By Greg Thrasher

Movie still featured on racist blog which falsely claimed Detroit has highest murder rate in U.S.

Recently in the media industry various outlets and magazines including CNN and other outlets compiled a list of the most dangerous cities in the world; Detroit was on the list. This is an example of how shallow and worthless journalism, reporting and disinformation have become almost criminal (excuse the pun). Lists like these are often inferences based upon survey data, questionable data collections and subjective media accounts. There is no integrity in impotent lists like these other than tabloid currency.

What is more valuable and practical is crime data and information that is based upon the actual security and risk of harm to individuals and property. Yet this type of crime data has little currency and shock value for the media industry tales of crimes and victims suffering at the end of a gun of a nasty crack head has more bite and as such more ratings and the potential of more eyeballs, blog hits, advertisement fees and data which is based upon sound inferences and accurate crime findings. 

Inflated crime reports help finance more cops, courts and prisons

The reporting of crime is now a commodity that is marketed to make revenue for a number of industries and interests.  Crime is big business for the lawyers, bail bond agencies, city and county court departments, correctional facilities as well as companies which sell crime prevention gadgets and of course insurance companies that make money on fear and the specter of being a victim. Crime is a money maker even for the medical industry. It should be noted as well that entire non-profit organizations are created around the industry of crime in America.

None of the data collected nor the lists directly evaluate the ratio or metric about actual danger to victims. Most victims of crime know their assailants and many of them are family and friends. Crime data and information that provides insights on the pathology of crime is never the news that is reported by the media. Cause and effect reporting regarding crime in the media is very rare and more often the domain of college studies and research conducted by academic interests for publication in academics journals and trade publications. The real hard core data and truths about crime are often never reported in the daily media outlets.

Aiyana Jones, killed by Detroit cop while TV series 48 Hours was filming Photo by Brandy Baker

Factually most people are rarely victims of remote danger or stranger inflicted criminal acts. Most people are safer with strangers than actual people they have a history or relation with. In reality with regard to family crimes and spousal abuse, the victims are at risk often from other family member and not strangers. In the area of  property crimes many of these crimes are also committed by criminals who know the victim.

One of the nasty little secrets about crimes that is known to most police departments is that criminals will flip on each other and most crimes can be solved not by police investigations but by the the offer of rewards and plea deals. In the real world most crimes are caused by a very small percentage of the population; most people never commit a crime and are never a victim of a crime. Yet this truth is rarely reported in the media especially when it comes to cities like Detroit and other urban venues.

Reporting and information of this nature at end of the day does not make anyone safer it only demonizes entire cities with fiction and disinformation. A city like Detroit which is often demonized by the the publication of lists which claim Detroit is the most violent venue in America are always in a defensive and recovery mode as they try to defend the myths and disinformation that these publications  have created about the city and its residents. It often takes decades to recover from the ugly images of the city that are created by articles which inflate the level of crime in the city. Entire neighborhoods  are destroyed and demonized by false accusations of being crime infested venues. New business are handcuffed by the fictional portrayal of crime in areas where business are located. The crime of reporting crime must stop!

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  1. Dave Smith says:

    Mr. Thrasher please accept my apology and forgive me for posting under your name I was so mad to observe others posers make comments on this site about you that were clearly wrong and tricks to slander you I tried to defend you.

    You are correct Mr. Thrasher only you have that right it is a shame but it confirms the great man and activist that you have been for decades in this region. You are truly a wonderful asset and thinker . For years you have written the most articulate commentaries about race and politics anywhere in this area.

    Please forgive me for my mistake but you deserve all the support you have many people follow you and your work Mr. Thrasher

    God bless you my brother .

  2. Gregory Thrasher says:

    Please ignore the recent posts filed under my name I have not authorize nor license others to speak for me in any venue or media outlet.

    My commentaries reflect my personhood and ideas. Don’t accept anything else .



  3. Don Studt says:

    This article is a entirely off base, and lacks any support or citations at it foundation. Furthermore, your excuses for not providing sources are convenient, yet lame and an obvious indication of your lack of any research at all. Please keep commentary and opinion on crime and law enforcement to those who understand the importance of providing citations and not simply shouting “google it.” You may not know this, but the internet is a place where fact and fiction are mixed in equal proportions.

    This is research 101, and clearly you have not taken that class yet.

    • Dave Smith says:

      Please ignore this last post it is the work of a poser. All of my commentaries are based upon factual and empirical data.

      It is sad observing intellectual cowards post comments under my name .

      Greg B Thrasher
      Contributing Editor

    • Greg Thrasher says:

      Nonsense.. I am offering up conventional wisdom and opinions as such I am not obligated to list any sources and references. Please feel free to document your rebuttals with source material and references.

      I doubt if you since you had the opportunity to do it ….


