App That Would Guide Users Away from High-Crime Areas Proves Controversial

Sharrie Williams, CBS (Dallas), January 17, 2012

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. {snip}

{snip}

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.”

Michael McNally, who was visiting Dallas Tuesday, said an app shouldn’t have enough power to label a community.

“It may have a high crime problem but have some great cultural, social things you can do there,” McNally said.

{snip}

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  • Anonymous

    WARNING!! VERY GRAPHIC IMAGES: NEWS ARTICLE. BLACK AND HISPANIC MOB FRACTURES
    SKULL BEATS DECORATED VET NEAR DEATH FOR SPORT PHILLY YESTERDAY

    http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/crime&id=8511126

    • Impertinent

      If he’s on an honor roll…it must be one where he hasn’t been caught yet. Wonder if his nickname is “mumbles”. Alas….he’s the state of Afro  intelligence in America. Notice he’s probably another one born without a father.How do they do that BTW?

  • Joe6pak

    If this app prevents just one death from urban youf crime it will have been worth any hurt feelings on the part of the hyper-sensitive NAACP.

  • Former Liberal

    Using modern technology to help people avoid neighborhoods where they’re likely to get mugged is discrimination in the good sense of the word, as in using the facts and your judgment to make good decisions.  But I guess Ms. Wallace and Mr. McNally are not in favor of making good decisions, they’re in favor of denying people the information that would enable people to make better decisions and avoid getting robbed, assaulted, or killed. 

    And why would they assume that these high-crime areas are likely to be black neighborhoods?  Isn’t that a racist assumption?  I think it’s a very telling admission on their part.

    Finally, the Ms. Wallace’s comment that your GPS device can somehow PREVENT you from going to MLK Blvd., or anywhere else that you’d choose to go, I think demonstrates the level of intelligence we’re dealing with here.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E46TDN3G66VZDQGGD5KHXQUBZQ B

    Blacks demanded they be judged by their behavior and not by their skin color and now we are doing just that by avoiding these high crime areas.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WP6FBJWJYEU7S6TMNJS5D2BB5M Luis

      Yes! Didn’t King HIMSELF say judge us not by our skin color, but by the content of our character. Well, what TF is so wrong about avoiding certain areas, in order to stay alive?

  • Jay1

    “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.

    Uh, the GPS does not prevent you from going anywhere. If your GPS says a particular route passes through a ‘dangerous’ area, you can still go that way. For ‘juanita’ it will be code for, “There be ‘my people’ here.” In that case, this app will help black people find other black people. What’s the harm in that?

    • Anonymous

      I though the same thing when I read that. Then I remembered that black political figures are not exactly known for their calm, reasonable and intelligent commentary on anything. Without even knowing the woman, I’m sure I could convince her that a GPS device could “prevent” someone from going to MLK blvd. I’m sure she’s preparing her press release now, demanding that Congress look in to the diabolical alliance between GPS makers and the car industry to keep people from doing things she “can’t even imagine”…..

  • http://countenance.wordpress.com/ Question Diversity

    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.

    No kidding, she was safe at a rally among presumably other honest people during the afternoon on Dallas’s MLK Avenue.  I doubt she’s running around on that street by herself after dark.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WAUO7VJIU3VVHREUVDQEYCFU24 Chris

    How is this any different than the numerous GIS interactive maps on the web that show crime and race data overlapping geographic location? The New York Times has an interactive map on their website. All you have to do is type in an address and it will give you all the ‘discriminatory’ data you need. I use them all the time when I’m moving to a new area to help me find a place surrounded by hard-working, decent people who come from the same cultural background as myself. The only difference in this case is that you can use it while you’re driving in real-time, although I don’t know why you would need it as it would be really obvious if you were in a bad neighborhood.

  • Dom

    Well lady then go to the thugs in da hood and ask them to behave like normal citizens. You are complaining to the wrong side. But likely she is liberal so she can’t help herself.

