Paul Kersey, VDARE, April 17, 2013
“Philadelphia Freedom“? Philadelphia will hold an urgent public meeting to discuss the most important issue in the city today (April 18). It’s not crime, education, or urban blight–it’s the publication of Being White in Philly, [By Robert Huber, Philadelphia Magazine, March 2013] a magazine article that Mayor Michael Nutter doesn’t like.
For the past seven weeks, this almost comically cautious article touching on the liberal white experience in a crime-ridden black city has dominated the news in the City of Brotherly Love. Despite its milquetoast language, it has inadvertently shown just who wants to keep America a “nation of cowards” when it comes to discussing race.
Huber’s piece offered virtually no statistics about the almost-entirely black face of crime in Philadelphia. It relied on interviews with anonymous white Philadelphians too afraid to use their real names because of the totalitarian nature of the climate for racial discourse in America. But it still manages to convey the confused alienation of whites forced to watch the continuing collapse of the society they built.
Mayor Nutter, once a hero to Conservatism Inc. for calling out black flash mobs terrorizing Philadelphia’s streets, [Philadelphia mayor talks tough to black teenagers after ‘flash mobs’, By Dave Boyer, Washington Times, August 8, 2011] has now called on the Orwellian-sounding “Human Rights Commission” to investigate the magazine for possible “incitement.”
In a letter to Rue Landau, [Email her] the executive director of the so-called Philadelphia Human Rights Commission, Mayor Nutter compared pointing out black failure to yelling “fire” in a crowded theater:
While I fully recognize that constitutional protections afforded the press are intended to protect the media from censorship by the government, the First Amendment, like other constitutional rights, is not an unfettered right, and notwithstanding the First Amendment, a publisher has a duty to the public to exercise its role in a responsible way. I ask the Commission to evaluate whether the “speech” employed in this essay is not the reckless equivalent of “shouting ‘fire!’ in a crowded theater,” its prejudiced, fact-challenged generalizations an incitement to extreme reaction. [PDF]
Philadelphia was the first city in the U.S. to establish a Human Rights Commission and it has become a model for the rest of the country. (They’re epidemic in Canada). They have now evolved into a kind of emotional Affirmative Action for non-whites in cities around the country. For example, Commission’s take on the tiresome outbreaks of violence in Philadelphia’s public school: there has not been enough multicultural education!
Similarly, the Commission sees the publication of Being White in Philly as the problem — not the fear of crime and conflict that it describes.
With a veiled threat, the Commission intoned:
“They spoke for you. We want to hear from you. Philadelphia painted one picture of intergroup relations in your community. We want to hear directly from you about intergroup relations in your diverse and changing community.” [PDF of meeting announcement]
One would think that the article actually contained a forthright defense of white people’s right to exist and defend the communities they built. Of course, Huber’s piece at Philadelphia magazine did nothing of the kind.
But Nutter’s extreme reaction over the muttering of the white kulaks conceals the darker reality of what is actually happening.
This is not the first time Philadelphia has chosen repression over truth when it comes to issues of race and crime. In 2002, VDARE.com’s James Fulford reported that the Philadelphia Daily News had published an article about murder suspects the police thought were hiding in the city.
Let’s call this one Being White in Philly 1.0. On its cover were mug shots of murderers; on the inside, were profiles of 27 suspects, with their photographs and descriptions of their crimes. Not one of the fugitives was a white male. (Wanted Pictures 1, 2) Most were black, and a few were Hispanic or Asian.
Two of these suspects were quickly turned in. But the arrest of dangerous criminals was quickly overwhelmed by something far more important — the specter of “racism” and “insensitivity.” The airing of “hate facts” could not be tolerated. As the News sheepishly reported on itself:
Yesterday’s front-page story in the Daily News on Philadelphia fugitives wanted for murder elicited strong reaction from readers via phone, e-mail, fax and airwaves.
Among many others, Mary Mason, a well-known radio personality, was vocal with her critique.
“I’m not quarreling with the truthfulness of your story, but with the fact that it singles out, on a full page, a black man who allegedly killed Mr. Ludwig,” said Mason, of WHAT-AM.
Mason contended that police were looking more intensely for Lambert because he had killed a white man.
“The police don’t care about those other men, because most of them killed other black men,” Mason contended.
The race of all the victims of the 27 fugitives profiled in yesterday’s Daily News could not be determined.
Attorney Sharif Street, the mayor’s eldest son, said yesterday’s front page would make life tougher for every young, African-American male in Philadelphia.
“I’m not so much focused on the text of the story but more on the imagery of the front cover,” said Street, 28. “It damages the quality of life for the average male my age because it portrays us as the enemy of society.”
[Strong Reaction to People Paper Fugitive Cover, by Mark Angeles, Philadelphia Daily News, Aug. 23, 2002, p. 4]
And this portrayal was wrong? We only have to look at the ruin of cities like Camden, Newark, Detroit, Baltimore etc., to know the answer. But the facts don’t matter — within a week, Ellen Foley, the Managing Editor of the News, issued an apology to the black community.
LAST WEEK’S controversial set of stories about suspected killers on the loose in Philadelphia yielded the arrest of two suspects this week – and much soul-searching in the Daily News newsroom.
We published those stories to help police and citizens rid city streets of murder suspects. And we are proud of the result.
We are just as proud of our journalists’ ability in the past few days to critique our efforts. We can always get better at what we do.
One unintended outcome of our coverage was a week’s worth of staff conversations, media interviews, phone calls and criticism. Through it all, Daily News staff members thoughtfully absorbed complaints from some African-Americans in Philadelphia who believe that our journalism was motivated by racial prejudice.
Every day, the Daily News publishes the equivalent of a short novel. And while we try our best to get it all perfect, we sometimes fail.
The cover of our paper last Thursday carried mugshots of 15 of 41 suspects. They were African-American, Hispanic or Asian. These 41 were identified by the Police Department’s Homicide Unit as suspects for whom murder warrants have been issued. There were no white people who were being sought for murder.
Would we do a story again about 41 fugitives wanted for murder by the Philadelphia Police Department?
Would we do it differently?
The front page photos from last Thursday sent the message to some readers that only black men commit murder. That was a mistake.
In addition, the stories didn’t address a key question: Why are there no white suspects on the loose? That also was a mistake.
Our first story should have looked harder at this question. The Daily News apologizes for the error. [p. 6]
So it was not black crime that outraged the black community. It was whites reporting on black crime.
Why are there no white suspects on the loose? Because one of the only crimes that white people commit in Philadelphia is daring to start a conversation on race.
Eric Holder, Obama’s Attorney General, famously said we are a “nation of cowards” when it comes to talking about race. Of course, this is the same Eric “My People” Holder who blasts the judicial system for not finding enough white criminals to prosecute. [Attorney General Eric Holder: Jail time for blacks is too long, By Cheryl K. Chumley, Washington Times, April 5, 2013]
But the real cowards in Philadelphia are obvious. The black leadership of the city would rather avoid the truth of black criminality and pin the blame on whites for noticing.
The reaction to the articles in 2002 and 2013 are just two incidents in a very long story. As urban centers collapse, anarcho-tyranny is implemented. Governments would rather crack down on serious discussion of political issues than fulfill their basic responsibilities.
Diversity isn’t strength. It is weakness and repression.
So, Mayor Nutter and Attorney General Holder — who are the real cowards?