Skip to main content

tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  May 4, 2015 11:30pm-12:01am EDT

11:30 pm
antonio mora thank you for joining us. more more news any time head to "inside story" is up next. have a great night. [ ♪♪ ] [ ♪♪ ] in the decade since american cities burnt. convulsed with anger and isolation at poverty america got richer. many the neighbourhoods in places like detroit, st. louis and chicago got poorer still. tonight as we sift through the ashes of the recent unrest we'll look beyond baltimore and try to
11:31 pm
understand why in some places poverty was concentrated and opportunity in shorter supply. it's "inside story". welcome to "inside story", i'm ray suarez. america doesn't spend a lot of time looking at the lives of people like freddie gray until something terrible happens. in this case people watched the baltimore man loaded into a police wagon. a couple of hours later he was in the hospital. days later he was dead. tens of thousands took to the streets. freddie gray's home town in baltimore is home to some of the highest levels of income equality in the united states. one out of three people don't have a high school diploma. one out of every three homes is vacant even after baltimore demolished thousands of houses.
11:32 pm
freddie gray suffered lead poisoning. lead levels for kids in his neighbourhood is seven times that of the rest of baltimore. del walters has more on where the city has been and where it is now. >> reporter: in baltimore these are the economic signs of the times - row upon row of boarded up houses. it's been like that for decades. how long? this film was made by the u.s. government in the 1950s, talking about the blight and how to solve the problem. it is called the baltimore plan. >> here is the shame of our american cities. here is the face of our cities we have. >> reporter: while they once represented the area in congress it has been like this for too long. >> how many times have we come up with the idea of an urban marshal plan and people said it's not important. when you don't have a majority
11:33 pm
of votes, it's tabled moved to the side and you come back and come back with it. >> reporter: this is what people who take the train see when they come into baltimore. it is the other side of the city the west side. the side of the city that exploded. the side that has been begging for change since the baltimore plan. in baltimore, the tough talk by politicians has only been replaced by more tough times. all of this in a city that didn't manage to change as the world around it did. >> going out of business. >> final sale. >> reporter: the massive montgomery catalogue distribution center died when america discovered shopping malls. g.m. died when japanese models were popular, and the economy showed signs of strain in 2004. it employed more than 1,000 people. a month later 1,000 jobs were
11:34 pm
lost. those left and never returned. the numbers tells the story, the unemployment rate in baltimore is 8.4%. 5.5% for the rest of the country. among the blacks it's worse. for every 10 people walking the streets, six. are looking for jobs. most of those people live here on baltimore's west side. when you see the houses, these are the houses ha burnt when the riots at the town in 1968. decades later they were taken over by the crack epidemic. they sat empty ahead of riots. only time will tell 20 years from now, if any of baltimore's plans worked we'll look at concentrated poverty with a long-time researcher analyst and commentator on health income insecurity and the real-life impact of poverty on communities
11:35 pm
and individuals. great to have you with us. >> thanks for having me. >> you are from baltimore. a lot of people left a lot of injuries left as del walters told us. why did nothing come in to take its play? >> there was no managed plan for addressing the economy and how to make sure you have an inclusive economy. how do you make sure you transition from one economy that left the globalization where the manufacturing jobs have gone abroad to the next economy? what you have is benign neglect on behalf of all levels of government by the way - federal, state and local. au lace is suffering, my friend -- a population is left suffering poor people who were mobile left. it's people who can't go anywhere else are left behind. >> if you found an opportunity
11:36 pm
to get out of the city many moved to the country, you left. what you left behind was ageing housing stock and declining tax base. it had implications for the economy and the schools, and certainly for the welfare and wellbeing of the people left behind in the segregated neighbourhoods. >> reporter:. >> what happens to the quality of life. >> we live five blocks away. this is a city and neighbourhood that we know well. the quality of life is people who are desperate. homeless people looking for any way to met it. he had economy asking for opportunities. you have people desperate for jobs and people preying on
11:37 pm
other people looking for any way, resources to get from others in similar circumstances. so you have pain, desperation, despair and depression. it manifests itself in many ways not just economically, but the health and wellbeing of individual families. there are some healthy industries there. there's a fabulous port an important concrewate. there's underarmour entertainment, convention business world class medical facility. people in the neighbourhood, are they not in the right decision to take advantage of the growing industry. >> there's a mobilization of bias. where communities are organised to work for certain communities and people and not others. what we have in baltimore is a case of residential seg re gags and the warehouse of a
11:38 pm
population that has been segmented. these are populations that need to be included into the mainstream economy. they are not well served by the education system and need opportunities to be included in renaissance, that other areas are experiencing. the inner harbour camp. there are neighbourhoods that are thriving and the port is a global port with all industry shipping through there. we don't see the kids on the west side, or on the south side or certain pockets of the east side as being capable of plugging into and being part of that mainstream economy that has to end have the terrible events created opportunity. the world stops, look, and goes on with its business. >> the attention of the world is on baltimore. there's a rainbow on the
11:39 pm
ordinary side of the storm. i believe that the city's leaders and federal government representatives understand that this has been a crisis. there needs to be a comprehensive response. i'm encouraged by what i have seen. >> thanks for having you with us. with poverty concentrated in some neighbourhoods is it harder for kids born there to escape it. we have some guests joining the conversation next on "inside story".
