posts 1 - 15 of 31
Avatar
dgavin
Posts: 20

Post: Boston’s Neighborhoods, Inequality, and Inequity: Drawing Conclusions

(due: Wednesday, November 8, 2017)

“Any city, however small, is in fact divided into two, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich; these are at war with one another.”

--Plato

In big cities, beneath the roar of traffic, beneath the rapid pace of change, so many faces pass by unnoticed because they have no ‘right’ to be there, no right to be part of the city . . . They are the foreigners, the children who go without schooling, those deprived of medical insurance, the homeless, the forgotten elderly. These people stand at the edges of our great avenues, in our streets, in deafening anonymity.”

--Pope Francis, at Madison Square Garden, NYC, September 24, 2015

Reading: Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Case for Reparations,” The Atlantic (June 2014).

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/...

Is there inequality in Boston? Are there inequities?

Inequality: noun, (plural inequalities)

1. the condition of being unequal; lack of equality; disparity (e.g.--inequality of size)

2. social disparity (e.g.—inequality between the rich and the poor)

Inequity: noun, (plural inequities)

1. the quality of being unfair or partial;

2. something that is unfair and unjust (e.g.--the inequities of our criminal-justice system)

If there are, what’s our evidence (from the evidence you looked at in class today? Are our neighborhoods evidence of inequality? Is there evidence of inequity? If they are unequal, how did that happen? This question goes beyond the data you reviewed but asks you to step back and think about the Boston you live in, know, and (most of you, anyway) love.

Be specific. Support your observations with the concrete data that you examined today.

In 2015, Boston’s Federal Reserve issued a report, “The Color of Wealth” (https://www.bostonfed.org/publications/one-time-pubs/color-of-wealth.aspx). It documented the following (and N.B.: the study did not discuss the Asian population in Boston):

White

US black

Caribbean black

Puerto Rican

Dominican

Other Hispanic

Total assets

$256,000

$700

$12,000

$3,020

$1,724

$15,000

Net worth

$247,500

$8

$12,000

$3,020

$0

$2,700

Wow. This is what one calls income disparity among groups.

So what should you post on: What can we do about any perceived inequities and inequalities within our own city? What are some short-term ways to change this? What are some long-term ways to address it? And which aspect of these issues do you personally care most about? The award-winning writer Ta-Nehisi Coates believes that the United States has to take radical action in order to address income inequality. Read his article and then weigh in on whether you agree with his recommendations/conclusions.

Avatar
orangesaregood
Posts: 30

It is a sad reality that Boston, like many other neighborhoods in America, is divided into socioeconomically segregated neighborhoods in which the wealthy neighborhoods are composed of majority white people, and the neighborhoods riddled with crime and poverty are often composed of people of color. This is immediately apparent when looking at the data that we collected in class as part of the neighborhood analysis project. The neighborhoods with the least crime, least disease, and least financial difficulties are typically white neighborhoods such as West Roxbury, while the neighborhoods struggling with poverty are usually ghettos with people of color such as Roxbury and Dorchester.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, a writer on political and social problems, wrote "The Case for Reparations" about income inequality, in which he muses "Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole." He wrote about redlining and stated that "In Chicago and across the country, whites looking to achieve the American dream could rely on a legitimate credit system backed by the government. Blacks were herded into the sights of unscrupulous lenders who took them for money and for sport. "

The practice of redlining neighborhoods and labelling which neighborhoods were most desirable and profitable for investment and loaning serves to further deepen the gap between rich white neighborhoods and poor black and Hispanic neighborhoods. Whereas whites could use loans from the government, blacks were faced with money-hungry tenants who increased the rent to unsustainable amounts in order to evict them, attract another black family, and repeat the cycle, profiting off their poverty.

Additionally, gentrification of neighborhoods increases income inequality by forcing poor families of color to move to another part of the city, a process called urban displacement. This can be seen in the South End, in which the racial demographic became increasingly white during the 20th century as white urban professionals began to move into the neighborhood made up of people of color. Gentrification can be combatted by holding protests, such as when three hotels were built in the heart of Boston's Chinatown and Chinese residents held protests in the street, attracting media publicity and local attention to the issue at hand.

