Is neighborhood change really possible while those whom are most responsible for the need to change remain inner woven deep within the very fabric of our noted communities? Or is the only way to truly reform and revitalize a dilapidated area is to first systematically evict its inhabitants and start all over again? First let us remember that a neighborhood is not defined by its construction, but by the people whom live there, and most people that reside in these so-called down trodden areas desire to live as most of us do, which is secure, peaceful and self sustaining. So who are the unnamed responsible ones that are tainting the aforementioned fabric of our communities , some would refer to these people as predators and some call them opportunists but no matter the title they fall under , the main goal of these individuals is to get over , get the money then get out . Allow me to explain in three steps how this much practiced socioeconomic pattern of neighborhood destruction plays itself out daily in American cities. First there is the label of “ghetto” applied to the area, which now allow certain destructive entities to become the expected “norm” of these areas, such as gangs, drugs, liquor stores, dirty streets and racial division. Second there is the “acceptance” of the aforementioned title by those living in this area , which causes some to move out , yet causes others to embrace and live out what they are now being called “ghetto” which implies a lack of education , generational welfare recipients and consumers of all others , i.e. the liquor stores , hair stores , high interest check cashing shops and that local corner store with it’s inflated prices on everyday low cost consumer products such as soap and toilet paper , and all these opportunists do is create a one way economic funnel that siphons and continually , monetarily malnourish the community until it’s inhabitants begin to feed upon themselves for survival , which brings us to the third and final step of this socioeconomic pattern of neighborhood destruction which I call the “quarantine” this is what happens when a community is looked upon as a lost cause and thus becomes systematically cut off from the rest of the city lest it spreads death to it , and during this quarantine the now dilapidated area is overlooked when it comes to State and City funded tax incentives , grants and federal revitalization projects due to the fact that it has also lost it’s voice to a lack of ownership , and this pattern continues until this once noted community becomes a vast wasteland of boarded up buildings and vacant lots filled with the hope of yesterday overgrown by the despair of tomorrow . Is neighborhood change really possible while those whom are most responsible for the need to change remain inner woven deep within the very fabric of our noted communities? Or is the only way to truly reform and revitalize a dilapidated area is to first systematically evict its inhabitants and start all over again? Perhaps there is no easy answer to these questions but like a cancer invading a body, if the problem is detected early, there is the possibility of halting the harm before that which is responsible for the damage kills the body.
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