What’s Needed: “a large attitude adjustment on both sides”

Flickr: Rhys

Shaw, D.C.

Yesterday, I wrote about caustic reactions to the news that more affordable housing is coming to Shaw. One of you left a comment in response to my post that deserves to be seen:

I think we are seeing here is the very real balkanization of urban society that stymies us. I commiserate with both sides, there needs to be affordable housing in the city, and yet it comes fraught with so many problems that makes it unpleasant for the neighbors.

I recently saw a project about The Frederick Douglass Dwellings in Anacostia, that was public housing built in the WWII boom. There were many two parent families and a community center in which the ladies who ran it really took an interest in their charges. They didn’t know they were “poor,” and there was a strong sense of community and family.

There are so many problems here: it’s true that many urban blacks that I have encountered blame their problems on the system, “the plan”, without seeking solutions, but I find this mimicked in modern society too, where many people blame “the media” without questioning their role in propagating a media more concerned with the upcoming royal nuptials than the minutae of the tax code. People do need to start taking responsibility for themselves, their knowledge base, their support of leadership, and their desires to meet and understand their neighbors. Start community watches. Volunteer with big brothers. Don’t accept or make excuses. There will need to be a large attitude adjustment on both sides for anything to change.