To the Editor:
I too grew up in North County and am a couple of decades older than Mr. Lee. If you want to prevent communities from becoming dilapidated like the city of St. Louis, North County, etc., then blaming race is for convenience, but ignores the real facts.
When the family unit (i.e. a household with a mother and father engaged in raising the family) disintegrates as continues to happen in this country, communities will fail. Having no family unit translates into no respect for other individuals or authority. Hence, gangs, failing schools, declining property values and higher crime rates result – all obvious symptoms of declining neighborhoods.
People like to blame these things on race, but they are symptoms and results that also occur in other populations, such as the slum sections of Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Detroit, etc.
Fifty percent of U.S. households are single-parented and that percentage is growing. Yes, the African-American demographic percentage is much higher; hence, a much higher percentage of the symptoms and results.
So, solve the family unit fact and communities will prosper. Whites, blacks, Asians, Latinos – families can live and prosper in the same neighborhoods.