Denmark’s plan to abolish ghetto is xenophobic
In recent years, the “ghetto problem” has been in the spotlight in different countries of Europe. Recently, the New York Times, Washington Post and Politico have covered the story about ghetto in Europes.
Denmark is the first country which has officially announced to abolish ghetto areas.
What is ghetto anyway? Let me explain that.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the word was first used in 1611 to describe a quarter in a city, chiefly in Italy, to which the Jews were restricted.
The broader definition of the ghetto is a quarter in a city, a densely populated slum area, inhabited by ethnic minority groups, low income, isolated community.
The general view of the public about the ghetto is separated place within a city where minority groups with low education and poor economy live. Nobody both organized and unorganized criminalities are widespread in ghetto areas.
Denmark has identified 22 areas as ghetto. The government wants to demolish houses in ghetto areas and spread inhabitants through the state.
Until they have done that, it is mandatory for parents in ghetto areas to send their small children to daycare. Otherwise, their welfare money will be halted.
It is not only in Denmark, other European countries like Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria also are against the ghetto. Governments of those countries have not decided to abolish the ghetto yet, but many are talking about the possibility.
Is it a good idea to abolish the ghetto?
Researchers don’t think it will solve any problem. On the contrary, it will create new problems.
The Danish government wants to move the inhabitants from the ghetto because of crimes and unemployment.
Researchers argue, that if criminals are spread throughout the state, crimes will spread, too.
Now, crimes occur mainly in ghetto areas. If they mobe criminals move out from the ghetto, they will do crime where they will be placed.
A similar experience supports the assumption. Before, there was a free area in Copenhagen where hashish sale was allowed. It was an isolated area, and it did not create many problems.
But when the free zone was closed, hashish sale was not closed. It spread to different parts of the city. If ghetto areas are closed, the will likely increase.
According to statistics, about 3% of ghetto inhabitants are criminal. They live in a few apartment buildings. It is easy to locate and surveillance them. It will be tough if they live in many different areas.
Another argument for abolishing ghettos is unemployment. Researchers find that ghetto has nothing to do with unemployment. Those who are qualified and willing to work, they also work in ghettos. The ghetto does not influence their earnings, either.
On the contrary, a person with an immigrant background has more chance to work when he/she lives close to another immigrant, researchers find.
Abolishing ghettos is a cheap political agenda. It seems to be just another xenophobic reaction. Demolishing all buildings in ghetto areas will be very expensive. It will do no good.