Income inequality can be combatted with financial aid to help those in difficult financial situations. By offering financial aid to students in need, colleges are opening the door for poor families to attain a college education and break out of the long-established cycle of poverty in their families and communities.

I personally find it heartbreaking to see tight-knit communities of residents who share a single culture be pulled apart by gentrification. The long-established history and culture of a neighborhood can be wiped out in less than a decade with a shift in racial demographic, and replaced instead by wealthy condos and hotels for white professionals. Though some may argue that this change is positive and reduces crime rates, where are the people who've lived there for so long supposed to go?


Avatar
Cloutqueen101
Posts: 28

Its a shame that our own Boston is too your typical red lined city, if not one of the worst ever. However there are some short term solutions like providing loans to people based on merit and not on race and location would start to help upward mobility in lower income areas. While a long term solution would be to educate banks and those who created the loan process to not be racist to change the system itself to provide a brighter future for all cities. Similarly, if big businesses would invest in lower income areas with affordable produce, each town would have healthier lifestyles and longer lifespans to work jobs longer and produce income for their own town instead of traveling to others for shopping and that would increase each towns individual taxes to help economic growth. I care most about the fact that peoples educations and resources are being challenged just because of where they live, and how other people are choosing to police their lives and not allow them certain luxuries because of their race, or socioeconomic status. That makes me mad because nobody can play god and act like they're justified to act that way. I agree that radical action should be taken because even though it may shake up peoples lives, in the long run people who have been disenfranchised only have upwards to go and while the wealthy may falter... its not like they didn't put those exact systems in place to propel themselves forward and shove the masses of unsuspecting people down.

Avatar
Blackmamba
Posts: 28

Redlining

We can try to educate the youth of that certain neighborhood so they can come back to their neighborhoods experienced and ready to give back. They can open businesses and invest in their neighborhood to make it better without gentrifying the area. Long term ways to fix this problem would be to equally invest in every neighborhood without discriminating. Also, providing the same resources across the board in all areas of the city. I personally care about keeping the roots of the neighborhood intact. A large problem in Boston is outside investors buying up the land and kicking out the locals whose families have lived here for generations. Gentrification is a real issue in Boston that I personally care about. I think Ta-Nehsi does a good job briefing the reader of the history but doesn’t present an argument on what should be done. He gives us the facts and criticizes what people have done but he doesn’t offer much advice on how we should move forward. I think that it is hard to know what to do moving forward besides giving equal opportunity to everyone and letting people fail or flourish on their own merit.
Avatar
SupremeLasso
Posts: 31

"The politics of racial evasion are seductive"

I truly believe that even before this project, the majority of the class would have admitted that they believe there are both inequalities and inequities in the city of Boston. It isn't hidden, but I think that most people have learned to stop there, thinking that knowledge is enough, that being educated is the same as being involved. I'm one of those people; I often tell myself that I have to choose my battles, because when so much could be improved, involvement in everything only results in spreading oneself and one's resources thin. Of course, this is just a way that I let myself sleep at night knowing that there are increasingly complex issues and increasingly elusive solutions. The discrepancies in just about every category in the map project were significantly but expectedly large. This plays a big part in why Bostonians place such a large stress on where you live in the city; it provides an instant basis for judgement, because the differences are so large.

In The Atlantic article, Patrick Sharkey stated that "blacks and whites inhabit such different neighborhoods that it is not possible to compare the economic outcomes of black and white children." People have been placed on entirely different levels from the very beginning, and this is an immensely scary thought because it means that the problem is extremely deeply rooted. Offering more financial aid or section 8 housing won't be enough- it will only make up a small fraction of the disadvantage that has been exponentially increasing from the very beginning. The Atlantic article traces back the issue to the start of our nation, and thus such ideas have been centuries in the making, and I can't help but consider how long it would take to undo them, if at all possible.

