Many Americans who live far from our major cities and who have no firsthand knowledge of the realities to be found in urban public schools seem to have the rather vague and general impression that the great extremes of racial isolation that were matters of grave national significance some thirty-five or forty years ago have gradually but steadily diminished in more recent years. The truth, unhappily, is that the trend, for well over a decade now, has been precisely the reverse.
According to this reading, many of us live in societies whose prosperity depends on some faraway child in the basement. When we buy a cellphone or a piece of cheap clothing, there is some exploited worker — a child in the basement. We tolerate exploitation, telling each other that their misery is necessary for overall affluence, though maybe it’s not.
When President Clinton speaks at black and Latino churches about escalating violence in their communities, on the face of it this effort to reach out would seem to be a compassionate gesture. I voted for Mr. Clinton because I believed that he was capable of compassion. But when I read that Stanley Greenberg, Mr. Clinton's pollster, approved of these appearances, I became suspicious.
William J. Bennett discusses the riots in Los Angeles following a jury verdict that acquitted police officers of beating motorist Rodney King. Bennett urges President Bush to lay out a realistic and humane solution to the urban crisis in the US, and offers his thoughts on what it should include.
An article based on a commencement address for the Mayo Medical School and Mayo Graduate School is provided. In the address, Robert L. Bartley says that in a society faced with the issues of crime, violence, abortion and other problems, America needs to look for a new establishment for leadership, while those in leadership positions need to listen more to the rest of society.