Justice permits no such compromise

The author is talking about the deconcentration (as the author puts it) of ghettos in America.  The relocation of their residents to more affluent neighborhoods and the economic, social and educational healing of said residents.

“The approach I envision entails moving few enough ghetto residents into each middle- or upper-class neighborhood that the prior residents of those neighborhoods remain.  We need to recognize, moreover, that whatever hostility this relocation program engenders — from whites in upscale communities, from blacks in such communities who pride themselves on having escaped the ghetto, or from the political or economic interests served by the perpetuation of the ghetto — it cannot be a basis for limiting the program or, even worse, turning one’s back on it altogether.  Justice permits no such compromise.  It requires instead that the state undertake all action necessary to end “lock, stock, and barrel” — as Judge John Minor Wisdom once put it in talking of the remedies for school segregation — the social processes that continue to perpetuate the near-caste structure of American society.”

– from A Way Out: America’s Ghettos and the Legacy of Racism, by Owen Fiss, 2003, pg. 43

Not finished with the book yet, but thus far a good and interesting read.  I posted this excerpt specifically as the reminder of “Justice permits no such compromise” hit my core today.  It begged the question to me, Am I (and are we) doing all we can to uplift our neighbors, especially those are in the most need as they CANNOT escape their situations/circumstances?  Am I following the second greatest commandment on this day?

Published in: on 7 PMpThu, 28 Apr 2011 14:29:27 -040029Thursday 2016 at 2:29 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “Justice permits no such compromise” I agree with. That “It requires instead that the state undertake all action necessary.” I do not agree with. This is not the state’s job, and for them to undertake it would create many other unjust statutes.

  2. I agree. It was even shown in the book often times there is just one bad policy passed after another! Even how many times in the early 20th Century, many of the new policies were not any more just; they were just worded differently to appear more just. Overall, I think his argument is that often times is was the states’ policies that caused the establishment of the ghettos, thus it should be on them to clean up their mess [he gave one such example of a situation that took place in Chicago]. To a degree that makes sense – the states should own up to their mistakes and try and make amends where it can, but I agree with you that it cannot be solely upon the states as that would, as you said, “create many other unjust statues”. Ultimately, I think the question needs to be asked – What are we as fellow citizens going to do?

    That’s why my heart longs for a program such as Inhabit!

  3. Amen, Joshua!


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