Jerry Marcus, a reader, with a vivid report from an overwhelmed public hospital, captures the mad disconnect between a community with desperate, basic needs and a leadership ready to spend a half-billion dollars to build the Marlins a baseball stadium. He writes:
Yesterday I took
a friend who has a psychiatric illness to the Jackson Crisis Center because he
seemed to be a danger to himself and to others. We had to wait several
hours in a small, poorly air conditioned room as police and fire rescue workers
brought in a parade of mentally ill. Many of them were handcuffed,
filthy, and dressed in rags. There were frequent outbursts and the need
for police restraints as the interminable wait to treat numerous crises
A young male who
had been waiting more than six hours for help shouted that he was going to jump
off the nearest high building if a doctor did not see him. He started
using obscenities and an officer literally threw him out of the waiting room.
After more than
eight hours my untreated and ill friend gave up. He remains a danger to
himself and others and I feel helpless in trying to help this substantial
segment of our society.
During this long
wait I could not help but think of the wasted money and taxpayer expense that
is being funneled into a multi-million dollar baseball stadium in Little Havana
while so many injustices and suffering continue in our community. It is
obvious that our leaders have a great lack of compassion for the citizens they
supposedly represent. Building a baseball stadium that nobody needs and
few people want rather than helping the truly needy is a travesty of justice.