Reading Analysis 6 – Fleming’s Reason

In David Fleming’s book City of Rhetoric, Fleming discusses the purpose for his writing, and illustrates how we have neglected the key issues in this country such as homelessness and poverty. Fleming states how we have forgotten these issues. This is not the first time Fleming has said this. In some of my previous work, I have outlined a previous time when Fleming described our problem (as a society) as mere distraction on other issues.

In Fleming’s book, in his section titled Afterwood, he states in further detail why he decided to write City of Rhetoric. “my point in this book has not been that we should not think globally, that we should not be always intensely aware of the rest of the world and our place in it, both as individuals and as communities” (Fleming). This quote is powerful, because after one reads the book, we can trace back to the examples Fleming has given us in support of his claim. Fleming believes we must look more closely at how our cities are designed and landscaped. We have a responsibility to one another that all of us will have the same opportunities. Issues like the ones Fleming has illustrated to us should never be why people can not prosper and have impacts in their respective communities.

That being said, it will not be an easy task. There are many variables involved when trying to accomplish change such as this. For example, the cost of our international duties has made fixing these problems even more difficult than ever before. As Fleming states, “more and more of an increasingly tight budget must now now be devoted to military spending, foreign aid, and the national defense” (Fleming.) As we can see, everyone including our government must be on board in order to create real change to the issues Fleming describes throughout his work. The simplest way to start is to create awareness and concern throughout the general public. This is why Fleming wrote City of Rhetoric, to start to create that type of change.

 

Work Cited

Fleming, David. City of rhetoric: revitalizing the public sphere in metropolitan America. Albany, NY, SUNY Press, 2009.

Reading Analysis 3 – Fleming and the Separation of Suburbs

In David Fleming’s book City of Rhetoric, Fleming talks about how the suburbs are designed in ways to stay apolitical. They are designed differently than a typical neighborhood or city. This “design” Fleming talks about is the simple fact that they are more privatized than that of a city landscape. Due to this fact, people who live in these suburbs are able to stay out of any political doings.

In Fleming’s work he describes this topic by talking about a suburb in Chicago called Schaumburg. He states that Schaumburg is considered “apolitical” because it is so separated from the politics of Chicago. Places like cities are considered so political, because anyone who lives in a city environment are surrounded by public land and buildings that can be used by everyone. These public spaces help encourage politics, because those who take advantage of these services want to elect politicians who will support them as well. That being said suburban towns have privately owned programs and Institutions (Fleming 106).

Fleming talks about how at one point, inhabitants of the city of Chicago wanted to escape this political cloud and developed this privatized suburb we now know as Schaumburg. The entire reason the suburb was created as so people do not have to associate themselves with politics whatsoever. On top of that, Schaumburg’s schools were nicer than those in the city as they had been built more recently. People saw this new, calmer style of living much more appealing. Fleming ends this section telling us in order to live in a better society we must be able to see this segregation of suburbs as a problem worth taking care of.

Work Cited

Fleming, David. City of rhetoric: revitalizing the public sphere in metropolitan America. Albany, NY, SUNY Press, 2009.

Reading Analysis 5 – Fleming’s Final Thoughts

In David Fleming’s last section of City of Rhetoric, Fleming discusses how we, the reader, can help the development of our cities as well as how residents interact and socialize with one another. Fleming discusses how in recent years the efforts to create more affordable housing in urban areas and suburbs has decreased. He lists many reasons, but it all stems from our fears of our diversity. “We continue, that is, to be afraid of our diversity” (Fleming 213). This fear is due to the more fortunate in a community not wanting to “mix” with others who are less fortunate. 

Another reason Fleming believes these problems have been left for dead was due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks that took place in 2001. “Since after September 11, 2001, problems like urban poverty, suburban sprawl, residential racial segregation, and geographically based income inequality have been pushed almost completely off of the national radar screen” (211). From this quote we can see that Fleming is not connecting the physical act of terrorism to his argument, but he states that due to what happened, many of us forgot about this problem and had pushed it aside for what we all believed to be more a more important issue at the time. On top of that, politicians did not want to spend money on discrimination within societies when problems like the 9/11 attacks were so prevalent. That would not look good on them in the eyes of the public, and when dealing with politicians, they just do whatever they need to in order to get re-elected.

Fleming left us with encouraging words. Even though he believes these issues currently need action they are not receiving, he has hope for the future. “be always mindful of the power of intervention, creation, and change in human life, the opportunity always before us for a better tomorrow” (214). What he is saying is that he believes the generation coming into the workforce now can change these issues. He tells us to never underestimate what we can accomplish as people.

Work Cited

Fleming, David. City of rhetoric: revitalizing the public sphere in metropolitan America. Albany, NY, SUNY Press, 2009.