  4. CaraGia says:

    One thing that came to mind for me while reading this article, outside of the simple accuracy of your reporting, is that it costs more to house a prisoner per year than it does to educate a child per year. That in and of itself speaks very highly of the importance of where our elected officials and Dept of Education officials have placed priority in America today. It’s a sad thing that Dept of Corrections officers and those within the legal, prison and law enforcement community make more money than do those influencing our nations future treasures, our children.

    More policies and laws are created against crimes and criminals than are created to help our children succeed. What does that say about our priorities?

    It’s little wonder children dislike or dare I say, HATE, school. It’s little wonder they lose their creativity, imagination and inspiration at such young ages. Schools today want children who follow the line, don’t question, don’t have a single individual thought of their own and only do and say what they are told to do and say by those in authority. I think most would agree that as parents, we find our young children so easily influenced by culture, media and negative forces today because individual identity is stripped from them from almost the day they enter formal education in whatever form.

    It’s a sad testimony and a little know fact of America, that at the time our public education model was formed and implemented, it was based on a then over 100 year old Prussian model that was created solely to turn out soldiers and workers. And guess who was instrumental in helping to create this program to institutionalize our children along with our government? Men like Rockefeller and the other elite, wealthy robber barons of the day. Does anyone ask today what the purpose of that was and why those men were involved in it? I don’t believe it was done against either the black or the white community, but to those who were thought of as lesser than themselves. I think the results speak for themselves, don’t you?

    What does that say about who and what our children have become today that they are so easily led and influenced by forces outside the home, not that the home is the haven it once was, but this could be a direct result of and exactly the intended consequences of the type of system that was put into place to “educate” our future generations in a mass, public setting.

    Statistics show that our schools are consistently failing year after year, even with programs like No Child Left Behind, which in and of itself, forces educators to take precious time to “teach to the test.” NCLB tests cover nothing except language arts and math, so we are creating a culture of adults who are may or may not be able to speak and write well enough and do enough math to make purchases in our materialistic society. Our children have little idea of the real history of their communities, their country, or their world. And the even more sadly, our textbooks are out of date, filled with half-truths, misrepresentations and distortions of critical facts. Science is an area that we, as a nation, are failing in most spectacularly, as compared to other nations. In general, our children don’t even know the most basic household skills for the most part. And let’s not even touch on morals, values and standards, cause that would and could be an entire book.

    I have to wonder how many people have correlated the decline in education, morals, values and standards and the increase in crime and incarceration, of not just blacks, but our entire population with the removal of prayer and Bible Study in schools. How many of our adults even know that that whole “Separation of Church and State” thing is a fallacy created for just such a purpose as it has achieved in America today. Want proof, please visit both these sites:

    There is a reason that the national average of families choosing to now homeschool their children is, I believe, at around 16% per year. That figure may even be growing. I think that many Americans are tired of the influence schools have on our children, the things they actually learn there, as well as the things they aren’t learning there.

    Yes, Greg, it is time for changes, but not only within the black community, although I do not doubt you would know better than I. It is time for changes across America, in every community and it is time for those of us, whose are the greater percentage of Americans, to send a very clear and concise message to those in Washington, including the Federal Reserve (which is by NO MEANS a Federal entity, it IS privately held), our Federal Gov’t (through which more and more policy is being influenced by a variety of “councils” that have NO Federal or elected powers whatsoever to be so doing – Council on Foreign Relations, National Security Council and The Trilateral Commission to name a few examples), our other state and local elected officials that we are done with the lies and greed against the American people. I do not advocate for the OWS movement, but for people to come together as we have throughout the course of our nations history and let politicians know that as American’s, WE ARE DONE with their shenanigans all the way around and begin to hold each and every one accountable!

  5. JRM says:

    You should provide links, to back up your article.

  6. james wilson says:

    So, the point is that since black people are going to kill friends and family anyway, those statistics should be excluded or separated in analyzing crime reports meant for Caucasian understanding. Makes sense to me.

    • Greg Thrasher says:

      That is your twisted inference of course I understand how backward thinkers like you have a problem with common sense…

  7. TGGP says:

    “Most people are safer with strangers than actual people they have a history or relation with”
    That’s like saying since very few people are eaten by lions it is okay to jump in their pen in the zoo, or that since most Americans are killed by other Americans it would be safer to take a tour of duty in Iraq/Afghanistan. Most crimes are committed by people the victim knew because we spend the most time with people we know.

    “What is more valuable and practical is crime data and information that is based upon the actual security and risk of harm to individuals and property”
    Can you provide some data on that? How does Detroit stack up to other places by such metrics?

  8. Mitchell Warger says:

    WoW….. revealing commentary about crime makes me ponder..I have read Mr.Thrasher’s commentaries for years in other papers I don’t agree with him much but he is by far a provocative thinker and best writer than any of the pudits for the local papers…What a steal to have him writing here…

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