Last week mass media made the connection between suburban poverty and the ongoing disturbances in Ferguson, MO. Hopefully this deepens the discussion.
Brookings Institution’s Elizabeth Kneebone wrote a piece on Ferguson which seems to have provided background to much of the coverage.
Ferguson, MO, emblematic of growing suburban poverty
We liked Karim Abdul Jabbar’s words on the matter as well:
The coming race war won’t be about race: Ferguson is not just about systemic racism — it’s about class warfare and how America’s poor are held back
Looking around Ferguson on Google Street View reveals it to be an unremarkable place. It’s arterial roads are lined with fairly typical American roadside fare: muffler shops, bars, shopping plazas convenience stores. Not a lot of people walking or enoying outdoor community life. Plenty of motor vehicles and places to park them. The aesthetics are practical at best, a little shop worn. It’s hard to imagine anybody feeling real love for Ferguson. Going forward that may have to be acknowledged as a major part of what is wrong with how Americans go about building and inhabiting communities.
A strong piece from Slate on the way poverty affects women in America.
Hunger’s disproportionate effect on women
Not being sarcastic or cynical when asking: why are we still explaining this to ourselves in Canada in 2014?
Adequate food not an option on social assistance. Only Newfoundland and Labrador fully funding a healthy diet cbc.ca
image Family Dining (early 17th century) via Wikimedia Commons
Shoes and laces is slang for guns and ammunition. A little thing to learn drawn from life in Toronto’s suburban crime world. This Toronto Star piece embodies one of the reasons reading and writing and later the mass media were invented: so that we could see into other worlds. A disturbing picture of life for many in Toronto is based largely on police wire tap material from a major investigation which appears to have passed rather close to disgraced mayor Rob Ford.
Gangsters, goris and 10 cups of coffee: life among the Dixon City Bloods.
Project Traveller wiretaps offer rare glimpse into a world of alleged gun-running, drug dealing and bloody gang rivalries
This piece from The Globe & Mail last summer looks at the same part of Etobicoke. Guns, gangs, and drugs are not the beginning and the end of the story for everyone there, but…
The neighbourhood at the centre of the Ford controversy: guns, gangs and second chances
image: all appears well in Etobicoke from above by BriYYZ via Wikimedia Commons
A slide show from Politico about getting around Atlanta the working class way: you can practically hear and smell those diesel bus engines.
Sprawled Out in Atlanta. What happens when poverty spreads to a place that wasn’t built for poor people?
image: MARTA stop in Atlanta by pdxjeff via Wikimedia Commons
Before the video accompanying this piece on suburban poverty in California’s Inland Empire plays we got to watch a commercial for a Mercedes-Benz SUV. A very brief inclination to irony was replaced fairly quickly at hearing the phrase, “Blueberries? Wow, what a blessing.”
Hardship makes a new home in the suburbs
One probably couldn’t ask for a better window on post-industrial Ontario than Welland. This item, from the local paper’s website, looks at the life of a single mom there.
Pop, poverty and a whole lot of pride
image: notice regarding the opening of the first Welland Canal via Wikimedia Commons
Social mobility for poor children is held back by suburban sprawl according to a new report. If we want to see people of modest means and their kids go somewhere in life we better make sure they enjoy access to good, cheap public transit. This item from Al-Jazeera links you through to the report which comes from Smart Growth America and the University of Utah’s Metropolitan Urban Center:
Study: suburban sprawl hurts social mobility
image: USDA via Wikimedia Commons
Now that Canada is no longer at war in Afghanistan we might have some cash for fixing up high rise hell here at home? Aging towers built sometime between Louis St. Laurent’s prime ministership and Blondie’s first hit single are a front line housing resource in greater Toronto and home to tens of thousands. Not good enough in many a case. Canada’s people should be the best housed people on the face of the Earth.