Sunday, August 31, 2008

Importance of Words

The first, easiest, and cheapest positive step anyone thinking about America's cities can take is to eradicate words like ghetto, pathology, at risk, culture of poverty, and permanent underclass from their vocabulary. These words are powerfully self-fulfilling rhetoric and alibis for indifference. Until we see these communities as real places with real people entitled to the same pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness as any other American, we will continue to regard them as targets of triage rather than as an integral part of our society. We will see them as inevitable victims rather than probable survivors. --Sam Smith