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Chicago and Crime

I wrote this a while back and even made a video on it. I figure enough time has passed to put up the article version.

Because of the constant usage of Chicago and the murder rates reported, I have done some research and wish to bring light to the events in Chicago. Donald Trump tweeted about it, but like a typical toddler, his attention is now focused on something shiny and so it is up to us citizens and immigrants to keep the story going.

Several people requested that I look into the data regarding violence, murder, and chaos in Chicago. According to them and many other sources, 2016 is considered the bloodiest year in Chicago in anyone’s memory, and they were wondering what might have been the cause of this.

Some quick facts before I start to establish context. I will be linking many articles below for you to view at your leisure on the facts, statistics, and data available.

  • Chicago is the third largest city in the United states.
  • From January 1st to June 1st of 2016, there were 316 homicides in Chicago. No other city in the US broke the 300 mark.
  • New York, which is the largest city in the United States, with a population three times as big as Chicago, only had 161 homicides during the same time period.
  • Looking at the raw data, the numbers look horrifying, especially since by the end of 2016 Chicago had recorded over 762 homicides, with the Chicago Tribune marking the number at 784, which was up 57% from the previous year. Add that to the recorded incidence involving shootings and deaths, which tallied around 3,550, it could look like Chicago is an all out warzone.
  • The bulk of the incidents occurred in only five of the cities 22 police districts, specifically on the south and west sides. Those areas are predominantly black areas, all listed as “poor”, and are known to be areas where gangs are most active. If we look at just the sheer number of victims, no other city even comes close. Pretty much everyone who was killed in Chicago in 2016, approximately 93%, was shot to death.
  • On a per capita basis though, which is generally x per 100,000 people, the shooting epidemic in Chicago is not quite as severe as the violence in many of the other large cities in the United States.

Quoting from The Trace, “The absolute numbers are helpful putting it in a context that people understand, but with the rates, you get the true scope of the problem in the way it impacts people’s lives,” John Pfaff, a professor of law at Fordham Law School, told The Trace. “People don’t care about the absolute numbers, they care about their risk, and the rates tell that risk.”

Chicago’s homicide rate over the last five years was 16.4 per 100,000 residents. In St. Louis and New Orleans, the homicide rate from 2010 to 2015 was three times as high, on average.

I will link the rest of the article from the Trace at the end of the post.

But these numbers do not answer the question of why Chicago is seeing the surge in violence, nor does it answer why people are viewing 2016 as the bloodiest year in memory. Facts and figures are great for a starting point, but now we must delve into the the why of it all.

I have spent several hours going through newspapers ranging from far left leaning to far right leaning, as well as the FBI crime databases and the public database provided by the Chicago police to try to figure out what could be causing this spike.

So what were my conclusions after all of our research? While gang violence does appear to be a major contributor, as does poverty and racial segregation…there is something more going on here. It’s almost like Chicago has become a perfect example of what happens when many different reasons converge into one large area. Almost like how rape culture doesn’t exist all at once in the real world, but we see pieces of it that all add up to what is rape culture…here we see all of the pieces that add up to our culture of violence sitting neatly in one city.

I found a well produced piece by NPR’s “All Things Considered” that offers a lot of insight and thought as to the why behind the crime spike, and we recommend that you either read the transcript, or listen to the audio file. They are provided below in the description. The guests offer opinions of segregation, children with nothing to do, fetal alcohol exposure, lack of faith based communities, poverty, the drug trade, and many other reasons.

Reverend Jesse Jackson was the main speaker on the piece and he stated that the problem is both social and political. In his own words, “It encumbers on racial disparities which should be abhorrent and is, in fact, illegal. You look at the impact of poverty. People who often have fewer aspirations, they think they can’t make it, their spirits are broken, they are perplexed.”

Another issue is that people, especially in the government are treating Chicago as if it is its own entity and not part of a larger state or country. Budget cuts mean less money for those in need or for services, which can lead to fewer people being able to find or get to work, leading to those people becoming unemployed and having to find some way to make money…even if it means using violence. The Reverend Jesse Jackson refers to the impact of poverty as a weapon of mass destruction, and brings up racial and gender disparities as adding to the larger issue of crime and violence.