11:40 pm
a in baltimore there's tourist
11:41 pm
attractions, fine dining and swanky hotels minutes from where the protests take place. more than half of the people of working age in freddie gray's neighbourhood is out of work. baltimore is a tale of two different cities. gabriel elizonda reports. on one side of town they protest, calling for justice against police brutality. on the other side of town this is the other balt mr the white and wealthy seaside conclave where condose go for half a million and rent for $2,000 a month. people are viewing the protests from afar. >> they have the right to protest. i disagree with the way they do it. the limp mob mentality. >> baltimore is 60% black 30%
11:42 pm
white and there's a divide here. >> the issue is jobs. here in can'ton, the unemployment rate is less than 6%. less than a 10 minute drive here in the predominantly black part of baltimore the situation is different. here, two out of 10 african-americans are without a job. >> this is one of baltimore's black neighbourhoods that is in economic decline for years, boarded up businesses a sign of how bad things are. >> civil rights act visits talk about a lack of opportunity keeping boxed in neighbourhoods. >> you have white flight causing destabilization. >> reporter: there's red emma's a coffee shop and book store trying to bridge the divide. here people of all backgrounds mix easily. the objective not only to sell a
11:43 pm
latte, but be a place to raise spacial awareness. >> this is a unique space. it provide a meeting place for a lot of different moving's on in the city. this time it was baltimore, but in recent weeks the headlines came from north carolina. from missouri from new york. for more on how different parts of the same city can feel worlds apart, we are joined by congressman emanuel kiever. a democrat serving two terms as the mayor, and from harvard, we are joined by professor patterson, a sociologist, focussing on the impact poverty has had. when there's a change in the objective circumstances of places like philadelphia boston parts of the south side of chicago, near the university how come the acceleration of
11:44 pm
economic activity does not benefit the long-term african-american residents living cheek by jowell with what is going on? >> the answer is quite simple - they do not have the skills or the education level to take advantage of those opportunities, begging the question why don't they. >> well, now that you have been watching for this long what is your answer to that question? >> well, it's a complex story, we are talking about a minority of the black population even within the typical inner city neighbourhood. most people are working class people and - or even middle class. but there is a segment which we
11:45 pm
now call the disconnected who are chronically out of work and are not in an educational institution. and this result from early dropping out. it was also from getting early child bearing, and of course it results from the fact that the jobs that are available, where they are, are paying an income which simply cannot live on. it's an unfortunate mix of opportunities and a lack of having the basic personal capital education to take advantage of it. as is pointed out in the prom. most people that take advantage of the existing opportunities have moved out. so it's - you know it's not a
11:46 pm
simple matter of simply how the neighbourhood can change we have to be careful. most move to find opportunities, the people who remain behind are those who lack the skills to take advantage of the opportunities. that is a tragic situation we find ourselves in. so we focus primarily on the people. >> congressman, you left city hall to head to the hauls of congress and at a time when people are bailing out on the idea that government can fix the problems that professor patterson was talking about. does america wanted to help the cities? >> we are schizophrenic on the subject of the what has happened is that everyone in the country readily admits and they are right to do so that only a
11:47 pm
small segment of law enforce. agents and officials are guilty of the kinds of police brutality na ignites cities like baltimore, there are many cities around the country with the same story. if you accept the fact there's a few people in police departments like that also accept premise that those who go out is also a small percentage. it's a significant percentage. because as the professor mentioned, what is happening in the african-american community, i can speak about this, for seven years my family lived in public housing. dr fuller african-american - they lived about five blocks away. the doctor lived five blocks away. the principal of the school lives a few blocks away. an attorney lives a few blocks
11:48 pm
away. today when you go into the communities, say elijah cummings and the doctor who was on your show people leave. so i had the blessing of living in a home with middle class in terms of their thinking and the examples are all around me. four people who wanted to expand from being an underclass. so those people are gone from the urban core, and so we don't have the opportunity to influence these young people who are coming up. so they connect themselves to anyway number of other ways of survival, and some of them are legal to all society and to a greater degree the whole
11:49 pm
country. >> when we come back i want to talk about the walls to the ghetto coming down allowing for those that couldn't move like lawyers and doctors. let's talk about who is left behind and what can be done for them when we return lessons learnt from baltimore, and plying them to high poverty neighbourhoods across the country. you are watching "inside story".
