Philly Mag’s “Being White in Philly” Doesn’t Make Sense as Journalism

How do you launch a frank discussion about race under a cloak of anonymity?

The March issue of Philadelphia magazine is unfortunate. I saw the issue late last week. I still have sort of a hard time believing it’s real.

Others have already made powerful arguments about what the cover story gets wrong about race. I just wanted to make a few points about why I think the story—“Being White in Philly”—doesn’t make sense as journalism. That’s my lens, and that’s how I’ve been thinking about it.

The writer, Bob Huber, is a friend of mine. He’s hugely talented and has done an impressive amount of great work, but I think he’s misguided here, and I’ve already emailed him to tell him why. The way I see it, the story is doomed before Bob has a chance to write a single sentence. The framing is that this is a story about “being white.” It’s going to explore race from a single point of view. No black people will be quoted, no Hispanic people, no Asian people. (And they’re not.) This seems fatal to me. All Bob can accomplish within the frame of “being white” is exactly what he does accomplish, which is to chronicle the racial fears of one particular group of people, moving among his sources as a kind of confessor.

I say confessor because the quotes he gathers aren’t on the record. Sources are anonymous, names are changed. I don’t like this. I don’t see how you’re going launch a frank discussion of race—the stated goal of the piece, and a worthy one—under a cloak of anonymity.

Another thing I don’t like: The thrust of the piece seems to be that white people are afraid to talk about race because black people have made them feel uncomfortable talking about race. Therefore we can’t solve problems in the city, because a conversation is impossible. The implication is that this is black people’s fault. Beyond the way this argument turns the reality of racism and segregation on its head, it just baffles me on a practical level: I don’t get why you’d devote 6,000 words or whatever (the story is really long) to explaining why it’s difficult to have a conversation when you could just go and have the conversation.

The story is well-intentioned. It’s an earnest and heartfelt attempt to do a good thing—to get people to talk about something that matters. I know Bob well enough to say that. I also have tremendous respect for Philly Mag editor Tom McGrath, who, to his credit, has given staffers this forum to speak out publicly, which I think says a lot. Part of the reason I’m upset about “Being White in Philly” is that I care about the magazine and how we’re perceived. I’ve written for Philly Mag for a decade now, and I think we’re a lot better and smarter than the caricature of us I often encounter: that we only care about white Main Liners, that we cater to the rich and powerful, and on and on. When I hear this, I always think: Bullshit. You’re not actually reading us. I’m proud of our investigative reporting and narrative writing on gun violence, the police, sex offenders, the Mafia, real estate developers, the pensions crisis, politicians, corrupt neighborhood leaders, union intimidation, and dozens of other important topics. We do good work here. That’s why I dread the moment when the full story goes online. I fear our good work is going to get lost in the criticism. And we’re going to deserve it.

READ MORE: Steve Volk’s “Why I Hope You Won’t Read ‘Being White in Philly’: This Story Is Racist.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/sosadserenanomo Serena Kirby

    I think the fact that all of the people quoted wanted to be anonymous is a clear indication of what the article is trying to say. People ARE afraid to say anything. It is with some trepidation that I even post this comment.

    • m g

      Is it so bad that white people are afraid to say racist things? While I think it would be much better if white people didn’t think or believe racist things, I’ll settle for keeping mum (less likely to pass racism down the generations that way).

      • EastAsianNationalist

        The point was they’re not actually racist things, just observations. Racism is being used for censorship.

      • Barrack Osama

        God damn you are a dense anti-white.

      • 1stworlder

        Crime stats and test scores are not racist

        • c684570

          Having eyes is “racist” apparently.

        • c684570

          Having a brain is “racist” apparently.

          • nBmnp

            You are of course completely wrong. Having a brain is not racist, only *using* your brain is.

          • c684570

            LOL, so true. In today’s pathetic politically correct climate, that is perfectly true.

      • c684570

        There is nothing racist about being afraid of Black crime. Predominantly Black crime has made Philly increasingly unsafe. I fear Philly for these reasons.

