By P. Sainath
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Additional resources for Everyone Loves A Good Drought
Another thing, one of my main top concerns, I feel that it’s just [slow and coldly outraged], it’s awful the way, throughout the city, on your South and West Side, you see all these vacant lots, all these abandoned buildings, and peoples are living in the streets. Or living four and five and ten peoples in an apartment that was allocated for one or two peoples—you find eight or ten peoples because they have no place to go and no housing available. And throughout the city, you have those abandoned buildings, and vacant buildings, and just, just areas, blocks and blocks of vacant lots, where they could be building affordable, moderate-income houses.
Indeed, as spelled out in Chapter 3, some of these behaviors, which often impede the social mobility of inner-city residents, represent cultural responses to constraints and limited opportunities that have evolved over time. The tendency of some liberals to deny the very existence of culturally destructive behavior and attitudes in the inner city is once again to diminish the importance of the environment in determining the outcomes and life chances of individuals. The environment embodies both structural and cultural constraints and opportunities.
And I can really understand, you know, being in that state. If you around totally negative people, people who are not doing anything, that’s the way you gonna be regardless. The state of the inner-city public schools was another major concern expressed by our respondents. The complaints ranged from overcrowded conditions to unqualified and uncaring teachers. Sharply voicing her views on these subjects, a 25-year-old married mother of two children from a South Side census tract that just recently became poor stated: “My daughter ain’t going to school here, she was going to a nursery school where I paid and of course they took the time and spent it with her, ’cause they was getting the money.