Elitist golfers refer to degenerates and zombies
A letter by Matt Lester, CEO, Supertrax Media Inc. was published yesterday in The Hamilton Spectator: “Pro golfers unimpressed by downtown“. Lester says he spoke to many golfers of the RBC Canadian Open and their family members while he served as their shuttle transportation in Hamilton, Ontario. Lester says the golfers were vocal about fear at night and apparent gang activity and poor service at the hotel. He refers to “the scariest looking degenerates you’ve ever seen” at Gore Park and asks of Hamilton:
How can we expect to attract world-class events when the hotels don’t provide services and the amenities are uninviting? Between all the boarded up buildings and the zombies walking around, who can argue with these [golfers'] comments.
There is some disagreement in the comments posted on the site. Some agree with Lester about the local blight and some have suggestions for improvement (NathanHughson writes “The solution is to go downtown more often. Make it your own. Patronize the shops. Visit the restaurants and studios.”) Others take offense to Lester’s word choice. Larrie thinks it unacceptable to call “less fortunate fellow citizens as zombies”. Today TheSpec published a response letter from John Neary following up on Larrie’s point, Neary writes: “They’re human beings, not ‘zombies’“:
Tuesday letter writer Matt Lester — “Pro golfers unimpressed by downtown” — should be ashamed of himself for referring to his fellow human beings as “degenerates” and “zombies.” Downtown Hamilton has certainly had its share of problems, but dehumanizing others is not the way to go about solving them.
Disagreeing comments on that response letter suggest that the area is full of social service freeloaders and panhandling scammers. But does that really justify dehumanizing them? This seems a microcosm of a larger global political question at the heart of many recent zombie issues.