He states that people are crying out for help, but are not being heard. This is concerning, because as one can see throughout history, when those on the bottom cry out for help but are ignored, it is only a matter of time before things can turn violent. They try to get attention through peace, but when that doesn’t’ work, they turn to what does bring attention…violence. It’s problematic though, because it doesn’t bring the right type of attention needed to fix the problem, and often just makes the problem worse.

As I stated earlier, most of the violence is happening in the south and west areas of the city, and those tend to be the most impoverished and gang ridden areas of the city. According to the Chicago Tribune, “Two of the city’s historically most violent police districts — Harrison and Englewood — account for fully one-fourth of the homicides and shooting incidents.”

There is no one answer to what is driving the violence. From all of the sources I have read, however, some main causes keep popping up.

Gang conflicts
Drug conflicts
Poverty
and Race issues

Another issue that for a while added to the problem was an agreement that the police in Chicago had made with the ACLU. The agreement was that the police would record contact cards for all street stops, since the ACLU had claimed the police had been disproportionately targeting minorities for their questioning and searches.

Apparently the police didn’t like the new forms and complained that they were too time consuming to fill out. After new forms were made that were a simplified version of the original form, police began to notice that there was some progress in slowing the pace of the rising violence. The rise was still there, but it was down to 29% in March as opposed to 75% in January and 126% in February.

The police play into another issue regarding crime rates in Chicago, and that has to do with the lack of trust communities have towards those who are supposed to uphold the law. Distrust in authority can lead to people attempting to take matters of justice into their own hands, especially if the authorities have been shown to be racially biased or even violent towards minorities.

While I wish I could have found the silver bullet for the reason behind the rise in violence in Chicago, I do feel confident that my results at least can help shed light on a very real and frightening problem here in the United States. Guns do play a major role in the violence being carried out, and while sensible gun laws would help in many ways, I have seen the pushback that occurs when people think that someone might be stepping on their second amendment rights.

Guns play a major role, as do gang violence, poverty, and racial tension. The lack of trust in the police and the general anger towards how the police are essentially protecting the corrupt members of the force over the people the corrupt cops are victimizing adds to the tension.

To me, it’s horrifying and absolutely insane how common gun violence is here, and I’m speaking as someone who learned how to use a gun before I was eight. While researching this topic, I was thrown face first into just how bad it can be here in the United States when it comes to gun violence. I am not sure exactly what can be done to fix the problems in Chicago, but I do agree with The Reverend Jesse Jackson that we need to bring national attention to the problem. We do so when it comes to mass shootings, or violent murders elsewhere in the country, but when it comes to Chicago…oh well, just another day am I right?

The problem is only going to get worse if things aren’t fixed, and because of how many causes there are for this problem, it will take much more than a band aid to fix the issue. I suggest that those of you with followers on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and elsewhere work to raise awareness of this issue. Bring it into the light, make it visible. Put aside your differences with people and even if it’s just for a short time, work towards raising awareness of this problem before it gets worse. Together we can work to fix a problem that alone we could not.

Articles cited:
“Chicago Isn’t Even Close to Being the Gun Violence Capital of the United States”
https://www.thetrace.org/2016/10/chicago-gun-violence-per-capita-rate/

“NPR: Examining The Reasons For Chicago’s Violence”
http://www.npr.org/2016/09/03/492549546/examining-the-reasons-for-chicagos-violence

Articles and data used in my research:

“Chicago’s murder rate soars 72% in 2016; shootings up more than 88%”
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/04/01/murders-shootings-soar-chicago-through-first-three-months-2016/82507210/

“How Violence in Chicago Compares to Other Cities”
http://abcnews.go.com/US/violence-chicago-compares-cities/story?id=41722813

“Chicago records 762 homicides in 2016, up 57 percent from previous year”
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/01/01/1-chicagos-bloodiest-years-ends-with-762-homicides.html

“Chicago saw more 2016 murders than NYC, LA combined”
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/chicago-murders-shootings-2016-more-than-new-york-city-los-angeles-combined/

