Sunday, January 19, 2014

Nixonland 1

I’ve been reading Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland for some time now.  What has especially stood out to me in my reading of that book has been Perlstein’s discussion of the inner-cities, where there were riots.

The inner-cities had problems, to put it mildly.  The housing was old and dilapidated.  Unemployment was high.  And African-Americans could not really move out of the inner-cities to someplace else on account of racial discrimination.  According to Perlstein’s narration, anti-discrimination laws and government programs were not sufficiently ameliorating these problems.  Moreover, I recall reading in other books that businesses were reluctant to set up shop in the inner-cities, due to apprehensions about crime.  Imagine being trapped, with no way to move up and out of one’s predicament.  That’s what I imagine it was like for a number of African-Americans who lived in the inner-cities.  It may still be like that.  (I speak here from my limited knowledge and experience.)

One of the Democratic candidates for President in 1968—-it may have been Eugene McCarthy—-proposed mass transit as a way to give African-Americans in the inner-city mobility so that they can find work in other areas.  That sounds to me like a good idea.

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