I was recently riding the train in Chicago. After an annoying black man was escorted off the train by police, I overheard a young woman say the following.
“I don’t understand why they’re still here. We don’t have low-skill manufacturing jobs for them anymore. If they’re not going to conform to societal expectations, it’s simply time for them to go back home to Mississippi. It’s much easier to be poor and have no skills in the country and in a warmer climate.”
We’ve long since stopped trying to address the problems of urban poverty. The goal now is to contain it and to isolate it to a few neighborhoods that lie far from places where respectable people go. And whether we admit it or not, we’re not simply asking police to keep us safe; we’re also asking them to make sure that the refugees remain invisible when they step outside of their refugee camps.