One of our sons read the Rolling Stone piece discussed earlier and had an interesting take on it.
What's the plan here? Essentially, as soon as the police presence was reduced due to budget cuts, the residents of Camden fell upon each other like wild beasts. The only thing keeping them from turning Camden into Mogadishu is a subsidized military presence. What's the path to a future where the Camdenites aren't continuously straining at the leash, striving to get at each other?
When I mentioned that the most recent graduating class of high school seniors managed to have only three students test as "ready for college" on the SAT*, the reaction was even more pronounced. The people of Camden aren't even trying. The SAT isn't nuclear physics and it's not written in ancient Aramaic. "College ready" isn't a hopelessly high bar to average students.
I agree with those sentiments. I'd suggest that the answer to our son's question of how to achieve some kind of sustainable success in Camden lies in missionary work. The post-modern, Ivy League, secular culture has turned Camden into a nest of self-destruction through self-gratification. The experiment in secular morality has failed and failed miserably. Now that we're two generations into this, cultural memory of better times and a better way to live are mostly forgotten.
|To get it back, we're going to have to go full Marquette and Joliet on the place.|