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Things You Never Say in The Inner Cities

Updated on July 26, 2014

Notice how the inner city is shoved almost out of sight.

I am not a racist. I didn’t raise my daughter to be a racist. Fact is, I get very edgy and tense when I am forced to be in the company of a racist. Yes, I am aware how “holier-than-thou,” this sounds, but there is no nice way to say it.

Racism is wrong no matter what color, race, or ethnic background you came from. Racism is a silent serpent with fangs that bite softly and undetected by the victim, but in a short time, the one victim of this silent serpent can infect an entire family, neighborhood, and before long an entire city.

And the appetite of this unseen serpent is never satisfied. It’s always looking for more innocence to devour.

Typical inner city apartment building

Selling drugs in inner cities is a daily event

A sensitive subject: Inner cities

This topic of this piece is not just about racism or racists, but they play a part in it. A big part. This segment is about our inner cities of America. Not a sweet, neat and tidy subject with the ends tucked-in all neat and pretty.

The term, inner city, is just a polite way of saying ghetto, that was used in the 1970’s. Ghetto was the creation of a handful of racists who were so ignorant of the problems of the innocent people who inhabit this awful place that they took pleasure in teaching their children to “get a good education so you will not end up in the ghetto,” as if Satan himself lived on the bottom floor.

Numerous famous politicians, celebrities and religious organizations have tried and failed to clean-up our inner cities simply because as soon as the “real” work started, people who spoke of “making a difference,” ran like scared mice on a linoleum floor when the light is turned on.

Rev(s). Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, and former mayor of Chicago, Ms. Jayne Byrne, all shared the same unsure vision: Bringing needed-awareness to a sickening problem that is festering right under our nice noses. They tried. I give them all a lot of credit. Their efforts were all seen on CNN, CBS and NBC, but the inner cities are still here.

Dear God, please tell me that "this" is not our future

Inner City defined

The inner city is the central area of a major city or metropolis and may also refer to the Urban Land Use Model. In the United States, the term is often a euphemism applied to the lower-income residential districts in the city centre and nearby areas. In the United States, the term has the additional connotation of impoverished black and/or Hispanic neighborhoods.

Sociologists in these countries sometimes turn this euphemism into a formal designation, applying the term inner city to such residential areas rather than to geographically more central commercial districts citation needed.

However, some inner city areas of American cities have undergone gentrification especially since the 1990s.

The peculiar American sociological usage is rooted in the middle 20th century. When automobiles became affordable in the United States and forced busing ensued, many middle and high-income residents, who were mostly white, moved to suburbs to have larger lots and houses, and a lower crime rate. The loss of population and affluent taxpayers caused many inner city communities to fall into urban decay. Late in the century, many such areas underwent gentrification, especially in the Northeast and West coast, depriving them of the "inner city" label despite their unchanged location.

Regardless of their degree of prosperity, city areas that are literally more central tend to have higher population densities than outer suburbs, with more of the population living inside multi-floored townhouses and apartment buildings.

Source: WikiPedia

Kids with nothing to do

Students go to school tired from being awake all night by gunfire, police sirens and people screaming for help

What's it like to live in the inner city?

The living conditions are, needless to say, deplorable, not a healthy or safe place for children, much less adults. And you can throw “dangerous,” into the descriptions that define the inner city. Gangs who thrive on making money from selling drugs to any age at any time and will defend their turf with guns if threatened by other gangs and even the police. How would we “nice” people thrive in such a place? We wouldn’t. Fact is, the residents who are forced to live in these “fly traps,” aren’t living a good life either when all of their money from working, if they are so fortunate for someone to hire them, goes for rent and what few groceries their check will buy.

What about the children’s doctor visits? Well, they will have to learn how to wait and grow tough. That is the unspoken rule of survival in some inner cities. It’s not a sad thing. It’s far more nauseating than sad—when you drive by and see young people as well as adults “just” sitting on their front steps with nowhere to go and nothing to do except watching their “television of life,” where they watch people like “us,” with cars, jobs, and clothes pass by with sympathetic looks on our faces. And that’s all the inner-city residents will ever get from us.

Honestly, I tried to talk myself out of writing this due to my subject being a topic of misunderstanding and confusion. It’s always that way when someone wants to do “something” to get someone (with power) do something about a problem that has been so easily ignored by most of us and still, we profess Christianity which does include compassionate attitudes and being willing to suffer persecution from uneducated racists who do not want to change their hearts.

