Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Footnote on Suburban Fear

It seems like I'm not the only person out there thinking about the power of fear and its connect to suburban living spaces this week.  Today Sarah Kendzior and Umar Lee published a brilliant article on the dynamics of fear in Ferguson and the greater St. Louis area.  They interview many local residents, who are more than happy to cop to their racialized fears and their support of Darren Wilson.  This piece is essential reading.

America's suburbanization is a disastrously failed experiment of massive proportions.  The sprawl contributes to our environmental problems, social atomization, and racial segregation and inequality.  And yet it won't of away, and I now find myself complicit in it as a suburb dweller, mostly because the city I work in (NYC) has become prohibitively expensive.  It is time for progressive-minded suburbanites to push for change in this environment, to challenge segregation and the attitude that feeds it, namely that suburbanites refuse to believe that they share a common fate with urbanites.  If that mental wall can be torn down, maybe some real progress can be made.

1 comment:

Steve said...

There's also actually been some interesting conservative reevaluation of suburbs, albeit with not much influence.

Both of these speak some of the problems you've mentioned: http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2014/8/25/stroad-nation.html#.VAeUzEu0ZuY