I don't believe there are valuable short-term ways to address this, because its not a short-term problem. I think that a difficult but potentially impactful long-term solution would be to drastically improve education in typically black or impoverished towns, and thus to make all sorts of people want to move there. These areas would have to be protected from big business gentrification as well, allowing original inhabitants to remain. From my personal experience, most middle class people move and choose locations based on education. I'm just another example- once my family started to settle down and branch a few feeble roots into MA soil, my parents continuously stressed the importance of education. We moved to a tremendously expensive and white suburb because of education, and then we moved to Boston so that I could attend an even better school. If elite/magnet schools were to rise up from underprivileged neighborhoods, I think there's a possibility that the playing field might slowly level out.

Avatar
Milo2017
Posts: 31

Equal but not Equitable

I think that there is definitely inequity and even possibly inequality in Boston as a whole. Looking at the numbers spells it all out for you. Do I think that our city is as bad as Chicago’s? No. But I think that there definitely is something going on. I mean looking at the logistics of it, when you think of Mattapan what is your first thought? Mine is probably the fact that it’s called Murderpan sometimes. Like really??? What is the majority of the population in Mattapan? African American. (BTW I’m not shitting on Mattapan I’m just trying to make a point). I think that in these disadvantaged socioeconomic neighbors, gentrification needs to stop. I know the Southie we see today was not the Southie we saw in the 70’s. Almost all of the area is some sort of construction zone, and the average building is only 20 years old. But if you look at the “projects” (i.e Old colony etc.) those are really the only low income housing available in Southie. I don’t think Boston is as gentrified as some of the other cities in this country; *cough* *cough* New York. But I do think the gentrification in Boston is only deepening the harsh divide of racially segregated, low income neighborhoods. I feel like I’m always saying this in my posts but I have no idea how to fix this. I know something needs to change and gentrification needs to stop but how do you stop a train that’s going a 100 mph and is only building speed? It’s an undeniable fact that some white landlords have/ and continue to make it harder for families of color to afford the places they live in. In the article the author talks about how Clyde Ross was working three jobs just to try and keep the heat on. But I only know a few white kids that have parents that have multiple jobs just to make ends meat. I think overall there may be equality but there is definitely not equity anywhere (at least in the places I’ve seen). I mean for god sakes we just had a huge thing at BLS about how the admissions process is completely inequitable.

Avatar
OceanEscape19
Posts: 32

Boston's Problems

From the data we collected it is clear Boston demonstrates some of the points Ta-Nehisi Coates points to in his article “The Case for Reparations.” Boston is a product of the same redlining procedures that occurred in Boston, and people of color were clearly discriminated against and forced to enter unfair or overpriced contracts for homeownership. Owning a home is part of the American dream, having your own place. In Chicago, Coates argues that “contract sellers did not target the very poor. They targeted black people who had worked hard enough to save a down payment and dreamed of the emblem of American citizenship—homeownership.” After fighting and saving and dreaming, they were doomed from the start. The trend of segregated neighborhoods and African Americans struggle to own homes is seen in our data. For instance, West Roxbury has around a 70% owner-occupied, whereas Roxbury is only 19%. Subsidized housing partially explains this trend, but it is also reminiscent of the racial biases that have been present forever.

Another point is that predominantly white neighborhoods like West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain have a much larger median income, lower population density, and better health and education services. Dorchester has the largest percent of the population, and only ¼ of them have a college degree. Conversely, West Roxbury one of the lowest population densities, larger incomes and ¾ have a college degree. Coates partially explains this by saying that nice neighborhoods have more space and therefore they are less prone to violence. They have their own place to feel secure and feel no need to invade anyone else’s. This also gets into the idea of equity vs. equality. People may look and think that Dorchester and Roxbury have more health centers and more charter schools. However what they fail to recognize is that in spite of that education is struggling, crime is high, and chronic disease is elevated. These areas have less income and more people, so in spite of the fact they have more buildings, the resources aren’t adequate and the population isn’t supported. People fail to recognize that in order to achieve real justice we need to start with equity. You can never treat people equally if they didn’t begin that way. If give a upper class white boy and a lower class black boy a car, you aren’t giving them an equal opportunity to succeed. The black kid can’t pay for the insurance or the driver’s ed. He’l probably have it stolen, or crash it because he doesn’t know what he’s doing. So it is an empty tease to one, while the other has a chance for freedom.

