I read Greg Fischer’s latest blog post here, and it ended with a video you should all watch. It’s Nate Bowling (2016 Washington Teacher of the Year) talking about law enforcement, education, real estate — the three most critical forces building/shaping communities.
Honestly, it’s long (40 minutes with Q&A) — but you really should watch, listen deeply, and think about what he’s saying.
A couple of my own thoughts…
Fact: there is a life lottery that exists in this world, and it’s as simple as where you’re born.
It’s not fair. You may not like it. But that’s the way the world is. If you don’t believe that statement, I’m sorry, but you simply don’t understand the reality of the world we live in.
Fact: a big downside of “community” is discrimination.
I previously alluded to that here. There are many, many positive aspects of community — all-inclusiveness doesn’t happen to be one of them. The more similarities between people, the more they have to talk about. The more they bond. The more activities they’ll do together. Sure, it’s a generalization and there are exceptions to the rule, but, by and large, people seek to spend time with people like them. That includes a desire to relocate/move to communities/neighborhoods which have a high concentration of people with shared characteristics. I have a hard time believing that fundamental human desire is going to change anytime soon.
Before you start thinking “why are you being such a downer?” (aka stop being so negative), know this: like Nate, I don’t think the segregation of communities is a good societal trend. Minimizing opportunity and income inequality is a major, major reason I am working on Horizon (see here). Where you are born — and live — shouldn’t dictate whether you live or die, nor the education, health care, and economic opportunity available to you. Making community more accessible to all is at the heart of the solution from my perspective. This is a topic I think about constantly. That said, I’m not naive about the world we live in. There are no easy answers. Changing behavior requires many, many people to be very intentional about their actions. Being intentional is not the easy path — hence, the reason most people don’t do it.
Communities are segregated. Access to education and health care is driven by where you live. Communities continue to get more, not less, segregated.
What is to be done? What can be done? Nate answered one of the final questions with the following quote:
How can you leverage the privilege and power you have for the better?
Discuss in the comments if you’d like…