    • Impertinent

      Likely? These idiots keep voting for the same ones that invented Jim Crow…and kept them chained to mules.

  • Guest

    It would be racist to deprive these people of white victims. 

    In a sane country, the race race and crime problem would be the main topic of the presidential primary debates. 

    I keep forgetting that DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH.

  • Anonymous

    But it’s unclear where the data will come from and how it will be interpreted.

    This is the issue; how this data will be interpreted.

    In the perfect world of the NAACP, such data comes with a few caveats such as laundry list of excuses, including, but not limited to, slavery, Jim Crow, segregated schools, red lining, legacy of slavery, institutional racism, etc.

    The NAACP should counter with their own app. Whenever a black neighborhood is listed as being dangerous, a list of excuses can scroll across the screen.

  • Anonymous

    “It’s almost like gerrymandering,” she said. “It’s stereotyping for sure and without a doubt; I can’t emphasize enough, it’s discriminatory.”

    SO WHAT!?!?!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WP6FBJWJYEU7S6TMNJS5D2BB5M Luis

    Kudos to you. The right to self-preservation and self-defense trumps offending the tender sensibilities of ghetto Bantus.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/2CDWIFBAEAK2R3FP6O3UXNVTJQ kjhkngjnhkj f

    “’It may have a high crime problem but have some great cultural, social things you can do there,’ McNally said.”

    Like what? Get raped? Eat chitlins?

    No thanks.

    • Anonymous

      I was thinking along those lines myself. Why do I have a feeling this is a totally clueless White guy?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E46TDN3G66VZDQGGD5KHXQUBZQ B

    Even most white criminals have better ethics than to beat a man six on one. Blacks do this all the time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Fuller/100000350790668 John Fuller

    So if I find myself in a “bad neighborhood” and I perhaps lock my doors, just to be safe…I’m racist? Hmmm? Where does this end?!?!

    • Anonymous

      Where does this end? With our deaths, if we don’t do it. To h-ll with the PC cranks, I’m going to save my butt.

  • Anonymous

    The safety app is only “controversial” in the context of suppression of crime statistics-(ethnicity-location) correlations, which should be addressed with the fervor surrounding “hate crime”.  Publishing such statistics by DOJ would, perhaps, be the strongest antidote for the “news” media silence, entertainment media outright propaganda, and the plague of calculated mis-education of potential victims along PC lines.  

    The distinction between social science and social ideology is that the former uses analysis of statistical patterns as an imperfect (but more objective than unsupported opinions and feelings) way to define social problems, and to suggests and test hypothesis arrived at through theory and interpretation.

  • Anonymous

    Traveling through America is not like it was when I was a kid. It would be nice to know the ‘no go’ Islamic zones in Detroit. The blacks turned Detroit into a hell-hole early on and Islam is widening the hole. But, who visits Detroit anymore? Basically, travel would be less complicated with such an app. It would also reduce crime in country. To hell with Juanita and her confreres in the NCAAP and other rebel rousing organizations.

  • Sincerely Concerned

    As I have been saying for years, government housing and Section 8 housing et al have ruined nearly every large town and city in America.  Rewarding people for doing nothing but being a certain color, and I do mean nothing, cultivated entire generations of people who operate with impunity. 

    If you take someone from infancy and tell them that whites hate them because of their skin color, that in exchange for that the government will pay for their housing, their food through EBT cards, their education from Head Start to a bachelor’s degree, and never require them to work, to be responsible and respectful, or to pay it back, this is what results.  They’re told to never speak, walk, or act like those evil whites, so they speak incoherently, walk with a swinging swagger, and generally give out a vibe of menace.  They’re told that if they do hurt or kill someone it’s all the white man’s fault and in exchange for that they will receive free meals, housing, and education AGAIN albeit in a locked area, while a taxpayer-provided attorney and defense team appeals for them in every way, often for years at a time. 

    They never have to wonder where their swag will come from because they can deal drugs.  And since drugs and dealing are illegal, it’s their domain solely.  If they want to swat you down and steal your swag, they can do so because they’re stronger, meaner, and faster and they know it.  They also know you don’t have a gun. 

