Relation of socioeconomic factors of urban areas in Nelson George's essay.
December 2, 2009
“Gangsters – Real and Unreal”
In the wake of the Civil Rights Movement black middle-class families, finally had the freedom to live wherever they could afford. Of course racism still kept them out of certain areas, but a lot of people up and down the economic ladder got capital - and guts - to finally get out of the old, embattled neighborhoods.
– Nelson George
In, “Gangsters – Real and Unreal,” Nelson George argues that the majority of crime in the urban neighborhoods are instigated by drugs. The word socioeconomic means, “of, relating to, or involving a combination of social and economic factors.” This word, socioeconomic, relates completely to George’s essay. George argues that crime increased in urban areas because the more well to do blacks moved out of the societies, or neighborhoods they were in. George states, “Ironically, the enhanced mobility of black wage earners left the old neighborhoods wide open to increased crime, which led to an increase in white flight” (34).
Economically speaking, the African Americans who were left in the old neighborhoods were not well off. As a result, they resorted to drugs for either a quick fix to forget their problems, if only for a short while, to get money, or both. Drugs were a way of getting money into the neighborhoods. However, some drugs, like cocaine are only for the “rich,” or those who can afford it. George says, “Bake in 1979, I interviewed a dealer who said that ‘coke sniffers were Kings and Queens and heads of state’ – as opposed to ‘the low rent people’ he sold marijuana to” (39). This quote just goes to show that there are “social” and “economic” roles even in the drug industry, where one really would not expect there to be one.