Why we tolerate “bad” neighborhoods

In a lucianne.com thread about the murder of the older sister of Serena and Venus Williams in South Los Angeles, a poster had asked, “Why do the American people tolerate bad areas in cities?” Here is my reply:

Reply 12—Posted by: Larry, 9/15/2003 8:47:13 AM

#10 asks: “Why do the American people tolerate bad areas in cities?”

That’s like asking, why do the American people tolerate bad schools? President Bush is trying to do something about that, by giving pupils in “failing schools” the option to go to other schools, and what defines a school as “failing” under this scheme is that the students (or rather _any_ racial subgroup among the students) perform below a certain threshold. The fatal flaw with this idea is that what makes the school a failing school is the low abilities of the students who populate it. Therefore moving those students to another school is only going to turn that other school into a “failing” school as well.

It’s the same with “bad” neighborhoods. What makes them “bad” is the people in them. There is thus no ready made cure, especially in our liberal society where any strong law and order measures are attacked as racist.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 15, 2003 08:56 AM | Send

From CNN: “Police said Wormley drove the mortally wounded Price to the home of a friend eight miles away in Long Beach and phoned 911. Price was rushed to a hospital, where she died from her injuries.”

That is a long way to drive. I find it strange that they did not rush to the nearest house and ask to call 911. How bad is this neighborhood? Maybe in some places people do not think that way.

Posted by: Thrasymachus on September 15, 2003 11:48 AM

A further comment by me at the lucianne thread:

Reply 32 - Posted by: Larry, 9/15/2003 12:32:01 PM

#19 writes: “Community standards are maps for recovery, but enforcement is the engine that drives all progress.”

Agreed. But in the case of Compton, WHAT community is going to supply these standards, and WHO is going to enforce them? Evidently the community in Compton has neither the standards nor the ability and will to enforce the standards.

The point is that there are large populations in America that do not possess the wherewithall for civilized existence. Instead of either ignoring this problem under the rubric of “all men are created equal” (which is what today’s conservatives do), or else blaming the problem on white racism (which is what liberals do), we need to acknowledge the reality of the problem if we are to cope intelligently with it.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on September 15, 2003 12:33 PM

Lawrence Auster wrote,

“Instead of either ignoring this problem under the rubric of ‘all men are created equal’ (which is what today’s conservatives do), or else blaming the problem on white racism (which is what liberals do), we need to acknowledge the reality of the problem if we are to cope intelligently with it.”

Conservatives and liberals are at fault but liberals more so.

Lower average IQs don’t mean a particular segment of the population can’t learn, just that it must devote more time and effort to learning. It’s called sitting on your butt, opening your eleventh-grade trigonometry book, and forcing yourself to not get up until you’ve read, studied, and done all the examples in, a particular chapter. Then the next day, or three times a week, or twice a week, or whatever is called for by the teacher, you do the same thing with the succeeding chapters, and so on. This is how the Catholic schools succeed in educating black children better than public schools — the liberals have driven discipline out of the latter when discipline is needed so much more by lower-IQ kids than by higher, since they have to study so much harder to master the same material.

In a thousand ways liberals have taken away the means by which schools, communities, and even families used to enforce the discipline necessary for learning. Liberals don’t believe Euclid’s admonition, “There’s no royal road to geometry.” They think there IS one but it’s deliberately kept from certain segments of society in order to keep them down. They tell those segments of society what they can least afford to hear — “Don’t apply yourselves diligently in hard study because the others, the ones keeping you down, have a trick that they won’t tell you, which they share among themselves to make studying easier, allowing them to keep ahead of you. Don’t cooperate until the privileged decide to share their little bag of tricks.”

But there IS no bag of tricks. Studying is just sitting on your butt, opening a book with pencil and paper in hand, and learning a chapter. Liberals don’t believe this.

It’s the same as regards violent street-and-neighborhood crime. Such crime can be reduced in lower-IQ neighborhoods exactly the way it was kept to a minimum in those neighborhoods when I was a boy in Queens in the fifties and sixties — by the imposition of strict law-enforcement and disciplinary measures such as frequently invoking simple anti-loitering and anti-begging statutes in communities, coming down hard on vandalism, etc.

Conservatives sense this but liberals seek constantly to undo the strictness necessary for certain neighborhoods to be livable rather than jungles. And look who suffers — exactly the people liberals claim to be helping.

Posted by: Unadorned on September 15, 2003 10:19 PM

Everything Unadorned says is true and society should do these things to the extent possible. Black students could do better if they applied themselves diligently; black neighborhoods could be more orderly if there was real discipline and law enforcement. But …

1. Who is going to apply this discipline in the schools, under the current moral conditions of society? Not the liberals whom Unadorned describes, and not the blacks either, since they’re the very ones who need the extra attention and discipline.

2. As for law enforcement, anti-loitering laws were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1970s (under the Incorporation Doctrine, natch). Enforcing such laws takes tremendous energy by a city, and is constantly opposed by both white liberals and black troublemakers. So, once again, if this is to happen, it must be someone other than white liberals or blacks who do the enforcing on which the functioning of the black community depends. And such people can only approach the task seriously if they consciously reject liberal dogma.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on September 15, 2003 11:13 PM

I lived in the ghetto before. And you dont go to the nearby hospitals. When I lived in Chicago, I made sure to get myself a few miles north to Evanston when in need of medical care. Probably reason Im still alive.

Im out of the ghetto now. I blame both the conservatives and liberals and even those within the ghetto. I saw too much bad behavior prepetuating the problem. I was poorer then dirt but I never robbed, stole and spent the time drunk in the gutter like so many of those around me. I had to step over drunks and run from those “begging” for their next dose of booze. But then those are the people who have given up. The misery of life led them to give up.

However in this country we are forming an eternal underclass and the haves are doing everything in their power to destroy the middle class. One slip and even an upper middle class raised person like myself in my case due to disability and lost of health ends up in the black hole of poverty. There are no safety nets and those in the ghetto lose all hope of every getting out. Some may go back to it like the Williams sister as the only life they know.

The only reason I got out of the ghetto was a car loan by a relative. I am serious.

If no more well off relative to help me out….

I would have been stuck there forever no matter how many bootstraps me and my husband found.

Everything in Chicago was built to keep the poor in their place and to work against them raising themselves up. Currency exchanges charging 10 bucks to cash a paycheck, overpriced food, Decent jobs only via nepotism, classism beyond anything else and yes I saw racism in Chicago that would have rivaled Mississipis of 1950s.

The place was hell.

My advice to any family living in the ghetto is to scrape every penny together to get out. But this is easier said then done. It took two college educated people—-FOUR years and a car loan—given old car that I paid off, to do it once the decision was made.

What hope do the rest have?

Posted by: Victoria on September 17, 2003 1:00 PM

Even then wanted to add more.

The prevailing attidue in the ghetto was


You could just see the people that had given up.

and who accepted their lot.

I refused and I knew other people who refused to give up (of all types)

Those are the ones who made it out.

Posted by: Victoria on September 17, 2003 1:03 PM
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