Saturday, October 18, 2008

It helps if you understand the history--inner cities

I was surfing the sites of the enemy, i.e. hardcore racists, reading the usual lies about black people, associations with violence etc... on top of the general abuse, when something that I happened upon several years ago hit me. It was from a book by Thomas Sugrue having to do with Detroit and with the history of industrial cities in the '70s, and was basically this: the big increase in violence in the inner cities is a relatively recent phenomenon that started because the good jobs that blacks had migrated from the South for had dried up. Blacks are often the last hired and first fired of the labor force, which can help explain why the decrease in industrial jobs in the North effected them sooner and deeper than it did for white people, who experienced it as a general, gradual, decay that's still going on today. The obvious solution to urban violence in this scenario is jobs. Jobs that are more than menial labor and that can provide the person who does them with both dignity and a decent income.

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