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Archive for the ‘American cities’ Category

Steada treated,we get tricked
Steada kisses, we get kicked

A black ghetto, also known as the hood or the inner city, is a part of an American city where nearly everyone is black. Most ghettos are poor, but not all. Some of the black parts of Queens in New York, for example, are richer than some of the white parts.

For many who live in black ghettos, even in some middle-class ones, racism seems like more than just a few bad apples. The police, the courts, the press, the hospitals, the schools, the housing market, all of it, seem to be based on the idea that black life is not all that important. Everything is second-rate or kind of broken.

When whites see a black ghetto they think it is completely the creation of blacks living there: drug dealers, hookers, crackheads, bad fathers, poor people, etc. True enough in so far as it goes, but ghettos are not on the moon – they are part of a larger American society.

For example, you would think that city services would be the same all across the city. Not so. They are way worse in black ghettos. Even in the black middle-class parts of town it is not that great. Things like trash pick-up, ambulance service, street repair but, most of all, schools and police protection. Those things are beyond the control of the ghetto.

Whites think ghettos are dangerous because the people there are poor and black. What they forget is that the police are not all that interested in protecting the lives and property of poor black people. Not as interested as they are in protecting rich white people or even not-all-that-rich white people. They will even protect white foreigners over black Americans. I have seen it with my own eyes.

When middle-class whites see buildings and houses falling apart in black ghettos they think it is because “blacks do not take care of their neighbourhoods”. What they do not know is that it is hard to get a bank loan or insurance for property in a place like that. Because the banks and insurance companies redline black ghettos, refusing to put much money there. You might think they are just being hardheaded businessmen. That would be understandable. But no, it goes beyond that into racism.

Government policies after the Second World War made it easier to get money to build a house in the suburbs than to repair an old house in the city. That is part of why so much of America’s cities began to fall apart. And that was just when blacks began moving to the big cities like New York and Chicago in huge numbers. And just when most whites left those cities – white flight.

Despite all this black ghettos have produced some of the world’s greatest music and some great writers too. Amiri Baraka says it is because people there are still in touch with their hearts. Yes, and they also see the world more clearly, they see through the middle-class lies.

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