Newark, New Jersey is in fight with Detroit, Michigan to be the worst city in the United States. Both cities face high unemployment, decaying infrastructures, corruption, and high crime. Newark, like Detroit, used to be a thriving city that was home to many industries. After all, Newark is only 10 miles from the United States’ largest port and economic strong point – New York City. At its peak, Newark had a population of nearly a half a million people. Today, the city has a little more than a quarter of a million residents with only one supermarket and movie theater.
What happened? The liberal interpretation of the Civil Rights Act (CRA) in 1964 was the start of the demise of the both Newark and Detroit. The progressive view of the CRA was to design social equality polices that overcompensated minorities for years of oppression. Unfortunately, this made minorities dependent on the federal government without any personal responsibilities and accountability. The federal government decided Newark was a good place to build massive housing projects. This led to an influx of minorities, especially Puerto Ricans and African Americans. This was the beginning of the overcompensated liberal social policies that made not only poor minorities, but poor whites dependent on the federal government for their daily existence. At the same time poor minorities moved into housing projects, whites and affluent minorities began to flee the city. This also meant that jobs left the city as small and large businesses fled Newark. This left the city with a shrinking tax base to support infrastructure, education, and other necessities. By 1967, Newark was in complete chaos. Riots that year killed 26 and resulted in massive infrastructure damages to homes and businesses that were torched. From this point, Newark was in a steady decline. Newark’s city government has been predominately run by liberal minorities over the past several decades. However, they too have failed their people because many city leaders became corrupt and did little to solve Newark’s crime, drug, infrastructure, educational, unemployment, and poverty issues.
It is ironic that the decline of Newark started at the same time as the passing of the Civil Rights Act that was supposed to improve living conditions for minorities. The result of the passing of the Civil Rights Act lead directly to social equality policies such as welfare, low income housing, food stamps, Medicaid, and other progressive entitlement programs including affirmative action and quotas that has doomed the city of Newark and its citizens. Are the minority citizens of Newark better off today than they were 40 years ago? Absolutely not! They are segregated in ghettos facing addictions, crime, a poor education, and wretched living conditions. Today, there are more people living in poverty, per capita, than 40 years ago in Newark. Face it; social programs led directly to individuals becoming less accountable and responsible for themselves and their families. Hence, the family unit as well as moral values has virtually disappeared.
Is there any hope for Newark? There may be some hope. Newark’s new mayor Cory Booker may be able to stop the decline. Booker’s first objective has been to reduce crime and he has had some success. Under Booker’s watch homicides are down 28% and shootings are down 46%, while overall crime is down 21%. Booker understands to attract new home owners and businesses; he must first make the city safe again. Booker and Newark have a long way to go, but it is a good start.
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