Tom Sowell on why his Harlem had no drive-by shootings
By Peter Samuel
You've got to love economist/columnist Thomas Sowell's pithy explanation of one of the reasons the Harlem he grew up in during the 1940s was safer than Harlem fifty years later.
"People didn't live in fear of drive-by shootings, in the Harlem of my day, if only because we had nothing to drive by in."
Harlem youngsters today, he observes, are much better off in such material possessions as cars and TVs, if they don't have the same schools and educational opportunities, or values.
He goes on: "Old photographs of Harlem show ample parking space on the streets. It was not an idyllic community, by any stretch of the imagination, but it had values that mattered in our daily lives, and common decency was in fact common. No material things can substitute for that."