In my last post, I argued that we need to stop thinking about our inner city problems so heavily in terms of race. Racial problems in the US contributed to the particular history of the urban underclass and race can never be totally ignored in this country, but the inner city today is haunted by three serious problems, none of which is racial in nature: a lack of jobs, an advanced state of social disintegration and decay, and the presence of the illegal drug industry.
There are no silver bullets for any of these problems; they were built up over many decades and progress at dismantling them will likely be measured on the same timescale. There are also no hundred percent solutions to these problems; when Jesus said that the poor will always be with us, he knew what he was talking about.(more…)