San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1960s became one of the most impoverished areas in California. Public policy professors James Q. Wilson and Richard Hernstein wrote: “One neighborhood in San Francisco had the lowest income, the highest unemployment rate, the highest proportion of families with incomes under $4,000 per year, the least educational attainment, the highest tuberculosis rate and the highest proportion of substandard housing. … That neighborhood was called Chinatown. Yet, in 1965, there were only five persons of Chinese ancestry committed to prison in the entire state of California.”
Two low-income areas outside of Boston — South Boston and Roxbury –– were featured several years ago in U.S. News & World Report. They had similar socio-economic profiles: high levels of unemployment; the same percentage of children born to single-parent households; and the same percentage of people living in public housing. But the violent crime rate in Roxbury, predominately black, was four times higher than that of South Boston, predominately white. (…)
Culture and values explain why in Los Angeles, a city with a 46 percent Hispanic population and a 10 percentage Asian population, one sees no Latinos or Asians holding up “Will Work for Food” signs.
When South Korea played for soccer’s 2010 World Cup, the Los Angeles Korean community received permits to view games on big-screen monitors in the streets near Koreatown. The police said the streets were more trash-free after the games than before.