Not far from my little slice of heaven, the Cloud People built a community center, which is a funny name for these things. In actual communities, where people think of one another as fellow citizens, there’s no need to build community centers. In the ghetto, where the only thing everyone agrees upon is the fact the ghetto sucks, they always have a community center. These are built and paid for by people that don’t live in the community. They can’t bring themselves to call these things “low security detention centers” so we got a “community center.”
The word “community” gets thrown around a lot these days, but it is mostly a carryover from the olden thymes when the Left believed in class solidarity and the power of the people. The Left used to say “Individually we are weak like a single twig, but as a bundle we form a mighty faggot.” No one talks like that anymore, at least not in a serious way. Instead we get talk about “bringing people together” and how we are “stronger together” but it is just meaningless jargon to make the Cloud People feel righteous about not being Dirt People.
The point of these things is to provide a place for the neighborhood youth to hang out while being supervised by people the government pays to supervise youth. The standard model is a large gymnasium that can be used for basketball and other indoor activities. They have some offices for the bureaucrats hired to supervise the youth and organize activities for them. They don’t call them youth centers because people would just assume they are crime centers.
That’s what ends up happening with these things. The one near me opened up about six months ago and I saw people from all over coming and going. Even the Hispanics and Asians showed up with their kids. Then the young black males began to take over. First the Asians disappeared then the whites and finally the Hispanics threw in the towel. On the way home last night I saw a group of black males loitering around the front door, pants down, hats on sideways, playing with themselves. The point being made is they now run the community center.
The same thing happened with the public pool a few years back. One of the apartment communities made some sort of deal with the government to let the community have access to the pool. It used to be strictly for residents, who paid a fee to use the pool. Memorial Day the pool opened and it was a multi-culti paradise. By July 4th it was all black and by Labor Day the cops were there every day. One of the life guards got assaulted so the rest quit and the pool was then closed. It’s a private pool again.
That’s what will happen with the community center over time. The local hoodlums will set up shop and the cops will then setup shop to keep the drugs out. Eventually the people hired to do the supervising will get tired of having their cars broken into and their lives threatened so the whole project will careen to a predictable denouement. I’ll give it a year or two before the programs have been scaled back to the point where the building is empty most of the time, a monument to SWPL pride.
The sentiment behind these projects is not all bad, it’s just that they ignore objective reality. The white underclass is mostly a problem of jobs and drugs. There are too few jobs and too many drugs. The Hispanic underclass is mostly a cultural issue. These people are here as unskilled labor. The black underclass has a young black male problem. This cohort is 3% of the population and 30% of the crime. In the ghetto, young black males are why no one can have nice things.
A better use of resources would be to focus on the young black males with something other than indulgences like midnight basketball. The trouble is no one knows how to do that in a way that does not offend the sensibilities of the Cloud People. Even acknowledging that the black underclass has a young black male problem is a good way to be thrown out of the Cloud, so magic is blamed. The rulers build gleaming new community centers that will magically make the problems go away. At least that’s what everyone pretends will happen.
The other day, I saw a group of Muslim women walking past the community center with their small children. The women were decked out in their burqas, billowing faceless blobs that shock the sensibilities, seeing them on an American street. They stopped and stared and then shuffled on down the street to the block where they magically started appearing a couple of years ago. They wear the burqa to make clear they have no intention of assimilating. I suspect their men send them out as a message, a way of marking their turf.
One day, that community center will be a Muslim cultural center.