Can we blame poverty and segregation for Chicago's skyhigh murder rate?

Can we blame poverty and segregation for Chicago's skyhigh murder rate?

All of us at The Chicago Reporter are big fans of the Chicago Reader's Steve Bogira, and this week, Bogira's got a great cover story and some shocking data on the relationship between poverty and Chicago's homicide rate.

As we reached 300 homicides this year so far, a milestone we met nearly two months earlier than last year, it's important to note that these murders and the thousands of other shootings and violent crimes that accompany them aren't happening everywhere. Take a look at Bogira's data:

Bogira says we can't forget Chicago's history of intense segregation when we look at these numbers and try to solve our problems with violent crime.

"If the homicide rates in the poor black areas were twice the rates in the better-off white areas, that would be significant. The differences above, averaging about 13 to one, are staggering. This is what apartheid looks like," he writes.

As always, the entire piece is worth a read and some serious thought.

© Community Renewal Society 2012

Photo credit: crime info text graphic/Shutterstock

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