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