False disabled beggars

If you visit a popular holiday destination in Spain you’re very likely to pass a disabled beggar at some point. I’ve read that some of these could sadly be the result of human trafficking. Others, however, clearly are not.
I came across this guy in Tenerife with a twisted foot, begging for money to pay for an operation. Next day I saw him in the shopping centre’s cafe, buying an expensive beer, gold necklace beneath a stylish shirt. Using crutches, he moved with ease, with no evidence of pain.
Obviously he’s making a fortune out of the pity brigade, who don’t question whether he really needs help. With a bent foot there’s no chance he can secure a job, right? And perhaps holidaymakers automatically assume that this country has a terrible support system for people with disabilities based on this one guy. After all, everyone with a physical disability is innocent, suffering and cannot possibly act with deceit.
In the original draft of this post I was trying to place blame on the people who donate money to these beggars, but the real scums here are the beggars. Of course they are, lying about desperate circumstances in search of easy profit. Then again, if the media and people didn’t buy into this whole ’disability=hell’ narrative, there’d be nothing for the fake beggars (or human traffickers) to cash in on. Then AGAIN, there are genuine homeless people with disabilities out there who could benefit from a bit of generosity.
I can’t shake the feeling that if you put two fake beggars next to each other, one dressed in rags, the other with a visible disability, the latter would win every time. I dread to think what I could accomplish if I followed up on some of my dark fantasies. What would I earn each day if I found a free spot in Tenerife and sat there with a bucket and a sign? If I ramped up the spasms, made up my own gibberish language and unleashed the deadliest puppy eyes the world has seen…
But the world is safe. For now.


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