The disparity between majority white and majority black neighborhoods all stems from the racial prejudice and slavery that existed when this country began. Coates believes that the African Americans who were enslaved and abused deserve to have reparations. He stated that the essence of American racism is disrespected and in a comparison between white and black people, “And all the former, the poor as well as the rich, belong to the upper class, and are respected and treated as equals.” This illustrated that the country is already so polarized, reparations can’t serve to tear us apart more. They only serve to explore the truth and come to terms with our past, but at a crossroads where everyone is given a fairer start.

Avatar
junglejim4322
Posts: 30

Just as any other social problems, the most obvious short term goal should be to address the fact that those problems even exists. So yes, Boston does suffer issues regarding racial inequity and inequality. As “Milo” suggested, it doesn’t take much effort to realize this-- just look at the numbers, or listen to the stereotypes that each of our neighborhoods has. I know that stereotypes often hyperbolize the truth, but as we said in class, there is still some truth behind stereotypes. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that highly affluent neighborhoods such as Back Bay or the Financial District don’t have access to the same unhealthy food items that are accessible in other neighborhoods such as South Boston. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that residents in those same “upscale” neighborhoods also have the highest levels of education. And where does this all come from? I think Ta-Nehisi Coates says it perfectly when he states that “When subprime lenders went looking for prey, they found black people waiting like ducks in a pen.” It’s hard to fathom that your future is (for the most part) predetermined based on the location you grow up in, and nobody should suffer for being dealt the unlucky card in the deck.

As for Ta-Nehisi Coates’ argument, I feel like radical change would be ideal but I don’t think it’s realistic. Since these socioeconomic divides among our neighborhoods are so deeply entrenched, I feel as if radical change might make matters worse (such as the drastic shift that came with busing). Although I believe that busing was necessary, and that time isn’t even a word in Boston’s vocabulary, these divisions in our city can’t be overturned overnight-- drastic, radical changes will do more harm than good.

Avatar
user4523
Posts: 29

Bostons Neighborhood Inequality

The neighborhoods of Boston are definitely very unequal, and the research that we did in class over the past couple days has really made that clear to me. The less wealthy (and predominantly minority communities) of Roxbury and Mattapan tend to have the highest rates of crime and property neglect and the least access to healthy food and city services. This inequity goes back to the time of redlining, and that period still haunts those communities to this day. The lack of investment in those communities contributed to poverty, property neglect and those communities oftentimes still have not recovered to this day.


The issue of inequalities in our city is a very delicate one and is not able to be solved easily. I would say that the best way to help these communities would be to invest more in them and the people living there, but that investment could very quickly turn to gentrification which could end up radically changing the lives of those who live there, probably for the worse. It is a very fine line that needs to be walked. I think the best way to help these communities and lessen inequality is to gradually invest more in the poorer neighborhoods of the city, while not investing so much as to cause rampant gentrification. Also, creating more better paying jobs to help people in these neighborhoods support themselves would help them stay where they have always lived, avoiding an exodus of the low income people who have historically lived there, like often happens. Personally, I care most about doing whatever would help all the people of Boston flourish, as well as the city as a whole, while maintaining its diversity and maybe making it more integrated at the same time.


I personally agree with the conclusions that Ta-Nehisi Coates came to in his article. I think that making reparations would go a long way to healing many of the scars that are still part of our society today, as shown by the black/white education and wealth gap. He says that “reparations would mean a revolution of the American consciousness, a reconciling of our self-image as the great democratizer with the facts of our history,” and I think that that quote really strikes true. Americans as a whole live in a form of hypocrisy, with this image of a shining beacon of democracy and equality in our heads, while inequality still exists in our very own backyards. I think, like Coates, that fully accepting our history and working on fixing the mistakes of the past will go a long way in bringing equality to our neighborhoods, cities, and country and making better the lives of all Americans.