  • hape2b

    Why don’t people want their name listed? I can give you an idea of why that might be. We all know what happens when a white person says they don’t like Obama. They are AUTOMATICALLY labeled a racist because there is no possible way you cannot like his policies, his cabinet, his ineffectiveness and not be racist. It is baloney. This city has tons of events at the Philadelphia School District that are ONLY for blacks. Why? Don’t Latinos need help with SAT’s? How about Asians? Why is it that Whites – need not apply? Why not have sessions that are inclusive of ALL students who want to do better? In this town the rhetoric is we want everyone to be the same and the racism to stop – but the reality is, you can’t stop racism until everyone is willing move forward. We cannot change the past – we can only direct the future. I’d like to stop seeing color, but I am constantly reminded of it. Groups like the NAACP pull people apart, when we will ever move beyond it? I don’t think ever … Racism is rampant in this city and it is so deep that it runs through the veins of all who come here. You may start off not being a racist, but be rest assured your blood transfusion will begin and it won’t take long before this city turns you into one. Very sad. And it should never be, but the facts are that that is how it really is.

    • http://www.facebook.com/robert.knilands Robert Knilands

      I criticize parts of Obama’s policies frequently, and I am not afraid to say it. I also think he has done a bunch of good things.
      If people are too f-ing stupid to think outside their “black vs. white; left vs. right; lib vs. con” world, then they are idiots. I spend little time worrying about their moronic, ignorant criticisms. The best thing that could ever happen in a subsequent election is for the blathering radicals on both sides to be exposed as worthless. Those fringes have done more damage to the country than Obama ever will.

      • hape2b

        I think you may have missed the point of my initial comment. It really wasn’t about Obama – it was about being automatically called a racist. The statement was used just to illustrate a point regarding racism not to discuss Obama. But I thank you for your comments.

    • tony jackson

      Hape2b in what way have you been oppressed? You sound as though you are quite possibly a victim of reverse racism. Is that the case? Are you an advocate for those groups outside of african-americans? Are you certain those who speak against Obama and “his” policies aren’t racist? Are you racist?. Are you certain that if a student, no matter what ethnicity cannot receive free SAT/ACT if necessary? Are you sure that your analysis is not a bit lazy. It sounds familiar. I’m white, these entitlements to blacks are unfair. Why can’t “they” now at this point in time lift themselves up without any help? Perhaps you could use some introspection on your thoughts about blacks in general. Maybe consider how you could walk in the shoes of an African-American for a day. Whether a black colleague, someone black that you know that maybe middle class, God fobid that you take on the challenge of spending a day walking in the shoes of a lower income African-American.

      • hape2b

        I am an advocate for all groups not one. There might be some who speak against Obama that are racist, that doesn’t mean that everyone automatically is. Obama is half white and half black and I would have hoped he would have been the one to bring the people together instead of dividing them further. Sadly, that didn’t happen. Do I think one race is more superior than another? NO. Do I think all races have good and bad? Absolutely. Do I think all races face the same struggles. Absolutely. Do I think that all races are treated the same? Absolutely NOT. I am tired of the jobs being given to people based on quotas, instead of the right person for the job. It is one of the reasons we are surrounded by ineptness. I am POSITIVE that any race other than black can NOT apply for the SAT classes offered that I referred. And there are other classes offered as well that are for blacks only. My analysis is not lazy. It is on point. Apparently you believe that only blacks face opposition and and struggle. I am not opposed to assistance to anyone who needs it and qualifies. I don’t base it on race – I base on necessity and need. I have a lot of introspection on the race debate but I thank you for the suggestion. Your reply is the exactly what I am talking about – because I believe all should be equal and no one should be one up and we should all work together for the greater good, I must have an issue or see something wrong. You can’t have an altered view or slanted view or maybe we just see it differently – it has to be a racist issue. My family didn’t come to this country until the early 1900′s, and when they did they suffered tremendous hardships related to ethnicity. They did this so future generations had a better life. Today, I pay for the sins of people who have no affiliation to me whatsoever and will be constantly reminded that I have to make accommodations for people today because of the hardships they faced. When can we move forward? When can there be an acceptance that the past cannot be changed and realization that only the present and future can be altered. You can’t change everyone but at some point in time, we have to move on. As for taking a day to walk in the shoes of a black person … I spent 6 years volunteering my time on a daily basis in the Philadelphia School District. The first 3 years were full time at 30 hours per week and the last 3 were part time averaging 15-20 hours per week. The school has a 98% minority and impoverished population. I think I might have some idea of the plights of minorities, not just blacks. Hopefully, I showed the students and community that not only do I care and want to work together, but I am willing to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Hardships strike all of us.

