February 7, 2017 - mh9868a
Intro: Changing the Social Planning of Cities
The introduction of David Fleming’s City of Rhetoric gives examples of why the social construct of city planning must be changed. He uses the example of the very poor, predominantly black community of Cabrini Green in the north side of Chicago. Fleming explains that when black migrated to northern cities to escape southern discrimination, they emigrants all settled into cheap government housing. Therefore, the Cabrini Green neighborhood developed an association with poor, black families. Fleming believes that even after decades of social separation that connotations with communities like Cabrini Green can be changed (Fleming 10). While on one hand I admire Fleming for believing the social construct of cities can be changed, on the other hand it is not plausible to believe that the deeply rooted social rivalries in neighborhoods like Cabrini Green can be changed. There are decades of social injustices that go into why those neighborhoods become slums. Deeply rooted racism cannot be changed by merely changing the geographical location of a neighborhood. The negative connotations will follow the members of the neighborhoods no matter where the neighborhoods are relocated. As former President Obama said to BET reporter Jason Easley, “You gotta have vigilance, but you also have to recognize that [changing racism] is going to take some time” (Easley). Obama is saying that racism cannot be erased overnight, but rather, it will take time. Therefore it is simply not logical that moving neighborhoods will change social construct for the better.
Dukmasova, Maya. “Documenting the Rise and Fall of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green Public Housing Projects.” In These Times, 16 Nov. 2015.
Easley, Jason. “President Obama Speaks The Truth: Racism Is Deeply Rooted In American Society.” Politicus USA, 7 Dec. 2014.
Fleming, David. “Preface.” City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America, SUNY Press, Albany, NY, 2009, pp. 1-16.