This problem: inner cities, is not just one ethic group’s problem. It’s our problem. All of us together agreeing on one thing or several things to do to help rid America of this very visible disease, for lack of a better phrase. We could vote in and vote out those who love to make such problem areas as inner cities into a political quagmire and with all of the baskets of red tape they wrap around the problem, it will just “look” hopeful in receiving help, but after awhile the pretty wrapping paper will tear away leaving only the red tape intact.

This piece alone will not solve the problem of inner cities and the people who have no other choice but to live there. Marches with big, bold signs won’t solve the problem and us “just” talking about and doing nothing will not solve the problem, but voting will. If we can vote for the right man or woman, who will not back-down from a few wealthy Congressmen or Senators when it comes time to introduce legislation that might do some good for the residents of these “palaces of pain.”

Mural of truth

And to honor what I wrote at the end of my last hub, “Sensible, Fair Communications With Your Auto Mechanic,” which was the title of “this” hub . . .

“Things You Do Not Say in The Inner City”

  1. Here they are. And they are not to be taken in a comedy atmosphere, but with a receptive, sincere heart.
  2. “Mom, why are those people just sitting around? Do they not work?” (and be sure to teach your children the damage that asking these questions will do).
  3. “Am I going to get shot?”
  4. “Hey, look! There are some of those drug dealers we see on the news!”
  5. “I am so hungry I could eat one of those rats.”
  6. “Do any of these people not speak English?”
  7. “Why are there so many police cars sitting on every corner?”
  8. “Are those people smoking ‘weed’?”
  9. “Keep walking, kids. Those people have nothing in common with us.”
  10. “Dad, you mean I can’t walk over there and say hi?”
  11. “Why aren’t those kids dressed like us, mom?”
  12. “People around here sure cry a lot.”
  13. “Why is that lady got a cast on her arm and a black eye?”
  14. “Dad, why are we even here?”
  15. “Where are the Best Buy stores?”
  16. “Uh, oh! Looks like a gang is coming our way.”

Note: I admit it. These are not jokes. Or my usual one-liners. I meant for them not to be funny, but something for all of us to think about.

Coming soon . . .”Why I Wouldn’t Make a Good Flight Attendant”


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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thank you, my friend, for being so forgiving. Not many like you in our society today.

      I will do my best. Again, thank you.

    • junko profile image


      4 years ago

      No harm no foul with us my friend, write on.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Ohhh, my gosh!

      Junko, I made an error in overlooking your comment.

      Please forgive me. I have no flimsy excuse. I was just answering as quickly as I could. I do remember reading your comment, I just forgot to reply.

      Again, I am sorry, but I did appreciate what you said about telling the truth, the whole truth . . . and my friend, that is what I was going for.


    • junko profile image


      4 years ago

      Kenneth Did you not notice me and my comment or is my comment not posted on your hub ?

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      If anyone gets to leave the inner-city, great for them. I hope that more people will get a way out of these "rat holes," of filth that the land, errr, slum lords do not care about.

      And Uncle Sam is not a good landlord either. Why are these government-sponsored housing projects ever kept up to par and rid of drug dealers?

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, sheilamyers,

      Thank you for your interesting comment. I am in agreement with you. I thought, and hoped, that Obama would do something and not just get us into a war, but lo and behold. Well, I won't waste time telling what he did, or not done.

      We DO need honest and working people in office. Those who who risk being mobbed by telling the truth.

      Thanks again for your truthful comment.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Ann,

      Thank you, dear friend, for your visit and very insightful comment. I did NOT know that about Sharpton.


      I thought he was a REVEREND! That's how he is introduced to crowds when I see him on TV.

      Thank you for pointing that out to me.

      Come back again and again, my friend.

    • junko profile image


      4 years ago

      Kenneth I think you told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the Truth. So help you God. I think it is good to hear from the silent majority because many of them are beginning to have inner city blues too. The American people need jobs and all they get is entertainment and Governmentlessness.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      You provide some great information about one of this country's biggest problems. I also agree that the one way to make the changes is to elect the people who might be able to do the most good for the people who live in the inner cities. Unfortunately, politicians say one thing while campaigning and then either deny it later or never even try to keep their promises. Your list is very insightful as they show how life in those places are based on the perspective of outsiders. Maybe if parents would sit down with their children and discuss those things without a racist bent, the kids would grow into adults who want to and can make some changes.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image


      4 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Kenneth, racism is like a cancer and is caused mostly by ignorance. You've done well to help raise awareness. The only thing I don't agree with is you throwing Al Sharpton in the same group with Martin Luther King. Al Sharpton has the filthiest mouth I've ever heard and he is so prejudice against America, it's horrible. He's not even in the same class with Martin Luther King.

      However, I get your message and it is one that needs to be told.


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