  • http://www.JoeTaylorJr.com/ Joe Taylor Jr.

    Kudos for your whole team being open to discussion about the process, even though discussion on the piece itself is already devolving into a flame war.

  • Vincent Thompson

    Let me first say the comments I’m about to write reflect my own personal opinion and does not reflect any organization I’m affiliated with.
    Dear Philly Mag: I have not had a chance to read your latest cover story, but it strikes me as a simple fast way to get publicity plain and simple. You want to get headlines so you can sell the magazine and get interest in the story.
    It is my understanding that this month’s magazine has two different covers– one for home subscribers and the magazine sold on the streets of Philadelphia (the White debate) and a different (less shocking) cover for copies of the magazine available at hotels. If Philly Mag really wants to discuss this issue, you should have kept the same cover for all magazines.
    Also, Philadelphia Magazine needs to start covering ALL of Philadelphia and its suburbs, not just a selected demographic of people as you do today. Philly Mag every month makes readers believe that every section of Philadelphia (except for a select few neighborhoods) are full of crime, violence, dysfunctional families and the city is going to hell in a hand basket. All major cities have its share of problems and issues, but we all know a lot of other American cities are doing a lot worse off than Philadelphia.
    I believe great media outlets come up with solutions to problems and foster discussion. It is time for Philadelphia Magazine to reflect the greatness of the city.

    • MichelleLynn68

      It’s called ‘Killadelphia’ for a reason, and that has nothing to do with what Philadelphia Magazine wrote
      .

  • SC

    Thanks for this commentary. It’s good to know that Philly Mag has at least one critical thinker.

  • Dorothy Iltis Cooper

    I am white and disabled. I thought that I knew what it was like to be a minority! How stupid I was! When I lost the ability to walk and could not work, it was shocking. I lived in a very nice community. I lived in a domestic violence situation and suffered economically, socially, and psychologically. I had to apply for medicaid, food stamps, and even went to a food bank. I had so-called well to do family.

    I began to see things very differently. These so-called entitlement programs saved my life! It appeared that no one wanted to be in those long and degrading lines. I have to say, I found that I have met many people and I am constantly in awe of people who live in poverty. If white people lived like many urban dwellers would we put up with it? Generations of families were destroyed due to slavery and discrimination.

    I think we need to discuss race and culture daily.

    I hope this is the evokes some education and dialogue.

    Things are better. These times scare me in that much seems to be regressing. I do hope I am mistaken!

    • hape2b

      With all due respect Ma’am, poor people exist in every race. Blacks, don’t corner that market. The differences that you will find are the ways people deal with it, respond to it, and resolve it. Many people in all races will remain in poverty for their entire lives. Others, will break free and change things for the better. It will be a struggle for them to get out because society will work against everything they do – but despite this, they will do it. Maybe the discussion shouldn’t be race related but rather poverty related.

  • Anthony

    Best part of this rant: “I think we’re a lot better and smarter than the caricature of us I often encounter: that we only care about white Main Liners, that we cater to the rich and powerful, and on and on. When I hear this, I always think: Bullshit. You’re not actually reading us.”

    First thing you see on the home page of the Philly Post?

    White people in tuxedos at a flower show party.

