Quote Book – [37] – Social Exclusion & Society

For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night.  This is the violence of institutions: indifference and inaction and slow decay.  This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because of their skins have different colours.  This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

This is the breaking of a man’s spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a mans among other men.  And this, too, afflicts us all.

..put a Candid Camera team in a ghetto school and watch what a rotten system of education it really is.  Film a mother staying up all night to keep the rats from her baby… Then I’d ask people to watch it and experience what it means to live in the most affluent society in history – without hope.

Quote Book – [36] – Society, Crime & Housing Provision

The real threat of crime is what it does to ourselves and our communities.  No nation hiding behind locked doors is free, for it is imprisoned by its own fear.  No nation whose citizens fear to walk their own streets healthy, for in isolation lies the poisoning of public participation.  A nation which surrenders to crime – whether by indifference or by heavy-handed repression – is a society which had resigned itself to failure.  Yet, disturbingly, many Americans seem to regard crime as a pervasive enemy that cannot be defeated.

Thus, the fight against crime is in the last analysis the same as the fight for equal opportunities, or the battle against hunger and deprivation, or the struggle to prevent the pollution of our air and water.  It is a fight to preserve that quality of community which is at the root of our greatness; a fight to preserve confidence in ourselves and our fellow citizens; a battle for the quality of our lives.

Our housing projects were built largely without either reference or relevance to the underlying problems of poverty, unemployment, social disorganisation, and alienation which caused people to need assistance in the first place.  Too many of the projects, as a result, becomes jungles – places of despair and danger for their residents, and for the cities they were designed to save.

Make Gentle The Life Of This World