Benign neglect


Benign neglect

:"For the British policy of avoiding strict enforcement of parliamentary laws see Salutary neglect."

Benign neglect was a policy proposed in the late 1960s by New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was at the time on Nixon's White House Staff as an urban affairs advisor. While serving in this capacity, he sent the President a memo suggesting that "the issue of race could benefit from a period of 'benign neglect'. The subject has been too much talked about....We may need a period in which Negro progress continues and racial rhetoric fades." This "benign neglect" policy [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/26/obituaries/26CND-MOYNIHAN.html?ex=1094875200&en=382d07780ef51612&ei=5070 "New York Times" Obituary for Moynihan] ] was designed to ease tensions following the American Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960s. Moynihan was particularly troubled by the speeches of Vice-president Spiro Agnew. However, the policy was widely seen as an abandonment of urban (particularly black) neighborhoods, as the Senator’s statements and writings appeared to encourage, for instance, fire departments engaging in triage to avoid engaging in a supposedly futile war against arson. [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN1859842534 A Plague on Your Houses: How New York Was Burned Down and National Public Health Crumbled] By Deborah Wallace, Rodrick Wallace. ISBN 1859842534]

A Rand Institute report suggested that a large proportion of the fires in the South Bronx and Harlem were arson, however subsequent analysis of the data did not back this up. Of the fires in buildings only a very small portion were arson and that portion was not higher than the rate of proven arson found in wealthier neighborhoods. However, influenced by the report, Moynihan went on to make recommendations for urban policy based on the assumption that there was "widespread arson" in poverty stricken neighborhoods like the South Bronx and Harlem. To Moynihan, arson was one of many social pathologies caused by large cities that would benefit from benign neglect. [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN1859842534 A Plague on Your Houses: How New York Was Burned Down and National Public Health Crumbled] By Deborah Wallace, Rodrick Wallace. ISBN 1859842534]

Other usages

The term is today more widely known as a variant of laissez faire policy, wherever it is considered that a lack of regulation and/or investment will improve (or at least not hurt) the interest of the 'neglected' group. It is still a very controversial policy whenever proposed.

ources

ee also

* Salutary neglect
* Planned shrinkage
* South Bronx
* Urban decay


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  • benign neglect — Neglect Neg*lect , n. [L. neglectus. See {Neglect}, v.] 1. Omission of proper attention; avoidance or disregard of duty, from heedlessness, indifference, or willfulness; failure to do, use, or heed anything; culpable disregard; as, neglect of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • benign neglect — /bənaɪn nəˈglɛkt/ (say buhnuyn nuh glekt) noun neglect which has beneficial results, possibly better results than if there had been active involvement or concern: a foreign policy of benign neglect …   Australian English dictionary

  • benign neglect — noun Date: 1970 an attitude or policy of ignoring an often delicate or undesirable situation that one is held to be responsible for dealing with …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • benign neglect — noun non interference which has the effect of being more beneficial than continual attention …   English new terms dictionary

  • benign neglect — noun : an attitude or policy of ignoring an often undesirable situation that one is perceived to be responsible for dealing with …   Useful english dictionary

  • Neglect — Neg*lect , n. [L. neglectus. See {Neglect}, v.] 1. Omission of proper attention; avoidance or disregard of duty, from heedlessness, indifference, or willfulness; failure to do, use, or heed anything; culpable disregard; as, neglect of business,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • neglect — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun ADJECTIVE ▪ general, total ▪ relative ▪ benign ▪ The 18th century interior of the building has survived through benign neglect. ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • benign — [[t]bɪna͟ɪn[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n You use benign to describe someone who is kind, gentle, and harmless. They are normally a more benign audience... Critics of the scheme take a less benign view. Syn: charitable Derived words: benignly ADV …   English dictionary

  • neglect — [[t]nɪgle̱kt[/t]] neglects, neglecting, neglected 1) VERB If you neglect someone or something, you fail to look after them properly. [V n] The woman denied that she had neglected her child... [V n] Feed plants and they grow, neglect them and they …   English dictionary

  • neglect — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Disregard Nouns 1. neglect, negligence, carelessness, heedlessness, thoughtlessness, dereliction, delinquency; omission, oversight, laches, default; benign neglect; rashness; procrastination. See… …   English dictionary for students