Avatar
pats4life
Posts: 36

Red Lining in Boston and around the country

I found this post to be very interesting as it exposed me to the injustices that we can see or the effects that are apparent in Boston due to redlining and how some people are still having trouble in dealing with red lining. As you can see from the data that was obtained from the project that we worked on there are some staggering and even frightening results. It was shocking to see how some neighborhoods don’t even have a supermarket in their communities so they are forced to go to other communities in order to get their grocery needs. It was also surprising to learn about just how many people lived in certain neighborhoods. Such as Dorchester, with 88 thousand people living there. I live in Dorchester and I had no idea that there was that many people in my neighborhood. But I was also kind of happy to see that there are so many community centers throughout Boston except in Back Bay, because it gives people a place to go when times are not the best. Addressing the first question I think that one thing that we can do in Boston and beyond would be to provide each community with what it needs and have equal opportunity for things. We can see all the city how some neighborhoods don’t have police stations in their neighborhoods or even supermarkets so if they don’t have these basic things such as police stations there may be higher crime rates in those neighborhoods. As I said for solving this problem would be to provide these communities with these things to aid them in becoming a better community such as a community center in Back Bay. I find it interesting how it seems that some communities have the things that they have based on their population but this is not true all across the board. Back Bay for example has a lower population compared to other communities and it still has 6 private schools but with the 16,000 people in Charlestown there is not a single private school. Personally, I think that the things that are most important to a community would be to have a strong work force in that community, a strong school system and access to food and water. I think that these are the most important because these are things that allow a community to thrive or even survive. I think that this has been made difficult for many people but mainly the African American population in the US on account of the fact of all that they have been through with red-lining, racism and discrimination, and constant operation it has made it incredibly difficult for the past 200 years as they have dealt with so much, and it has been almost impossible to gain a foothold in the US if you were Black. Now we do not see that nearly as radically as it was many years ago however we can still see the effects of it in the communities that are all over the country and even in Boston. I think that the chart on learn to question expresses this evidently as it shows that many African Americans and other groups do not own a large portion of what they have and the disparities between that of them and whites is shocking. I think the story about Clyde Ross in the article is particularly interesting as it describes a man who served his country and fought bravely to protect it but then to return home to a country that did not appreciate him and his service because of the color of his skin is disgusting. I think that this racism that is displayed by this story can not just go away and has been so deeply rooted in our society we may never see total remission of this systematic oppression.

Avatar
Otto von Bismarck
Posts: 32

Inequality Deserves Remedies - But Not Reparations

No one besides conservatives deny that there is a wealth gap between whites and blacks in the nation, in terms of income as well as many other standards, such as levels of education, healthcare, and more. The respected author Ta-Nehisi Coates believes that in order for us to correct these differences, reparations for the descendants of former slaves must be doled out so that our society can achieve equality. This is an idea that I fundamentally oppose, based on idealistic as well as pragmatic concerns.

In terms of principle, I would not have been opposed to giving out a sort of reparations for slaves if the Civil War had just ended, and it was, say, 1870 and almost all the former slaves and slave owners were still alive. This is because the people that suffered directly from slavery would have been able to reap the benefits of their payment and have been able to build a better life with it. However, if today we were to give out payments based on whose ancestor was enslaved to who, we would not be helping those who suffered. We would, in effect, just be giving free money to those who never earned the payment.

Pragmatically, there are even more concerns. Pass a bill (I know in his article Coates said that his bill would only be for the purpose of research, but any ultimate goal of research is to place something in motion) authorizing reparations for those whose ancestors had been slaves over a century and a half ago, and you can expect to see immediate and enormous controversy and thousands of legal cases against our government over ancestry claims. Furthermore, how would the payments even be paid? Through our nation's tax revenues? That would mean the whole nation would have to pay for the sufferings of a minority segment of the population, no matter if our ancestors had even been in the United States at the time. I know that back in the slavery era, my ancestors were toiling away in a faraway third world country on a farm. Me and mine had nothing to do with slavery. What responsibility of ours would it be to reimburse the wrongs suffered by a people that didn't even inhabit the same continent as my ancestors did over 150 years ago?

