`Two Cities’ report authoritative

From The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati.com.

State of Black Cincinnati 2015: Two Cities report cited by author as evidence of the dramatic racial divide that threatens Cincinnati’s well-being a future.

Opinion: Facts, not fear, must guide UC policing

Valerie Hardcastle
2:48 p.m. EDT September 16, 2015

Valerie Gray Hardcastle is professor of philosophy, psychology, psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience, as well as scholar-in-residence in the Weaver Institute for Law and Psychiatry, at the University of Cincinnati.

The tragic killing of Samuel DuBose by a University of Cincinnati police officer ignited many conversations on our campus.
As we sort through our anger, fear, and frustrations, we still need to address a larger issue the shooting illuminated with clear-eyed honesty: Why was UC Police Department patrolling the neighborhoods around UC in the first place?
The too-often-unspoken truth is that UCPD was there because people who do not live here, in the neighborhoods around the Clifton campus, are afraid of those who do. They believe we are surrounded by violence and danger. And UC responded to these fears.
It is time to confront the myths born of prejudice and ignorance directly. The truth is that UC and its surrounding neighborhoods are much safer than rumors suggest, and there is evidence to prove it.
The Cleary Act requires that all universities report their crime statistics to the federal government. According to these reports, for 2013 – the year before UC beefed up its perimeter presence and doubled the number of UC police officers – the total number of assaults, robberies, burglaries and thefts in the UC area were less than half of those at Ohio State, University of Kentucky, University of Pittsburgh, or Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
So, please, let us put this myth of neighborhood violence to bed, for it has done great harm.
At the same time, we are a city divided by race, as was made all too evident in the Greater Cincinnati Urban League’s State of Black Cincinnati 2015 report. I am both saddened and dismayed by how many think that these massive disparities are typical or normal. That too is a myth.
Cincinnati is one of the most segregated cities in America, according to a 2011 study by the University of Michigan’s Social Science Data Analysis Network.
Greater Cincinnati ranks an embarrassing 73rd out of the U.S.’s 77 metropolitan areas in terms of median income differences between African Americans and whites, reported the National Urban League in 2014. The median household income for African Americans in Cincinnati is well under half what it is for its white citizens, and at $15,475 per individual, it is less than what is considered a basic livable wage.
The difference in life expectancy between Avondale (90 percent African American) and Mount Lookout (96 percent white) is almost 20 years. Nationally, the difference in life expectancy between blacks and whites is less than four years.
It is no wonder that the Greater Cincinnati Urban League laments, “It’s as if black citizens live in a separate Cincinnati.” They truly do, and they do in ways that African Americans don’t in other cities.
These truths about Cincinnati are uncomfortable, but we must face them head-on and no longer pander to fear or ignorance.
The Uptown neighborhoods of Clifton are part of my Cincinnati. We of the UC community can and should do better by them.
If any tiny bit of good comes from Samuel DuBose’s death, let it be that it pushes us to work together with our neighbors, in real partnerships, to communicate honestly about who and what we are, and to fix, once and for all, what is broken.


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