In his last chapter of City of Rhetoric, David Fleming concludes his analysis of the built American environment. He accurately describes the flaws that still are ever present within these various communities. Continuously and throughout the book, the majority population illustrated a lack of care for the minority and continuously finds different methods to keep them in the same systems. Fleming makes a point of noting that we throw around the word “community” carelessly but in reality, “We continue, that is, to be afraid of our diversity and to imagine that the most progressive response to social alienation is its opposite— a melding of disparate experiences into unity.” We fail to actually include those who look different than us into our built environments which leave room for disparities between each other. This also causes us to view each other as different even though we have no actual knowledge of the way we live our lives.
Fleming emphasizes that we should not be looking at this book from a global perspective, but instead, look within our own built spaces and figure out how we can improve it. He uses the example of Hurricane Katrina and the poor response from our own former President, George Bush Jr. There seems to be a stigma that if a catastrophic event occurs only the elite are of concern and those who are the urban poor minority are left out of the conversation. This is reminiscent of Kanye West’s rant: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Although this seems comedic there is a sense of truth to this statement. As a community, we fail one another if we do not pick up the minority from their oppressive state. It is wrongful to blame them for their living conditions if they have always remained in these conditions and never given the opportunity or a ladder to climb out of these environments.