wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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Hoist by the petard of ideology

Lester Spence quotes an interview of Amiri Baraka and Grace Boggs about Newark and Detroit. RTWT, especially the comments. (Cobb)

If anyone wants to know why America's cities are so fucked up these days, look no further than these two "activists". Both Baraka and Boggs talk about the problems of corruption and poverty in the cities, and how to address those problems, but both of them are missing the point. No amount of investment in infrastructure is going to help if the electorate is ignorant and passive, and until the schools are fixed that isn't going to change. Unfortunately the schools can't be fixed until the iron triangle of bureaucrats, politicians and union bosses is broken, and that's going to require a revolution by the kind of educated and active citizens that the system doesn't produce. Boggs is closer to the mark when she talks about neighborhood activism, but gets all distracted by a bunch of obsolete Marxist claptrap which hasn't been relevant since the 19th century. Baraka's refusal to understand that the very corporations he despises have most often been the engines of positive change for blacks is a staggering example of how one can be blinded by one's own ideology.

Both Detroit and Newark have been plagued by the failure of their citizens to insist on good government, especially in the public schools. If these are the leaders being looked to, that plague is going to keep right on crippling the cities and their people.
Tags: culture & politics
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