City Blares ‘Baby Shark’ To Torture Homeless And Keep Them Away

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baby shark

Image: YouTube / PinkFong

Officials in West Palm Beach have sunk to a new low to keep homeless people away from a rental facility the city owns: they’re playing incredibly catchy (and annoying) children’s songs on merciless loop. Advocates for the homeless call it a cruel treatment of people who are obviously in great need and have no options for shelter, and we’d have to agree. I can only take about one round of Raining Tacos before I tell my kid Youtube is broken and forget about Baby Shark (do-do-do-do-do) because I lose my mind at even the thought of it. It’s very easy to see why it’s an effective tool for driving people away but c’mon West Palm Beach? Unnecessary cruelty much?

According to an interview with BBC, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James said that playing the songs on endless loops through the night is a ‘temporary’ measure to keep homeless away from the city’s waterfront areas. Given, the oceanfront of West Palm Beach is a sight to behold, but the warm temperatures also make the area a place where many homeless find refuge and shelter through the nights they have nowhere to go.

We Don’t Care Where You Go; You Just Can’t Stay Here

City officials say that the glass-walled Lake Pavillion is home to nearly 200 events a year, and is a popular venue as it overlooks the downtown waterfront. Rental of the venue brings in almost $250,000 a year in rental fees, and since the President hasn’t offered his nearby Mar-A-Lago as an alternative venue, they’ve gotta make their moolah somehow, right?

West Palm Beach blares Baby Shark and Raining Tacos in an effort to deter Homeless from sleeping in a downtown pavillion

Mayor James said that people are paying good money for the facility, and shouldn’t have to enjoy unpleasant remnants like the human feces that can sometimes be found by the entrance. Staying ‘pristine’ is essential for rental value, of course.

Baby Shark Bids Homeless Bye-Bye

So why the chosen songs? Well, because they’re annoying, of course. Mayor James said that if you hear them over and over, they get pretty aggravating. (A chorus of parents all over the world are giving silent high-fives to that one.)

And that’s exactly why advocates for the homeless feel that it’s cruel punishment for a vulnerable population that really has nowhere else to go.

Maria Foscarinis is the founder and executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. She said that blaring the songs Baby Shark and Raining Tacos on repeat to drive them out is just inhumane and particularly insidious. The songs, annoying as they may be to parents, are innocent children’s songs and are being used in a repulsive and inhumane way, Ms. Foscarinis believes.

Stand By Your Plan

Wonder what the other 348 a week feel about it?

And that’s just what Ms. Foscarinis is worried about. With the hostile attitude toward the homeless, the assumption is that the homeless have other options than to be tortured with ridiculous songs all night long. If only six a week are being helped, she’s probably on to something, and efforts like this and tactics like spiked window sills and sloped or segmented bus benches (to prevent sleeping)  don’t offer a solution, they make the lives of the homeless even more miserable than they already are.

But hey? NBD, because they can just listen to those happy little tunes West Palm is blaring for them, right? Oh wait, we’ve all (including the mayor) pretty much agreed they’re aggravating and torture. Got it.