“Chicago homicides”
http://crime.chicagotribune.com/chicago/homicides

Chicago Police Department ClearMap Crime Summary
http://gis.chicagopolice.org/clearmap_crime_sums/startpage.htm

“10 shootings a day: Complex causes of Chicago’s spiking violence”
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-chicago-shootings-violence-2016-met-20160630-story.html

“Editorial: What’s behind Chicago’s surge in violence?”
http://www.chicagotribune.com/g00/news/opinion/editorials/ct-chicago-crime-increase-causes-edit-0118-md-20170117-story.html

“Why Crime Is So High in Certain Chicago Neighborhoods”
http://www.chicagomag.com/city-life/August-2014/What-Correlates-With-Crime-in-Chicago-Pt-2/

“Chicago’s Murder Problem”
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/18/us/chicago-murder-problem.html?ref=oembed

“Why 2016 Has Been Chicago’s Bloodiest Year in Almost Two Decades”
http://www.newsweek.com/2016/12/23/chicago-gangs-violence-murder-rate-532034.html

Breaking Down Point 7 of “Gender Ideology Harms Children”

For those just joining us, please read the following links to catch yourself up:

Introduction

Point 1

Point 2

Point 3

Point 4

Point 5

Point 6

Rates of suicide are twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBQT – affirming countries.

Now, this on it’s own sounds pretty damning, doesn’t it?  They even cite a study that has been used over and over again to justify things such as the following:

  1. The study shows that “trans medical care = suicide” so therefore it’s bad! (We will come back to this in a bit)
  2. After transition, “Male to Female” transsexuals retain male-pattern criminality, including crimes against women. (Yep, they’re trying to claim that transwomen are criminals and rapists)

So, how do we go about this?  Well first off, let’s take a look at where the ACP is getting their little sound byte point?

A 2011 study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden produced the most illuminating results yet regarding the transgendered [sic], evidence that should give advocates pause. The long-term study—up to 30 years—followed 324 people who had sex-reassignment surgery. The study revealed that beginning about 10 years after having the surgery, the transgendered [sic] began to experience increasing mental difficulties. Most shockingly, their suicide mortality rose almost 20-fold above the comparable nontransgender population. This disturbing result has as yet no explanation but probably reflects the growing sense of isolation reported by the aging transgendered [sic] after surgery. The high suicide rate certainly challenges the surgery prescription.  –Dr. Paul McHugh

While I am loathe to cite something from Gender Identity Watch (a known TERF hate/doxing group run by lawyer Cathy Brennan), it is the only place where I can find the entire article.  The clip that I have posted above has been provided by the Transadvocate, who I will be citing during this article.  The Transadvocate has actually reached out to the head person in the study cited by Dr. McHugh, and a lot of clarification apparently has been needed.  For starters, the myth that Dr. McHugh has been spreading is just that, a myth. It was debunked by Dr. Dan Karasic and his entire response has been graciously reposted here.

One thing I would like to point out before we continue is that Dr. Paul McHugh has been one of the leading anti-LGBT activists in the public eye for quite some time now.  He’s the former chief psychologist for Johns Hopkins hospital and is often used as an authority figure when it comes to LGBT activities. However, there’s a bit of an issue.

In fact, it’s a rather large issue.  One that could possibly be pointed to as a major setback in our understanding of gender.

Back in the 1970s, after ONE study, Dr. McHugh shut down the Gender Identity Clinic at Johns Hopkins.  The study suggested that some trans people continued to suffer from adjustment challenges after surgery, something that has since been proven to be inaccurate.  As science has progressed we have seen that many of the old studies that people used to use to justify things such as racial segregation, homophobia, and sexual discrimination being debunked and put away only to be used for historical purposes.  We are now seeing the same with many of the studies that had been done regarding those who are transgender. To continue to base your bias and beliefs on a subject that has been debunked and proven incorrect is simply ignorant and shows a lack of integrity.

What compassionate and reasonable person would condemn young children to this fate knowing that after puberty as many as 88% of girls and 98% of boys will eventually accept reality and achieve a state of mental and physical health?

