Sunday, June 13, 2010
#1 Ghettos Are Bad
A ghetto is the real estate where a society isolates and segregates a segment of itself. After a time, the people who have been confined there start to define themselves in terms of it. Some actually like being there. If they are to be ostracized, they reason, it's better to be close to others who are ostracized as well and to deal with those on the outside as little as possible.
Ghettos are created by sick societies as a way to redirect criticism, guilt, hatred, fear, and a host of other uncomfortable emotions onto a specific group of people. They are also created by ruthless leaders for the purpose of consolidating their power. Having a group of targets in one location makes pogroms much more convenient and therefore much more likely. Pogroms desensitize people over time to expect worse and worse behavior on the part of the larger society and worse and worse suffering on the part of the victims in the ghetto.
This can lead to genocide.
I am NOT saying that the teachers in the Rubber Room are about to be carted off to concentration camps and gassed.
I AM saying that New York City has created a ghetto and is therefore sick.
Ghettos are bad.
Societies that create ghettos are sick.
People who are isolated in ghettos are victims of a larger, sicker society.
The Rubber Room is a ghetto.
The Rubber Room is bad.
New York City is sick.
The teachers in the Rubber Room are victims of New York City's sickness.
On general principals, we cannot allow ghettos to exist. We must fight to tear them down as they are built. Life outside the Rubber Room might be more challenging and uncomfortable for the detainees, but there are better ways of helping each other than sitting together in ghettos.
Reason #1 to celebrate the closing of the Rubber Rooms: GHETTOS ARE BAD.