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Editors’ Choice: Mapping the Geography of Racism – Why Deep Dives in Data Matter

Drawing from the work of “Mapping Inequality,”ProPublica investigative report published earlier this month uncovered a phenomenon similar to redlining in the car insurance industry today. The report found insurers charged premiums that were up to 30 percent higher in minority neighborhoods than in predominantly white neighborhoods with similar rates of accident risk.  “As rates have been increased in the inner city, they have substantially decreased in essentially white areas,” Millard D. Robbins Jr., the head of the Insurance Brokers Association of Chicago, explained.  “This creates a surtax on blackness and a discount for being Caucasian.” This may not look like a “digital humanities” project but it actually has deep roots in the methodologies, impulses, theories, technologies, data analysis and social justice purposes motivating much digital humanities.

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