“There still are some things that Camden has to offer,” Tony told me last summer.
Camden is one of the poorest cities in America.
“What is that?” I asked.
“Camden still has waterfront property. Right on the banks of the Delaware.”
“Really?” I said.
“Yeah,” Tony smiled only the way that Tony can smile. “A good place for any rich white guy to live.”
Tony is a twin. He told me this last year. I remember the exact day—July 4. I remember because it was raining cats and dogs. Rain has a way of cementing memories in your mind.
“So the waterfront property is worth a lot?”
“Yeah, dawg. It’s prime real estate. Developers are buying it up, kicking the Puerto Ricans like my parents out, and rebuilding the waterfront property block by block. The poor and the squatters just get thrown out because they can’t afford to pay rising housing costs.”
“So where do they go?”
“They go where they can,” said Tony on the fourth of July. “It’s uncle Sam, man. It’s the American Way.”
There has recently been a very good conversation going on about how best to help the urban poor in America at young anabaptist Radicals blog. It underscores an important point I made earlier on my blog here. Please consider some of these things for the sake of the children there.