Ugh….we covered this already.  Deceptive statistics and percentages do not a good argument make.  See point 5 if you wish to read up again on this.

For further reading on the problems with the Swedish study, I would suggest checking out the links below, including the study itself.  Like many of the other studies the ACP uses, it doesn’t say what they claim it says….

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0016885

Thinking about the Swedish Study

-Continue on to point 8-

Breaking Down Point 5 of “Gender Ideology Harms Children”

For those just joining us, please read the following links to catch yourself up:

Introduction

Point 1

Point 2

Point 3

Point 4

Gender Dysphoria is shortened to GD for convenience.

According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.

First of all, the children are not “gender confused”.  That term is used when people want to play down the effects and symptoms of GD.  Same goes for “eventually accept”. Trans people have accepted their biological sex, there’s no discussion that one.  Trans people know they will never be able to change their biological sex (chromosomes), and we’ve been over this multiple times.  It’s insane that it’s still part of the discussion. And as for the statement that these children accept it after passing “naturally” through puberty is incorrect, but more on that later.  For now, let’s look at those numbers shall we? Forgive me for being blunt, but those numbers look rather…fishy to me. Thankfully the ACP has provided their explanation on how they got to their numbers!  Ready to see some really devious and rather disingenuous math?

Regarding Point 5:  “Where does the DSM-V list rates of resolution for Gender Dysphoria?”

On page 455 of the DSM-V under “Gender Dysphoria without a disorder of sex development” it states: Rates of persistence of gender dysphoria from childhood into adolescence or adulthood vary. In natal males, persistence has ranged from 2.2% to 30%. In natal females, persistence has ranged from 12% to 50%.”  Simple math allows one to calculate that for natal boys: resolution occurs in as many as 100% – 2.2% = 97.8% (approx. 98% of gender-confused boys)  Similarly, for natal girls: resolution occurs in as many as 100% – 12% = 88% gender-confused girls.

Now, I’m not going to make you go out and purchase the DSM V because that thing is expensive.  I know, I bought it. So let’s fact check some of this stuff, shall we? And while we’re at it, let’s see what the guidelines and suggestions are for children with GD.

111

As you can see by the screen shot of the DSM V, there are some pretty specific requirements for the child to meet before he or she can even be considered to have GD.  The child has to show signs for at least six months, or have the condition to the point that there is significant distress or impairment in almost all important areas of functioning.  A boy who likes to play with Barbie dolls is not going to get diagnosed with GD unless the doctor is a doctor with extremely low ethical standards. This is why we don’t see all children being diagnosed as having GD, just a small percentage of them.  On top of all of this, these conditions do not include adolescents or people who have hit puberty yet. There is an entirely different set of criteria that need to be met for adolescents and for adults.

So, on to the next point.

Do some children grow out of or adapt to the point that they no longer qualify as having GD?

While some children will grow out of their GD, there are specific reasons behind the numbers of kids who don’t continue to have GD once they reach adolescent.  Key point here, these are children who don’t continue once they reach the stage of adolescent, not “naturally passing through puberty”. Remember when I said the ACP is really good about using words to twist the truth to fit their message?  

Because expression of gender dysphoria varies with age, there are separate criteria sets for children versus adolescents and adults. Criteria for children are defined in a more con- crete, behavioral manner than those for adolescents and adults. Many of the core criteria draw on well-documented behavioral gender differences between typically developing boys and girls. Young children are less likely than older children, adolescents, and adults to express extreme and persistent anatomic dysphoria.

…..

A very young child may show signs of distress (e.g., intense crying) only when parents tell the child that he or she is “really” not a member of the other gender but only “desires” to be. Distress may not be manifest in social environments supportive of the child’s desire to live in the role of the other gender and may emerge only if the desire is interfered with.

So as we can see, the criteria for children is different than those for adults or adolescents.  In most cases, the criteria for GD in children focuses more on the behavior over instead of physical forms of GD.  So keeping that in mind, let’s look at those numbers that the ACP are using to show that only a teeny tiny percentage of children with GD continue having GD on through adulthood.  The DSM V specifies that the percentages that are listed are specifically listed under, Gender dysphoria without a disorder of sex development.