11:50 pm
. >> if we are just looking at policing, it's too narrow. if we ask the police to simply contain and control problems that we ourselves have been unwilling to invest and solve that's not fair for the communities or the police.
11:51 pm
what we gather here to talk about goes deeper than policing president obama speaking in new york. underscoring the need to provide equality and opportunity. harvard sociologist and with us and emanuel kiever from missouri and before the broke, you talked about how the mobile left the ghetto. they are not coming back. given the communities that we have now with the people living in them, presidents with he's my brother's keeper what do you do to call a truce between the police department and the young fellow walking the streets hassled by them. how do you start from where we are now to try to bring peace and progress? >> well first of all before i get into the direct answer i can do this quickly. i think it is important to
11:52 pm
understand that where - where fear exist, positive human relations and trust are essentially, you know on vacation. so that is what you have in the urban core. people who come in, who are fearful, including police officers with the proliferation of guns differences between people and different races. black men come across as being dangerous, even when they are unarmed, if they only have tea and skittles in the pocket. they are ominous looking. that is a problem we can deal with. the other problem is infinitely difficult. what we have to do it takes middle class african-americans, and americans of goodwill and the government. municipal, state and federal, to
11:53 pm
become involved. because, look we have got it. if we continue to live in the country and want a semblance of life liberty and happiness, we'll have to deal with the least of these, those that have been left out. we'll have to spend money and time to try to get people moving in a different realm. they have few examples to follow. many of the people who are gone will have to come back. i have a friend in kansas city wallace heart field the second, trying to get middle class african-americans to come back and re do the homes and provide examples that we have when we grew up. it will take african-americans, and government. >> let me go back to the professor, is that the beginning of an idea to you. >> no - yes and no.
11:54 pm
let me say baltimore is an unusual case. america is a huge country. african-american americans live in different circumstances. baltimore is not typical. more typical are the african-american neighbourhoods in harlem south side of chicago and so on. there, what you find is a highly variated population. you want the middle class people. you have stable working class people and the poor and the disconnected. the problem here is not that people have moved out. they are there. the problem there is that the disconnect and the street people, the ones which the congressman talks about constitutes a problem for the majority of god-fearing stable people in the communities. we don't need to bring anyone. the problem is that they are
11:55 pm
caught between a rock and a hard place. the ill-trained police who, in fact developed a culture sees itself as an occupied force. the irony is the majority of stable-working people god-fearing people, want the police to be there, they want the police to come in and control the uncommitted street people. when the police come in they profile the entire humanity as criminals, and so what they find is a situation in which they are renting, it makes the police work harder and worsens the problem. you need on the one hand to change the culture of the police and l of course protect the inner city neighbourhoods. >> i'll have to stop you there, a great conversation. thank you to both of you. congressman kiever and professor
11:56 pm
patterson. when we returned a preacher with a powerful definition of what a riot really means, you are watching "inside story". only on al jazeera america
11:57 pm
11:58 pm
just recently as shop windows shattered and businesses burnt in baltimore i came across a quote from a prominent quote from a pastor in atlanta that made me sit in my chair. he said i think america must see riots don't condition out of thin air, certain conditions consistent in our society that must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. but in the final language is riot is unheard. what is it that has been failed to hear? >> freedom and justice has not been met, and segments of society are concerned about the status quo and justice. as long as america postpones justice, we stand in the
11:59 pm
tradition of having violence and riots over and over again. social justice and progress are the absolute guarantees of riot prevention. the pastor was martin luther king. it was march 1968 when many cities were smouldering with urban violence. dr king would be murdered and his death would set off a new round of riots. riots that would fail to show america the progress was the best prevention for future tim utility. that's "inside story" in washington. i'm ray suarez.
12:00 am
. the u.n. calls on saudi arabia to end air strikes on yemen's main airport to ensure aid can be flown in welcome to al jazeera, live from our headquarters in doha. i'm elizabeth puranam. also ahead - it was like the wild west. a number of israeli veterans say they were ordered to fire at anything to moved during the last gaza war. clashes in burundi's capital as police try to shut down anti-government protests


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on