Home Depot, the nation's largest home-improvement chain, was accused in a Federal lawsuit today of discriminating against the homeless. "The very existence of Home Depot is offensive to the sensitivities of people without homes," says Nadine Strossen, head of the ACLU who filed the case, adding that the word "home" itself smacks of racism, bigotry, and intolerance and thus should be treated as hate speech. The suit seeks unspecified damages on behalf of seven homeless people, some of them of color, squatting in an abandoned building next to the Home Depot parking lot in the Coney Island area of New York.
"We hope to win a ruling that would make it a class-action suit on behalf of all homeless who ever laid their eyes on the insensitive Home Depot sign and felt offended and/or excluded as a result."
Officials for Home Depot, based in Atlanta, retorted by offering a settlement. "If the ACLU wants to build an alternative national chain called 'Homeless Depot' to counterbalance our chain, we will help them with expertise and supplies," a spokesman for Home Depot said. "We will provide an assortment of items for all your homeless needs - blankets, begging cups, cardboard boxes, pre-fabricated begging signs, and Smell-in-a-Can products."
The ACLU dismissed the offer, saying that such project might get them bogged down with lowly business matters, distracting from the noble cause of supervising an even redistribution of wealth. "But we like the idea," Nadine Strossen declared. "The ACLU will make sure the Court orders the company to build a nation-wide chain of Homeless Depot stores and to pay the homeless to hang out, er, scratch that... work in them."
HT: The Peoples Cube