Editorial: Winning Hearts and Minds

Thus far, 2011 has been an interesting year for Streetvibes. Editors have gone, editors have come and gone again, editors have been nameless phantoms, and now it is my honor to be your editor. Despite some changes, one thing has remained consistent with Streetvibes, its dedication to social justice, building community and providing economic opportunities for the paper’s distributors. We thank you for supporting this dedication with your purchase of the paper that you are now reading.

So what course will the paper take under this new pilot? The primary focus of Streetvibes will always be on issues that affect people in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky who are experiencing life without a home. The paper’s progressive mission will continue to expose the unethical practices of those who would diminish affordable housing and social services while also celebrating the efforts of those who seek to help relieve the situation and ensure a safe home for everyone.

When working for social justice one is constantly exposed to the mistreatment of those lacking the resources to protect themselves and the corruption of those motivated by power and greed. Frequently, it is a saddening and very frustrating calling, our “bleeding hearts” hemorrhage from the emotional trauma of feeling compassion and empathy for people in need of assistance. This frustration can easily turn to anger and then the name calling begins. In our aggravation we dig in for political battle and seek to defeat our enemies. In many situations it is a civic battle that is worthy of being fought, but with it comes those who get caught in the crossfire of rhetorical missiles. American politics of the 21st century have become extremely polarized, everyone seems angry at something and desperately trying to find someone to blame for it. We fight with those who’s mission differs from our own and even squabble with those who share the same viewpoint.

“If you’re not outraged, then you’re not paying attention,” stated a bumper sticker with which I heartily agree, but it is very difficult to convince someone of your viewpoint by shouting at them. Brute force offers the short term result of compliance through fear but it does nothing for the long term goal of winning the hearts and minds of people. Calm and confident,
Streetvibes will always seek to reach out to the public of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to educate, inform and challenge people’s perceptions of those without homes.

There is, however, also more to Streetvibes. Despite our unveiled dissatisfaction with many unjust policies and practices
that occur in Cincinnati, we love this place, it is our home, and we want to see everyone be able to enjoy the Queen City. Our mission of community building extends in many different directions such as music, poetry, literature, film, and other performing arts. Expect to see more about the fringe entertainment and arts that Cincinnati has to offer.

To conclude my first Streetvibes editorial, I wish to extend an invitation to writers and artists who enjoy this paper and feel that they would like to contribute articles and art to help us continue to grow into the paper that is the heart of soul of the city, the vibe of the street.

Jason Dean