So first, let’s look at the numbers for natal males (Xy chromosome)

In natal males, persistence has ranged from 2.2% to 30%

The ACP took the smallest number, 2.2% and subtracted it from 100% to get their number of children “growing out” of their GD.  Instead of being honest and saying that the range of “growing out” of GD ranges from 70% to 97.8%, they instead said:

…as many as 98% of gender confused boys…

Are we noticing that by playing the statistics game the ACP is able to make it look like almost 100% of natal boys “grow out” of their GD?  By wording it with posting on the topmost percentage and essentially hoping that people wouldn’t fact check them, they can make it look like it’s the parents that are trying to claim that the child has GD and not the child actually having GD.

Reading further on, we see the following about the children who “grew out” of their GD:

For natal male children whose gender dysphoria does not persist, the majority are androphilic (sexually attracted to males) and often self-identify as gay or homosexual (ranging from 63% to 100%).

Hold on a second, didn’t the ACP say something about homosexuality? (Here, here, here)  So they’re OK with the kids being gay, so long as they aren’t trans?  This is all quite confusing.

Now let’s look at the natal females. (XX chromosome)

In natal females, persistence has ranged from 12% to 50%.

So up to 50% of natal females who as children have GD will continue on to have GD up through adolescence to adulthood.  Doesn’t saying “up to 50%” sound much more positive than as many as 88% of natal females were merely gender confused and grew out of their GD.

Shall we take a look at the sexuality for these natal females that “grew out” of their GD?  Just to have a bit of fun?

In natal female children whose gender dysphoria does not persist, the percentage who are gynephilic (sexually attracted to females) and self-identify as lesbian is lower (ranging from 32% to 50%).

So…from 32% to 50% of natal females identify as lesbian?

So let’s look at the final point I would like to make about this whole debacle of bad math, muddying the waters with using specific words and phrases to twist the truth, and what happens to the children who “grow out” of having GD?

The ACP seems to rather have these children grow up to be gay or lesbian than to have the child have GD.

If you would like to read through the DSM V for yourself and come to your own conclusions, you can download it or view it from this website.  The section regarding GD begins on page 452 and covers child, adolescent, and adult GD.

-Continue on to point 6-

Breaking down the misinformation of the article “Gender Ideology Harms Children”

For those who are not aware of the American College of Pediatricians, I would suggest taking a quick stroll to here, here, here, and here for a quick little introduction.

The group was formed in 2002 as a protest against of all things (GASP!) the American Academy of Pediatrics support for adoption by gay couples. These people are a lot like a medical version of Focus on the Family and other well known religious hate groups that are attempting to push things such as abstinence only education(which has been proven not to work), attacking homosexuality and people of the LGBT community,  continuing to talk about a completely debunked claim about abortion and breast cancer, and being used by complete nutcases like Michelle Bachman and John Boehner when they are trying to find “medical proof” to back up their discriminatory platforms.

Remember folks, if less than 100% of people disagree with you,that means that somewhere you’ll find someone who will agree with you!

As a pro-choice and pro-LGBT advocate, I have had several run ins with this group and people using their God awful “facts”. Nothing screams appeal to authority like finding the ONE group on the internet that agrees with you while the rest of the world is looking at you like you’re a moron. Also, if you haven’t watched the “If Google Was a Guy” series, put that on your to do list.

The ACP’s article on gender and children came onto my radar recently and I decided that I would do a nice little point by point breakdown of their article. Since it’s going to be a long breakdown, I’m going to divide it up to one point per post.

So strap in, grab your psych meds, and join me as we travel down the rabbit hole of ultra conservative selective science hatred that is the ACP.

-Continue on to point 1-

 

Hey Michea, why aren’t you nicer to pro-life people?

Hey Michea, why aren’t you nicer to pro-life people?

Transcribed from a January 28, 2017 Twitter Thread. You want to learn about why abortion is not murder? You want to learn about why abortion is a human right and why the person who is pregnant matters more than a fetus? You want to learn why I’m no longer playing nice with people? Google is your friend, you can also scroll to the bottom of this article and check out my playlist on these topics.…

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