Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Four Most Dangerous Cities

Anytime someone prefaces a statement by "I'm not racist" or "I'm not bigoted" you can expect the statements that follow to be exactly that -- racist and bigoted. The person knows that or they wouldn't say preface their statements that way. What they are really hoping to do is to convince you that their form of racism or bigotry is okay. They are trying to justify their hatred. Such is the case with the following link:

The mistake made by the author, Red Dawn, is that they believe that the facts prove they are neither racist nor bigoted, when the racism is not in the facts, but the way the facts are interpreted. The author intentionally connects race to violent crime, and suggests that this is the most important connection. That insinuation is what makes the statements racist: saying that cities where a high percentage of the population is black and the liberal policies of their leadership have directly caused the violence. Why? Because the connection itself is an error of causality.

Let's start with race, and turn the statistics upside down. The ten countries worldwide with the lowest crime rates from 10th to 1st are: Cyprus, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Switzerland. These are countries from different parts of the world, representing different racial and ethnic groups. Race itself does not appear to be directly related to the ability to be peaceful.

Let's try something interesting, just to be irritating and generally aggravating to the writer of the article and address the liberal policies connection. Taxation. Of those ten countries with the lowest crime rates, three of them also appear in the list of countries with the highest tax rates. Denmark -- number 3 in tax rate, 9th lowest in crime. Japan -- number 7 in tax rate, 6th lowest in crime. Ireland -- number 10 in tax rate, 7th lowest in crime. If we only look at those examples we might conclude that the way to have low crime is to raise taxes. Apparently the liberals are right, and we should raise taxes to reduce crime, right? A more honest evaluation would be that taxation level, generally considered a liberal policy, is unrelated to violent crime.

Another example of false causality: country size. All of the countries on the list are relatively small geographically. Most are far smaller than most of our states! Does that mean that all the big countries in the world would have less crime if they just chopped themselves up into bite sized pieces? Perhaps if every county was self governing? More likely their is no causal relationship.

Now, let's look at the 'facts'. The writer claims that these four cities are among the highest in violent crime. According to neighborhood scout -- Detroit is number 3, St. Louis is 14, Baltimore is 18, and Washington DC is 29. Hardly the 4 worst in the country, like the writer makes it sound. Ignored are cities with more conservative bents like Myrtle Beach number 12, Indianapolis number 39. The reality is almost all big cities are Democratic in political bent, Of the top 50 cities in population, only two have Republican mayors -- Indianapolis, and Fort Worth, Texas. So most cities are liberal even those that would make the list of the big cities in the US with the lowest crime rates. Political party has no correlation here.

What the writer gets partially correct is the issue of racial segregation. The cities with the highest levels of racial segregation do experience higher levels of crime, but the cause is not the race of the individuals committing the crime nor the political party of their leadership. Rather it is the systemic, subtle racism which has been allowed to continue. When a city has a history of racial hatred and fear which leads to redlining, white-flight, and other formal or informal methods of segregation, it can hardly be surprising that those tensions eventually erupt into violence. Look at South Africa, Israel, Sarajevo, and countless other international examples.

So here's the point. Red Dawn, by drawing the conclusions that the most important issues leading to the violence in the cities are the race and politics of the individuals and not their history of persecution -- is actually perpetuating the very fear that has caused the problem in the first place. It may be subtle, it may be couched in misleading facts, but it is still bigotry. It is still racism.