The way that I would deal with these issues of socioeconomic inequality wouldn't be with something dramatic and showy like reparations, but with progressive, expertly and grounded laws that would increase funding for inner-city schools, programs for youths to keep the black teens off the street in their free time, and training for unemployed adults in order for them to gain new skills to use in profitable industries. Like I've said in other posts, everything boils down to money, funding, and good old-fashioned lawmaking. Education, what I truly care about the most for underprivileged communities, is what truly advances a people and builds the future of a person and community, and by focusing our attentions on the upcoming and future generations of black children in inner-city communities, including our own, we can pave our way to better years.

Asking about long term solutions, there are many that we could use that most reading this in my Facing class would think too unrelated for this subject, but alas they are not. Laws closing the legal tax loopholes that allow corporations to hide their money in offshore accounts, such as what's being exposed by the Paradise Papers right now, and gradually cutting the fat from our military spending in some special places and using all that extra revenue in funding our children, public programs, and future would solve most of the problems detailed in the article and our findings.

Avatar
tissuebox
Posts: 33

Problems in Boston

There is most definitely inequality in Boston. Look at the public schools; 21 in Roslindale but only one in Back Bay. Some of the towns differ from each other so much that it’s hard to believe that they’re all in one city. I think that there are some inequities in Boston. For example, in Jamaica Plain, the Financial District/Downtown, and Dorchester, there is only 1 hospital. On the other hand, the infant mortality rate is high in Dorchester but it’s low in both the financial district and Jamaica Plain. This could show that the quality of the hospitals is not equal. This whole assignment brings me back to the ideas of schools in Boston and how they are not necessarily equal. Compare a school in Mattapan and Roslindale. They might have the same supplies but the quality of learning is arguably much better in Roslindale. Even though we all have the same resources, we do not use them the same way.

Solving inequalities in Boston is going to be hard. I don’t think that we can just build up every neighborhood to be equal. Just like Clyde Ross said, the disparities are so large because of what blacks and other people experienced before this time. In the early 1900s, blacks were stopped from buying homes. As time went on, this became the norm with only a few exceptions.

In order to address the inequalities and inequities in Boston is by starting small. This means focusing on the workplace and schools to start. NOT BUSING. Doing small things like allowing everyone to interact with each other with no added pressure or force allows people to see that not everyone fits the stereotypes associated with their physical traits. Once you get people to believe that, it will much easier to allow everyone to live anywhere. Once everyone feels that they are equal, no one can be able to say that’s a “black neighborhood” or that’s a “white neighborhood”. Following this, every neighborhood will have to step up their standards to meet everyone’s needs and expectations.

The issue that I personally care about the most is the inequalities regarding education in schools in the neighborhoods. I don’t think that children should be punished for the opinions of people from generations before them. Everyone should be receiving a quality education whether they are Mattapan, Jamaica Plain, or Charlestown. As someone who grew up in a public school, I definitely feel like I did not receive the education that I deserved. When I came to BLS, it literally hit me like a truck. There was so much that this school expected me to know that I didn’t know and I just find it interesting that what was expected was not even mentioned in middle school.

I agree with junglejim4322’s point of saying that radical change is really not the way to go. It caused a lot of problems during busing and I actually think people are so much more dangerous today. Doing something crazy would really turn this world upside down.

Avatar
criminalmindsx
Posts: 33

Enduring effects of redlining! Importance of education!!!

