A New Office of Urban Affairs Created by Obama

It is very encouraging news to hear that President Obama has created a new Office of Urban Affairs, which will work out of the White House.

The nation’s cities have always been treated like step children, as narrow minded and prejudiced groups, particularly in the South and in the geographical heartland of the nation, have wished a  plague on the wide variety of ethnic, racial, and religious groups which populate urban areas.  This rural resentment of the cities goes back a  long way, and part of it is due to the jealousy that it is the nation’s cities which have been central to the economic, social, political and cultural growth of our nation to super power status.

I can remember when Southern Democrats made clear in the 20 th century their condemnation of the cities and saw the election of a Catholic President in  1928 (Al Smith) and 1960 (John F. Kennedy) as the end of the world as we know it.  It took the federal government intervening with the National Guard in Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama  to force change on the race issue, and there is still great resistance and resentment in the Bible Belt to the reality that we will rise or fall in the future based on dealing with urban problems, instead of ignoring or condemning our cities.

So Obama has taken a giant step toward confronting a reality that must be faced:  Our future is in our cities!

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