    Nothing is going to stop this until someone makes a stand.  It can be done non-violently with sweeping legislation but that’s been poo-pooed with one word.  RACIST.

    It’s hard to know what to do.  Running away from our cities hasn’t worked.  Being armed has been outlawed.  Speaking out is taboo.  And now, even having an application that will assist people in avoiding high crime areas is an outrage.  This country is UPSIDE DOWN.

  • Sincerely Concerned

    As I have been saying for years, government housing and Section 8 housing et al have ruined nearly every large town and city in America.  Rewarding people for doing nothing but being a certain color, and I do mean nothing, cultivated entire generations of people who operate with impunity. 

    If you take someone from infancy and tell them that whites hate them because of their skin color, that in exchange for that the government will pay for their housing, their food through EBT cards, their education from Head Start to a bachelor’s degree, and never require them to work, to be responsible and respectful, or to pay it back, this is what results.  They’re told to never speak, walk, or act like those evil whites, so they speak incoherently, walk with a swinging swagger, and generally give out a vibe of menace.  They’re told that if they do hurt or kill someone it’s all the white man’s fault and in exchange for that they will receive free meals, housing, and education AGAIN albeit in a locked area, while a taxpayer-provided attorney and defense team appeals for them in every way, often for years at a time. 

    They never have to wonder where their swag will come from because they can deal drugs.  And since drugs and dealing are illegal, it’s their domain solely.  If they want to swat you down and steal your swag, they can do so because they’re stronger, meaner, and faster and they know it.  They also know you don’t have a gun. 

    Nothing is going to stop this until someone makes a stand.  It can be done non-violently with sweeping legislation but that’s been poo-pooed with one word.  RACIST.

    It’s hard to know what to do.  Running away from our cities hasn’t worked.  Being armed has been outlawed.  Speaking out is taboo.  And now, even having an application that will assist people in avoiding high crime areas is an outrage.  This country is UPSIDE DOWN.

    • Impertinent

      “.  They also know you don’t have a gun. ”

      Why’s that? PA is a shall issue state. A couple of armed citizens capping these hoods once or twice in self defense sure sends a message.

  • http://6th-resurrection.myopenid.com/ BLACK HAT

    Just avoid any street names:   Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd.

    Easy.

    • Guest

      North St. Louis county (Normandy) has a Jesse Jackson Avenue.  Avoid that one too.

      • http://countenance.wordpress.com/ Question Diversity

        It seems like half the residential streets in North City are secondarily (if not primarily) named for some black preacher who got his Th.D. from a cracker jack box.  That’s a good parameter for this Microsoft GPS feature:  An area with too many streets name for “Revvunds” — red flag, avoid in fear of your life.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GenXinOz GenX ANZAC

    Why not go another step ahead, and just say that avoiding murderers is racist. 
    Political correctness is beyond being impractical, its suicidal. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EHML35IFONW6YBS5BLZ7JYE6XU I W

    Another simple, open admission that anywhere with disproportionate ammounts of crime has a disproportionate number of ‘minorities’. I love it -just as AA is an open admission that ‘they’ cannot under any circumstances compete on a level playing field.

    Are these ‘people’ really so dense that they do not realize that they themselves are openly acknowledging that Holder’s ‘people’ have both a higher propensity toward crime, and a lower cognitive aptitude than the ‘majority’ of this country? Notice how even they assume that any high crime district will automatically be in the vicinity of  a street named ‘MLK’ -yet they carry on as if this is somehow Our fault -again acknowledging that they themselves are mentally little more than children who need to be coddled and babied through life?

    The irony is simply delicious.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3CYIGRCKSFKURWFYFIC7YPA4VI Tracy

    So I am supposed to risk my life for the possibility of  a “great social, cultural thing” I could do there? Seriously?