    • Dick_Wolf

      Jason, You seem like a decent enough guy, but as Anthony noted above, this statement is laugh out loud funny. The problem with Philadelphia Magazine is the very fact that YOU THINK you’re better and smarter than the caricature. You aren’t even self aware enough to recognize that the Magazine is probably worse than the caricature. There have been stories in this Magazine, in this century, lauding debutante balls. Really? That covered that .01 percent of the Tri State area who even knew they still existed, let alone participated in them.

    • sbuffalonative
    • Nathanwartooth

      If anyone wants to have a REAL conversation about race they are more than welcome to start at American Renaissance.

      http://www.amren.com/about/issues/

      If you are reading this and you don’t know about differences in race, this would be the place to start.

      We have all been where you are. You think that race is just a social construct and Blacks and Hispanics perform so poorly compared to Asians and Whites because of their “culture”.

      The community there is more than welcoming about answering any questions you may have about race. Just be sure to be nice and don’t phrase your questions in an aggressive way.

      Have a nice day and best of luck to all of you!

  • Liz

    I was less appalled with this White Eye on the Black Guy article than I was when looking through the food section and coming across Jason Sheehan’s rant against St. Patrick’s Day, where he draws a bad comparison between TV coverage of St. Patrick’s Day at an Irish bar and a suggestion that TV cover MLK Jr. Day at a Church’s Fried Chicken.

    It’s a woefully bad comparison — there *are* drunken louts celebrating St. Patrick’s at Irish bars; I’ve never seen nor heard of anyone going to a fried chicken place for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

    It wasn’t just inaccurate, not just stupid, but also wasn’t funny, which I assume was the intent. To have both of these pieces in the same issue says a lot. And I don’t think it’s good.

  • ms_anthro

    How sheltered are you that you “still have sort of a hard time believing it’s real”? This is what many white people think, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you. Talking about it is a good thing, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you. The article in question is still mostly self-flagellating anti-white whining, but the author seems earnest and that’s a good start. Whites can talk about race too, especially considering how much we’ve given the other races, how hard we’ve tried to elevate them to our level, and how thankless and Sisyphean that task has proven to be.

    The fact is that whites create the safest and most advanced civilizations on the planet. We are the only race who actively abolished slavery. We gave the world electricity, penicillin, flight, space travel, plastics, modern surgery, the list goes on and on. We don’t need the other races to thrive, but we care for them anyway. We bash ourselves for being unable to make them as successful as we. We sacrifice ourselves and our children to an ideology that teaches us to hate ourselves, hate our people, and feel guilt for the gifts we’ve given the rest of the world. But that has begun to change. Being called “racist” by idiots doesn’t sting. The economy is getting bad enough that we have little to lose by being honest. Your attempts to shame us are beginning to fail, even among educated whites.

    Hey, anti-whites and non-whites: that honest conversation about race? You don’t want it to happen. You need us. We don’t need you. And we both know it. The backlash to this article will do more to promote white awareness than any number of mouth-breathing neo Nazi idiots standing on street corners and handing out fliers. Whites are tired of being the world’s whipping post. You might want to review Rudyard Kipling’s “The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon”. A sleeping giant has begun to stir.

    • MichelleLynn68

      AMEN! Thank you, ms_anthro! We don’t talk about how we really feel, ever. My daughter moved to Philly as a freshman in college and her sophomore year, she moved to South Philly, in the outskirts of the Newbold neighborhood, by the subway entrance. I was truly frightened for her. She grew up hating the word “nigger”. She castigated anyone who said it. She was brought up that everyone bleeds red and color means nothing. But her view of the world changed once she moved there. Not because her view of black people changed, but because of the culture change she witnessed. Black people arguing loudly in the middle of the night on the street, yelling back and forth, black people driving 3 am in the morning with their windows down, blasting rap music at full volume. It’s a lack of respect for others that she witnessed. The loitering at the clinic and the library on a daily basis, while drinking and smoking pot. Even her roommate, who was a minority dark hispanic, wouldn’t even go jogging west of 15th Street because he felt unsafe after jogging once that way. It is truly the culture and the “white man owes me” mentality. We’ve given all that we can. We have affirmative action, but what has that done but continue to stoke the “you owe me” mentality. Here’s another example: The passing grade for many Civil Service tests in large cities for firefighters and police officers have had to be lowered because blacks complained that it was geared for the white man to pass. What does that say? It says that the black culture in the inner cities teach this, and instead of rising to better oneself, it’s just easier to cry “it’s racist” so that the standards are lowered for the black community. That’s not right. But when the black community not only accepts these lower standards, but demands them, how is that really helping them? This is a lack of accountability for themselves and a misdirection of where the blame truly belongs.

