Have you ever purposefully avoided the bad part of town? Well then you might be a racist. Or something. That’s the sentiment behind critics of a new app called Good Part of Town, which helps people identify safe areas of unfamiliar cities.
Originally titled Ghetto Tracker (they changed the name due to public backlash), the app allows locals to rate the safety of various neighborhoods so that visitors will know which places to avoid. Critics claim that the app is racist and classist for helping the rich avoid the poor.
Oh my gosh, people need to lighten up. Ghetto Tracker was a much catchier name for an app that might be really useful for staying safe. Now, if the app used racial demographics to tell you which areas to avoid, then yes, that would be racist, wrong, unfair, and basically disgusting.
The fact of the matter is that there are ‘bad’ areas in every town, and they are not limited to any one race. It turns out that bad guys come in all skin colors! Who knew? Until we have enough cops to prosecute every criminal, eradicate every gang, confiscate every illegal firearm, etc, then I’m going to avoid the bad parts of town.
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Detractor David Holmes wrote:
It’s pretty detrimental to society when we reinforce the idea that poor or crime-heavy areas are places to be categorically avoided or shamed … As if to assume that every person who lives in an area with comparatively high crime or poverty is a criminal, or that these areas are devoid of culture or positivity.
How exactly is it detrimental to society to avoid crime-heavy areas, or even refer to them as crime-heavy? If it’s an area with a lot of crime, then it’s an area with a lot of crime. That doesn’t mean everyone that lives there is bad, or that it’s devoid of all culture or positivity, it just means more bad things happen there than in other neighborhoods.
Avoiding shady areas doesn’t make you a racist, an elitist, or a bad person -- it makes you smart.
Would you use this app?
Image via Ian Lamont/Flickr