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been reading about this topic for over a week now, on various websites. Amidst all the honking, hand wringing, and Hades-raising, two questions have not been answered:

    1. Has this app been released yet, and

    2. Where can I get it?

  • Rick Hull

    “It may have a high crime problem but have some great cultural, social things you can do there,” McNally said. 

    Who in the heck wants to chance a violent encounter, with your family in tow, just to get some sort of perceived cultural enrichment? Are these liberals REALLY that deceived or do they really BELIEVE this tripe? I love how the NAACP sista’ said she was going to “be up in arms about it if it happens”–OOOH, I’m trembling in my boots….

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    A Microsoft smart phone app that helps drivers and pedestrians avoid unsafe neighborhoods and “harsh temperatures” is proving controversial.

    Since when is staying safe a bad idea?   And “harsh temperatures?”  Does that mean it will route you around Death Valley?

    As for “unsafe neighborhoods”, was it not Dave Chappelle who said if you find yourself on the corner of MLK and Malcolm X, you should run for your life!?

    Microsoft says the app will use crime statistics to determine what parts of town are to be avoided.

    The app finds any streets named after MLK, Rosa Parks, Reverends, or Malcolm X or any area named in a rap song (Crenshaw, Compton, Inglewood), draws a circle around it and marks it DANGEROUS!!

    A GPS device that helps me to avoid unsafe crime areas?

    I’ll take two!!

    Bon

  • Duxinarowe

    It’s not racist if it only uses crime statistics. Criminal behavoir is the same where ever you go. I’m sure in the Northwest they will have majority criminal areas that are white. What cultural things do I want to visit on MLK blvd.? Is there a market for the app? If so let the market decide.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X4N262KH4R5RS734YUVXVEL5BU Ruth M

    The truth hurts I guess… hahahah     Let’s take a look at something  that DOES need to be corrected regarding crime statistics. Illegal alien Mexicans and other brown illegal aliens are classified as WHITE in arrest records so if accurate classifications were used, the actual WHITE crime rate would be MUCH lower.  It’s sooo funny when you think that these same Mexicans crow about “La Raza” YET they are viewed by law enforcement as “white”.   There needs to be a new category NON-WHITE for all the brown skinned Mexican and South American THUGS committing crimes in America.

    • Impertinent

      Since Mexicans and chicanos think they’re a “race” lets classify them as Latinos. They certainly don’t believe they’re white.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X4N262KH4R5RS734YUVXVEL5BU Ruth M

    I’ll bet the app defines all of Philadelphia as “unsafe”. I already do avoid Philthadelphia and I don’t need an app.  I moved to Florida now and around here there is an area called Bradenton in Sarasota and also Newtown. I have already figured out that those are areas to AVOID just from reading the NEWSPAPER.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X4N262KH4R5RS734YUVXVEL5BU Ruth M

    Way back when blacks were held as slaves and then freed, they deliberately took white American first and last names – like John Brown – because they wanted to blend in with America. Today, the IDIOTS like to label themselves as illiterate blacks with their “African” and made up names.  I do believe that MLK would not have approved of the self-segregation that today’s blacks are doing with self-assigned labels.  How many Shaniquas are we going to see as bank managers do ya think?

  • Anonymous

    “I was worried when I heard footsteps behind me, but I relaxed when it was a white person”..or words to that effect. Rev Jessie Jackson

    I’ll bet the good Rev will be the first to install the “Avoid The Ghetto” app. 

  • Anonymous

    Microsoft says the app will use crime statistics to determine what parts of town are to be avoided.

    Places like Detroit, it might be easier to tell you where to go rather than what to avoid.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JBFGOQQ2RC5YQ6YOCSUPJQGN2U AvgDude

    This kind of ghetto-marking is not new.   Everyone knows that if you’re driving in a strange town on MLK Jr. Ave or Blvd, then get the heck out of there fast!

  • Impertinent

    I’d feel 100 x’s safer on Mulberry Street in NYC during a convention of mafia goodfellas than I would in any diverse ghetto.