Thursday, January 19, 2012

If You Want to Avoid Criminals, You're a Racist!

CBS reports,
An in-development Microsoft smart phone app designed to help drivers and pedestrians avoid unsafe neighborhoods is proving controversial among some minority rights groups that find the software potentially discriminatory.

The as-of-yet unnamed product is being referred to as the “Avoid The Ghetto” app by those who are concerned with where it will guide users.

“I’m going to be up in arms about it if it happens,” said Dallas NAACP President Juanita Wallace.
Wallace spent her afternoon at a rally on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and said she felt safe there, but fears the app may project otherwise.

“Can you imagine me not being able to go to MLK Blvd. because my GPS says that’s a dangerous crime area? I can’t even imagine that,” she said.

Microsoft says the app will use crime statistics to determine what parts of town are to be avoided. But it’s unclear where the data will come from and how it will be interpreted.

Microsoft has filed a patent for the app, but the actual product is unnamed and not available yet.
Opponents like Wallace fear it could hurt minority communities.

“It’s almost like gerrymandering,” she said. “It’s stereotyping for sure and without a doubt; I can’t emphasize enough, it’s discriminatory.”
What a bunch of nonsense.  Now that racism has waned as a major social force in the United States, groups like the NAACP have become useless and spend their time condemning totally innocuous things.  Some of you may remember this incident involving a "racist" Hallmark card:

The people in the NAACP and other groups that make a living off of political correctness need to stop whining and get real jobs.


  1. Avoiding potentially dangerous neighborhoods is no more than exercising prudence.

    Some day I'll post on the time I was violently mugged in Minneapolis because I was too stupid to cross to the other side of the street for fear of "offending" the person walking toward me. It is only by the grace of God I wasn't killed.

  2. Adrienne: Yikes! Well I'm glad you're ok.

  3. It would be racist if it was aimed only at defining black neighborhoods as dangerous. Given that I can think of more than a few Italiano neighborhoods in New York & elsewhere that would be just as dangerous, such as anywhere Snooki may be, I would tend to say that it has less to do with race & more with the NAACP trying to justify its continued existance as you point out.
    Some of this reminds me of the BS I ran into in High School when I did a humorous speech for state speech contest. It was a piece called "An Italian Wedding" written by stand up commedian Pat Cooper (aka Pasquale Caputo). He was big among those of us of Italiano descent.
    1 of the judges commented that he didn't think what i said was appropriate for a humor piece esp in a speech contest. I would have loved to find out who he was just to set him straight about my heritage, that us Italiano-Americans in Oelwein loved his humor & that it was very appropriate & my doing it was very much approved as well.
    You can here the original here starting @ 7 minutes in (note there was a line about a genuine Italiano mother being 4 ft 11 earlier on I worked in at the start):

  4. "It would be racist if it was aimed only at defining black neighborhoods as dangerous." You are absolutely correct. Last time I checked crime reports are data and as such would be color blind.

  5. Al: Come to think of it, an avoid Snooki app would be a good idea.