Need for help must prevail

Egregiously Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey asserted an interesting principle of "rights" as quoted in The News-Journal: "To me, it's an issue of our redevelopment areas. This is not about denying people the opportunity to get services. People who don't want additional social services in their neighborhoods have rights, too."

What Ritchey doesn't get is that a positive need invariably and always outweighs a negative need -- in my most humble opinion. Let me illustrate. Suppose Mayor Ritchey has a devastating accident in the midst of the intersection of International Speedway and Clyde Morris boulevards. His injury is such that he should not be moved because serious dislocating of bones might happen. I sit with my bike on Clyde Morris in need of getting to my job posthaste. Ritchey has a need for his back to be properly treated so that he can be conveyed to the nearest medical facility. I have a need to get to work. Suppose I insist that I, too, have rights and that, thus, Ritchey should be shoved to the side of the road.

I think that anyone with his/her thinking cap on will recognize mine as a lopsided demand. Ritchey's need for the stretcher is a positive right; mine, to get to work, is a negative right. He wants and needs help; I want to deny help to another. If one applies this paradigm to the social services, the matter is obvious: The neighbor's need to keep services out is negative; the destitute person's need to have services is a positive need. Positive needs outweigh negative needs

So, there you are. If we consider the falling house prices in that area, one should come to the conclusion that the social acceptance of offering help is not in vogue sufficiently and that, if help looks like blight, the help offered is below what it should be. If these agencies were to operate at the level of social respectability, one should not experience such prejudice. If one does experience prejudice, Ritchey, the so-called public servants and the community need a course in Morality 101. If one needs services, one should not be made to walk miles to get there. Separate but equal was a stupid principle; it has not gotten better when applied to economic strata.