I was surprised when I read the last issue of the Threefold Advocate. Right on the very front was an article about the Chicago shooting. I am always saddened to hear about shootings. Shootings are tragic. So I began reading the article. Within the article called “Chicago Shooting Sparks Unrest” I saw an unsettling statistic of social injustice regarding race. As a JBU student, social injustice is an issue very dear to my heart. We are called to oppose social injustice and be the change. So after seeing this startling statistic I delved further.
I began to research felonies in reference to race to see how the statistic stood in perspective. I noticed that the statistic was from 2010-2012. Curious if there were more recent statistics, I turned to Washington Post, which has a running statistic that is updated regularly. As students, our job is to be inquisitive and to ensure that all information is accurate and updated. The statistics for this year shown below.
These are the reported fatal shootings of 2015. So why then, with new information available, use statistics from 2010-2012? Journalism is a sacred and fragile thing. Sometimes statistics can fit viewpoints more conveniently. I was very disappointed to see the discrepancy. While the article was about a very current event, current statistics were not used nor were they cited. This is a call to anyone who writes articles to be very careful. Journalism is a sharp instrument and needs to be used properly in order to serve the public. Racism is a very sensitive topic and should be treated with care. Doing one’s homework is crucial to helping people understand current events.