Section 8 housing and the spread of murder in the U.S.
An excerpt from “American Murder Mystery,” by Hanna Rosin in the Atlantic:
About six months ago, they decided to put a hunch to the test. Janikowski merged his computer map of crime patterns with Betts’s map of Section 8 rentals. Where Janikowski saw a bunny rabbit, Betts saw a sideways horseshoe (“He has a better imagination,” she said). Otherwise, the match was near-perfect. On the merged map, dense violent-crime areas are shaded dark blue, and Section 8 addresses are represented by little red dots. All of the dark-blue areas are covered in little red dots, like bursts of gunfire. The rest of the city has almost no dots.Don’t kid yourself and think that this revelation will deter liberals from supporting the next equivalent of Section 8 housing when it it proposed. Central to the liberal mentality is the conviction that we MUST TRY. If it doesn’t work out, ok. But we MUST TRY. The person who says up front, “This is a bad idea, we shouldn’t do it,” is a conservative and reactionary and not a good person. The liberal and good person is he who TRIES, and then, after it doesn’t work out, hangs his head with sad regret. But at least he TRIED, and thus showed his belief in goodness.
Bruce B. writes:
“but they were amazed—and deflated—to see how perfectly the two data sets fit together.” Gosh, I wonder if they were “shocked?”James W. writes:
A very worthy article. Yet at the end even the people who are on the right side of civilization are “puzzled” about what to do. It is as if the original hole punched in the hull of this ship of culture is ignored amidst the noise of all the water pumps and deisels working around the clock.James M. writes from England:
You’ve beautifully summarized the motives of liberals: to demonstrate what good people the liberals are, not to do good for the liberals’ supposed objects of concern:LA replies:
Thank you. In fact, I got the idea from Mickey Kaus, in a phone conversation in 1989 which I describe in the fourth paragraph of this entry.Rachael S. writes:
In conservative talk radio breaks there are public service announcements partly brought to us by the Ad Council (at least on the California radio station I am listening to). One of the ads is especially icky. A girl says to her mother “Thanks for taking me to work with you today, Mom. There are so many different kinds of people here!” And the mother says “Yes honey, because being different is good. It means different ways of seeing, thinking, etc.” and the girl responds: “So how come where we live, everybody looks like us?”Laura W. writes:
Your point that liberals must try even if they make things worse is well-said. Years ago, when I was a goody-two-shoes liberal, I participated in the well-known Fresh Air summer program sponsored by the New York Times. The program brings urban children, mostly black and Hispanic, to the suburbs for a couple of weeks in pleasant surroundings. The idea of getting poor children out of the city in the dog days of summer is itself a good one, but the child who came to our home was only six years old and he cried inconsolably for his mother. (I had been told in passing by coordinators that the children’s reactions might include asthma attacks and bed-wetting.) As I tried unsuccessfully to comfort him, it occurred to me how phony and self-serving the whole thing was. I would never send my own child to a complete stranger’s house for two weeks and expect him to adjust. The point wasn’t whether the program created a wholesome experience for the beneficiary, but whether it made the benefactor feel as if she were trying.Paul G. writes:
I read the whole article, and it’s thoroughly depressing. Not because of the problem itself (the spikes of violent crime that followed the transfer of the poor and criminal elements from the ghetto to outlying areas), but because of decision-makers’ reaction to it. The head of MHA’s response was particularly infuriating: “You’ve already marginalized people and told them they have to move out … Now you’re saying they moved somewhere else and created all these problems? That’s a really, really unfair assessment. You’re putting a big burden on people who have been too burdened already, and to me that’s, quote-unquote, criminal.” He never disputes the data; he says that the researchers are bad people. Presented with evidence that his most cherished beliefs, and part of his life’s work, may be wrong, his only response is ad hominem. I can sympathize, because I once thought as he did, but it still depresses me.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 23, 2008 10:28 AM | Send