Although redlining was “only” practiced from 1934 to 1977, its effects still carry over into today’s world: not only in Chicago, but also in Boston. The article explained redlining really well, when they said that “the FHA had adopted a system of maps that rated neighborhoods according to their perceived stability. On the maps, green areas, rated “A,” indicated “in demand” neighborhoods that, as one appraiser put it, lacked “a single foreigner or Negro.” These neighborhoods were considered excellent prospects for insurance. Neighborhoods where black people lived were rated “D” and were usually considered ineligible for FHA backing. They were colored in red.” With Clyde Ross and North Lawndale, both are still recovering from the consequences of redlining. The population of North Lawndale has declined dramatically since 1930, and has an incredibly high homicide rate (45 per 1000 people, compared to 15 per 1000 people in the city as a whole). These can all be attributed to the redlining of the city. By redlining neighborhoods and districts and cities, areas with POC were marked red, leading to white flight and the continuation of government-induced segregation. I feel like the in-class project we did with all the different neighborhoods in Boston really show that. Areas that were once redlined, such as Mattapan and Roxbury, have far less college-educated people, higher infant-mortality rates, and higher rates of violent crimes. In neighborhoods such as West Roxbury and the Financial District, though, it’s quite the opposite. It was also interesting to see how a “little hug” in the Financial District cost $4.49, whereas in Mattapan it was $0.24. There are so many glaring differences between the neighborhoods of Boston, and one of the most obvious is the “self” segregation. Each neighborhood has its own stereotype, and also the the “type” of person you would expect to live there. West Roxbury: soccer mom, South Boston: either an Irish mobster or a yuppie, JP: a hippie. And these are all stereotypes for a reason, but they stem from the “traditionalness” of the neighborhoods, or even the gentrification of them. The education in each neighborhood also differs, as certain schools get more funding (which tend to be the ones with higher test scores or more students). However, the schools with lower test scores and lower pupil count are what really need the funding because they need to improve, not get worse.

What I care most about is honestly everyone receiving equal education, because that’s the first step towards long-term improvement. Education is possibly the most vital component of one’s success, as it leads to better job opportunities and therefore a higher income. Education should be a natural human right, but sadly it sometimes isn’t.

Avatar
Panda123
Posts: 30

Boston's Neighbohoods, lnequality, and Inequity: Drawing Conclusions

To start I just wanted to say that when I first say the numbers about race and their net worth, I was lost for words and was in disbelief. There really is only one thing that we can do as a society and that is to try to educate the youth of those certain neighborhoods so they can come back to their neighborhoods experienced and readily give back to them. For example, they could open small businesses and invest in their neighborhood to make it better without gentrifying the area. A Long term way to fix the problem could be achieved by equally investing in every neighborhood without discriminating on race or religion. Moreover, providing the same resources across the board in all areas of the city because in the class activity we found that some areas had little to none of the major things needed (fire stations,police stations, supermarkets, etc.). I personally care most about doing whatever would help all the people of Boston flourish. While still maintaining its diversity and maybe making it more integrated at the same time. I think Ta-Nehisi does a good job briefing the reader of the history. However, he doesn’t present an argument on what should be done. He only gives us the facts and criticizes what people have done but he doesn’t offer much advice on how we should move forward and aid the problem.
Avatar
what redbone would sound like if you were wearing sweatpants
Posts: 28
There are so many statistics about neighborhood inequality that people never even consider, such as amount of land available, or what public transportation systems are available. One of the first things we should do is aim to educate people on the actual statistics, it’s harder to ignore when you are face to face with cold data. The power of the people can be put into action as we show just how hard it is to gain any social mobility when living in certain neighborhoods and how different the conditions for everything are. The grocery store assignment also helped me realize that in a lot of neighborhoods they focus on processed and more convenient/fast foods while others will have an extensive supply of vegetables and fruits. Another problem with the researched stores was that certain places with higher overall income had cheaper food. It doesn’t make sense for “richer” people to pay less than people that may be financially struggling. A short term change overall to change this could be to regulate costs in stores and adjust based on average income and other factors so that it is more equal, as well as trying to balance amount of amenities and community buildings. A long term way to address it would be educating everyone on this topic and also creating equal work and educational opportunities for everyone. The aspect I care most about would probably be certain neighborhoods not having easy access to helpful places or cheap healthy food, because even if these people wanted to change their diet/living plan, a lot were limited physically by cost and convenience. It is so unfair that people cannot really live out the way they aspire to just because they were unlucky and started off in a disadvantaged neighborhood. Ta-Nehisi Coates states that the United States has to take radical action to address income equality and I wholeheartedly agree. Backed up by the Clyde Ross example of unequal opportunities growing up, it took way too much to get even near equal footing. Even though we have improved, we are still far from removing the handicap that comes from living in a certain neighborhood. In order to improve on this we need to rework a lot of the underlying problems such as racism.
posts 1 - 15 of 31