Monday, November 19, 2007

Note To Self: Cancel That Detroit Vacation

As if the Motor City didn't have enough to worry about between their corrupt mayor, J-Dilla's death, and the god-awful Detroit Lions, here's some more baaad news.

In another blow to the Motor City's tarnished image, Detroit pushed past St. Louis to become the nation's most dangerous city, according to a private research group's controversial analysis, released Sunday, of annual FBI crime statistics.

The report looked at 378 cities with at least 75,000 people based on per-capita rates for homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and auto theft. Each crime category was considered separately and weighted based on its seriousness, CQ Press said.

Last year's crime leader, St. Louis, fell to No. 2. Another Michigan city, Flint, ranked third, followed by Oakland Calif.; Camden, N.J.; Birmingham, Ala.; North Charleston, S.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; Richmond, Calif.; and Cleveland.

The study ranked Mission Viejo, Calif., as the safest U.S. city, followed by Clarkstown, N.Y.; Brick Township, N.J.; Amherst, N.Y.; and Sugar Land, Texas.
As I've stated before, Detroit is one of the few US cities I have yet to visit on my Day Job travels, but since I've got in laws out there, I know enough about it to know I'm not exactly missing anything.

I wonder how much black people's warped "pride" in how "hard" our cities are simply perpetuates such nonsense. I'm grew up in a tiny 4 stoplight southern town, and honestly, except for Summer visits with my aunt in the Bronx (White Plains Road, stand up!), the whole concept of inner cities was foreign to me till I got to college. At my HBCU, I ran into folks from all over the country, and one puzzling thing was how "proud" people were of the hoods they came from.

"Compton ni**a, what?!?"

"South Philly ni**a, what?!?"

"Flint, Michigan ni**a, what?!?"

I'm not saying people shouldn't be proud of where they come from, but damn, at what point does this sort of stuff become shameful to the point that people want to do something about it?

Not surprisingly, the "safest" cities (a few of which I've also been to) are all predominately white suburbs.

A few years ago, pre-AverageBaby, my wife and I were considering buying a home in DC. We would be part of the renaissance of middle class blacks who'd "made it out", and weren't "turning our backs" on our people. We would participate in the schools, making them better. We'd be active in our communities, making them safer. We'd stave off the gentrifiers (never mind the fact that we'd technically be gentifiers ourselves), keeping Chocolate City from becoming Vanilla City.

Of course, this plan never materialized because property values are too high for what you're getting in return (thanks alot gentrifiers), and while my wife grew up in the city, reality is, the burbs ain't all the bad when you think about it. Driving from grocery store to grocery store (all 3 of them) in search of organic baby food (which apparently hasn't made it to the hood' yet) after church yesterday made me realize I'm not cut out for city life. I would either catch a case, or one would catch me. Either way, it wouldn't be pretty.

Is there any hope for these cities? Do you live any any of these cities and have some unique insight? Is this just AverageBro being his usual elitist self? Holla back in the comments.

Motor City named nation's most dangerous [AP]

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