The “Ghetto” App

For the iPhone there is a new app that warns people of areas that may be unsafe, so that they can avoid traveling through them, and avoid problems.

It seems like a sensible idea, using the Internet to stay out of trouble. However, certain groups have decried it as “racist”. Apparently they’re making the link-although never stated-that when people avoid high crime areas, they tend to avoid black and Hispanic areas, so therefore the app is anti-black.

This is a case of political correctness going to the extreme. The reality is that the app is race neutral.  There is no explicit effort or design to avoid black areas. However, the reality is that the vast majority of dangerous neighborhoods are populated by blacks and Hispanics, so indirectly by basing its recommendations on crime statistics, the app will tend to steer people away from dangerous neighborhoods, which also tend to be black and Hispanic.

The reality is that the vast majority of dangerous neighborhoods are populated by blacks and Hispanics. This is something that we all wish were not true. But it is true, and trying to deny this fact is not going to make it go away. What the protesters of this app seemed to be saying is that they can’t stand the fact that a computer program indirectly points out unpleasant facts about race and crime. This hyper hyper sensitivity leads to people trying to banish reality, because it does not correlate with what they wish it would be.

I think is time for a little bit more common sense, and less censoring of truths, just because certain people don’t want to hear them.

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