To the Editor:
For Chris Powell [â€śViolence, depravity, in cities sustain exclusive zoning,â€ť New Britain Herald 4-17/18-2021] every ounce of prejudice toward people of color has been transferred from race to socioeconomic status. White folks are no longer escaping from black and brown people. Instead, everyone is desperate to escape from those poor folks with all their problems.
Mr. Powell is aware that the problems of poor people are related to their environment. He begins his opinion piece baldly stating: â€ś. . . Connecticut, like the rest of the country, needs integration â€“ racial, economic class, and ethnic.â€ť But he then goes on to provide cover for all those in affluent communities who want to keep poor people out of their communities. So, it is no longer black and brown people who need to be avoided because they are unparented, violent, drug dealing, lazy, and dirty. It is poor people. The dynamic is identical.
It is unwarranted prejudice toward a group of persons based on the behavior of some individual members of the group. Mr. Powell, please provide the statistics that demonstrate poor people are an inferior subclass whom we need to fear the prospect of â€śthemâ€ť in our neighborhoods. And when you do, I guess, technically, thatâ€™s not racism, but it sure sounds and acts like it.
I will begin to take Mr. Powellâ€™s criticisms of government and its failed policies seriously when he stops pandering to unwarranted suburban fears, and gives full-throated support to the only thing, as he knows, that can change the circumstances of the poor, i.e., to change their circumstances. The point is not to transfer the problems of our cities to the suburbs, but to stop aggregating low-income people in urban environments and continue to aggravate the challenges poor people face.
And why would suburbanites be interested in that? If basic humanity and fairness are unconvincing, how about lowering the tax burden, as individuals and families become more functional in more supportive and less threatening environments and can contribute to the vitality of our State?