serious conversation about social injustices. Homeless people exist, my friends. No matter how much we try to look at the ground or pretend that we’re looking at a really interesting thing in the sky when we pass them, homeless people are real and they need to be treated with respect as human beings. Even the homeless dudes who sell drugs outside my local library or the ones inside that library watching porn – they all deserve their dignity.
That’s why ideas like the now defunct “HoboJacket” are supposedly bad for humanity. What exactly is HoboJacket? The philanthropy’s founder, MIT student Jin Pan, explains that it is “a competitive platform where you can donate your rival college’s jackets and shirts to the unfortunate because it’s terribly unfortunate that people actually went to that other college.”
For example, I hate Marshall, so I would donate some Herd gear and $10 to HoboJacket and it would serve two purposes: 1) A person who needs warm clothing would get just that; and 2) People would see a homeless person wearing a Marshall jacket. Basically, because homeless people are all dirty with their big beards, crazy eyes and B.O., this would be embarrassing for Marshall fans.
Now, imagine how this idea has gone over with social activists. Go ahead and check the HoboJacket website for yourself. Yeah, it’s gone over about as well as a fart in a spacesuit.
I thought I had a clever idea for leveraging existing college rivalries to raise money to provide warm clothing for the homeless.
But I did not actually understand that my gimmick was dependent on objectifying the homeless.
The site’s so-called edgy manner was designed to spread quickly, but I realize now that it also allowed my insensitivity to go viral.
I wish I could rewind time to Sunday and reverse the decision to take the site live.
But time is irreversible and I’ve learned a hard lesson.
I’m sorry that I offended so many, and I’m disappointed in my own lack of judgment.
I’ve matured a lot over the last 3 days in listening to the flood of more mature voices out there.
I especially apologize for using those who can’t as easily speak up for themselves.
From a purely humanitarian standpoint, yes, HoboJacket is wrong. It is exploitative and just all-around dickish. But is it really worth calling this dude Hitler on Reddit and acting like he’s the worst person since, well, Hitler? I mean, he’s actually doing something good. Sure, it’s self-serving and mean-spirited, but do you think the man freezing his ass off on the street cares if he’s wearing a Notre Dame sweater as a form of mockery?
I just don’t see the big deal. It’s not like we’ve never exploited the homeless before.