A few days ago, I posted commentary on the recent NeighborhoodScout.com list of the 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in the United States. I couldn’t resist coming back to it and making one final comment on something I let go the first time:
If the fear-mongering abuse of data isn’t bad enough, NeighborhoodScout.com also writes, “These neighborhoods are the epicenters of violence in America, where social issues are likely to ignite into violence and spread.” What a bizarre statement. Apparently the folks at NeighborhoodScout.com think that violence emerges from “social issues” and, in these neighborhoods, is “likely to spread.” They make domestic violence and targeted gang- and drug-related violent crime sound like a riot or rebellion–you never know when one will ignite and spread, so you’d better stay away. How completely irresponsible of the authors.
What we could use here is a 2nd edition of Steve Macek’s very good book, Urban Nightmares: The Media, the Right, and the Moral Panic over the City. I think we need an update that treats the various ways in which the new media shapes moral panic over the city.
Paging Dr. Macek!