15 UCLA L. Rev. 1135 (1967-1968)
Law and the Urban Crisis

handle is hein.journals/uclalr15 and id is 1137 raw text is: LAW AND THE URBAN CRISIS
Lisle C. Carter, Jr.*
I. INTRODUCTION
For many of us the city has been a place of amenity and
sociability; a focus of business enterprise; a haven from the rigors
of nature and the pressures of conformity; a host to the arts and
much that we prize in the term civilization. But for more than
a hundred years there has been another city; the crowded brutal
slum-first stop for the foreign immigrant, a place of exploitation
and corruption, of strangers and loneliness, of poverty and tene-
ments.
Until rather recently, the drawbacks of urban life were, on
balance, thought to be tolerable to our society-even to those who
bore the brunt of them. For all its faults, the city was a potential
home of opportunity, a nursery for success and fortune. But the
city has now taken on a new, more ominous character. Far from a
harsh initiation to better things, its rigors are more often the be-
ginning of a new phase of unalleviated hardship. To Southern
Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Mexican-Americans, and poor white
mountaineers, it is a hope born of desperation, not of confidence,
that has drawn them to this city. They have come only to find that
today's cities offer few exits and few opportunities. No longer is this
description only fitting for a few ports of entry for internal and
external migrants; almost all our major cities are moving toward
this pattern-a pattern which leaves little room for much that we
prize in urban living.
Everyone agrees that cities have many serious troubles; but, by
any calculation, almost every one of them would yield more readily
to solution were they not compounded by the biggest problem of
all-the continuous and heavy inward migration and concentration
of poor minority groups and the desperate, explosive conditions in
which they live.
Most of these new city dwellers represent the entire litany
of social ills to which we are becoming statistically and-emotionally
numb: poverty; wretched overcrowded housing; bad education and
high school failure; high incidence of infant mortality, mental re-
tardation and communicable diseases; chronic unemployment and
* Deputy Director of the Urban Coalition.
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