Friday, December 20, 2013

Phil Robertson Thinks Salt Lake City Is Safer Than Chicago—WRONG

It's kind of depressing that the absolutely ridiculous comments of Duck Dynasty actor, Phil Robertson, are given such weight in the US national political discussion, that GOP politicians are now lining up to defend Robertson's idiocy as a free speech issue, even though what is at stake is a cable network's (A&E's) right to hire and fire anybody they want, for any reason they want. That's called capitalism, which Republicans usually claim they like.
Among the political opinions Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson offered to GQ in his now infamous interview, was the following explanation for why Robertson voted for Republican Mitt Romney:

“If I'm lost at three o'clock in a major metropolitan area...I ask myself: Where would I rather be trying to walk with my wife and children? One of the guys who's running for president is out of Chicago, Illinois, and the other one is from Salt Lake City, Utah. [Editor's note: Romney is from Boston, not Salt Lake City.] Where would I rather be turned around at three o'clock in the morning? I opted for Salt Lake City. I think it would be safer.”

So, Robertson figured that Chicago, infamous mobtown, MUST be more crime-ridden than the capital of Mormonism.

That must be true, right?

At neighborhoodscout.com, which claims to provide “enterprise-grade data for every neighborhood and city in the US”, I looked at the the crime rate comparison for Salt Lake City, Utah, and Chicago, Illinois.

Surprisingly—well, you might be surprised if you thought Mormons were all peaceful and law-abiding—Salt Lake City has one of the worst crime rates in the United States. Now, yes, it is true that Chicago has a lot more violent crime than Salt Lake City, but Chicago is a much bigger city too.

If you look at the rate of crime per 1000 residents, Salt Lake City has a lot more crime than Chicago.

So, by Phil Robertson’s measure of worthiness in presidential candidates, Barack Obama would have been the better choice than Mitt Romney. Of course, as GQ points out, Robertson mistakenly believed that Mitt Romney was from Salt Lake City. Actually, Mitt spent most of his adult life and career in Boston, Massachusetts.

The latter is safer than Chicago and Salt Lake City, but exactly what Mitt Romney has to do with that is hard to say, given that Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, not mayor of Boston.

In the same way, Barack Obama was a United States senator from Illinois, not the mayor of Chicago.

And Phil Robertson is just some well-paid doofus on a reality television show. He isn’t, obviously, an expert on politics, or religion, or civil rights, or seemingly many (any?) of the things about which he confidently opines.

A&E can do what it wants of course—and that is mainly about making money—but America needs to do a lot better than this. It is embarrassingly stupid for the USA to care what Phil Robertson says about much of anything.

No comments:

Post a Comment