As many people are watching their mayors fight over who gets to acquiesce to the demands of Amazon, marginalized groups are having trouble sleeping at night. There are no promises to be had by those in management either from the company or from the local government, yet the constituents are being told that this is what would be best for the city of ******. Unfortunately, adding another “major employer” to cities which already have several employers will further alienate those with means as the cost of living skyrockets. The truth is that the benefits of any employers — or amenities in general — are for people with means, and those without means are forced to watch from the sidelines as they are pushed away to appease those in the upper classes.
Instead of being bastions of comfort, liberal cities are finally being cast as the hypocritical beasts they are as they embody the beginning paragraph of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. There is little remorse felt for the racial and socioeconomic segregation, and the impetus is to double down on the justification of why marginalized people have to work so hard to gain so little while others really can “work smarter, not harder.” What is even worse is that living wage jobs are separate from affordable housing, which is separated still from the resources required to function, like internet service. Therefore, some communities are equipped with the tools for upward mobility while others are unable to work from home based on the inability to afford adequate telecommunication.
Those who are educated and marginalized face a far more insidious battle. In theory, acquiring a competitive education and being a steadfast employee should secure positions among the solid middle class. However, because of the social acclimation based on business placement that developed because of redlining, employers have a certain perspective of who makes good employees. Consequently, employers place their businesses in areas to attract those who fit that perspective, and those areas are usually not accessible by transit. Ironically, the best transit hubs in the United States are in places where marginalized people who would use it cannot afford to live.
If people are working, they should be able to afford to live without heavy subsidies. While having everyone live wherever desired is impossible, too many people believe that it is an unalienable right to be able to choose neighbors among the upper class. When neighborhoods with resources are able to control their segregationist practices, maybe then affordable living will seem like less of a challenge and more part of a successful city.