Apparently, the first thing that comes to Gawker’s Sam Biddle’s mind when he reads about “bad neighborhoods” is that only “black” people must reside in them.
Gawker revealed its bigotry in a post where the site ironically accuses two white people of racism for launching an app called SketchFactor that will use data and crowd-sourcing as a way help people of all colors avoid bad or “sketchy” neighborhoods. In the article Gawker references, that reports on the development of the app and how it will work, nothing about race is in any way mentioned:
SketchFactor, the brainchild of co-founders Allison McGuire and Daniel Herrington, is a Manhattan-based navigation app that crowdsources user experiences along with publicly available data to rate the relative “sketchiness” of certain areas in major cities. The app will launch on iTunes on Friday, capping off a big week for the startup, which was named as a finalist in NYC BigApps, a city-sponsored competition that promotes technologies designed to improve quality of life issues in New York City and government transparency.
While lashing out at McGuire and Herrington, Gawker revealed its own bigotry by doing so under the bigoted assumption that scary non-white people are the sole residents and therefore the cause of bad neighborhoods. The headline goes so far as to single out black people:
Smiling Young White People Make App for Avoiding Black Neighborhoods
Is there any way to keep white people from using computers, before this whole planet is ruined? I ask because the two enterprising white entrepreneurs above just made yet another app for avoiding non-white areas of your town–and it’s really taking off!
How this disgusting presumption got past Gawker’s editors is anyone’s guess. Part of the problem, obviously, is education. Gawker is a left-wing site and racism has a long and disturbing history with Democrats; going to back to opposing the abolition of slavery to the creation of the KKK and Jim Crow.
I’m not excusing Gawker, just trying to explain the sociological roots of The Hate.
Regardless, the stereotype Gawker is propagating is not only racist, it’s wrong. As someone who has lived in the real world, let me ease Gawker’s mind with the news that not all black neighborhoods are bad and not all non-black neighborhoods are good.
The stereotype is also dangerous. Gawker would have people believe that every all-white neighborhood is safe. That’s not only untrue, it’s highly irresponsible.
John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC