Tuesday, March 10, 2009

white flight

lessons from rocup :: part 3

I found it facinating that we were told the same thing from two very different sources.  

Kyle is a Christian who moved into Beechwood with his family many years ago.  He works at East High and is the president of the community association.  He's working for social change in the name of Christ.

John is the head of the Criminal Justice Department at my university, and has been doing reaserch on violence in this city for over a dozen years.

Both these men contributed the messy web of interconnected problems that exist in the city to one common source:  white middle-class flight.

We have concentrated our ethnic minorities in one place.  We have concentrated our low economic class in one place.

The result?  Increasing demands on a declining tax base.  The education system begins to fail.  Concentration of poverty breeds desperation, violence, drugs, and other criminal activity.

If the cause was economic and racial segregation, what's the solution?

We heard the exact same ideas from the Christian and secular perspectives.

It should be noted that this is a very white-male biased perspective.  I wish we had had input from a more diverse set of people.

1 comment:

tim flanders said...

Matt,

yeah I've also heard of the problem of white flight being a big thing in contributing to the injustice. And then there's the whites who move back in... and then there's gentrification. My friend Jay who's a social worker said what really needs to happen is for rich people to be willing to live in low-class areas in a lower standard of living and so provide the social capital for the poor around them. For instance, just something simple, we really help out a lot of our neighbors just by giving them rides to places, and sometimes letting them use our washer/dryer. It's sweet because they really know we are Christians by our love.