      • ms_anthro

        Talk about it, Michelle. You aren’t alone. None of us are. They can’t shout us down if we refuse to let them.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nikki-Star/853765440 Nikki Star

          Unfortunately you aren’t shouting loud enough. If you were we all would not be able to say President Barack Obama. So glad your generation is dying out, and my enlightened generation is moving our country forward.

          • ms_anthro

            Thank you for being a living stereotype.

          • MichelleLynn68

            Nikki lives in her own little bubble world and only wants to hear that only black people are victims of racism, perpetuated only by whites. Unless what you have to say fits into her narrow minded world, she doesn’t want to hear it.

            The race card is old, Nikki. It’s been played way too often and means nothing anymore. Nobody that you claim is racist is listening anymore, let alone cares what you have to say.

          • whiteyyyyy

            I’d wake up if I we’re you.Whites are at the point where scum like you are disposable, go live in a darkie neighbourhood and quit bothering the real Whites. You’re unneccessary.

          • 1stworlder

            Shouting has no affect on voter fraud. Oh wait the 57 polling districts in philly where Mitt didnt get a single vote wasnt fraud, he promised jobs.

          • c684570

            Dying out? I’m a young man and plan to instill the same values in my children as I maintain and that does NOT include lowering standards for people who seem to remain perpetually on the bottom rung of society no matter how many handouts they are given.

          • Greg Thomas

            Did you use the word enlighten as a euphemism for parasite?

        • Joseph

          You’re right, people can’t shout you down… but we can and do laugh at your ignorance. Your ideology is archaic and people like you will go the way of dinosaurs soon enough. Until then, please stop making your city, your country, your generation and your entire species look bad.

          • ms_anthro

            Keep laughing. Keep displaying the emptiness of your beliefs. Keep trying to get people to believe that the emperor is wearing the finest bespoke. It helps us identify our enemies, so thank you.

          • Joseph

            I really think you should probably work on your retorts. You come off as a try hard.

          • ms_anthro

            How long did it take you to think of this one? Such a wit.

          • whiteyyyyy

            Asshole,if you dont like Whites who express their opinions go live in a black neighbourhood. Your type ALWAYS live white but avoid living with your oppressed friends.

          • cadgbd

            Joseph, go to http://www.dailyken.com if you dare.

            We will not tolerate your lies. the truth exists and there is nothing your lying can do about it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nikki-Star/853765440 Nikki Star

        So only black people smoke pot and commit crimes? Riiiight. The internet is a great tool, but unfortunately it also allows angry racist trolls like yourself to hide and attack and spread your racist ideals. Now if your daughter gets raped and robbed by an Asian person are blacks still to blame. You my dear are the problem. SMH!

        • MichelleLynn68

          Actually, the Bronx, around Yankees Stadium, used to be all black and dangerous as all hell, and then the hispanics moved in and many of the blacks have moved out. The area is starting to look better. The hispanics are taking care of the area and they are very family oriented. It’s nice. Respect is making a comeback in that area. It would be nice to see that happen in Philadelphia, but the culture will never allow it to happen.

          And…it’s not only black people who smoke pot and commit crimes. That’s not what I said. You’re twisting what I say to fit your narrative (no suprised there, typical libtard move) and statistically she’s got a much higher chance of being raped or robbed by a black inner-city resident than any other demographic.

          Finally, allow me to refresh your memory of what happened in the summer of 2011. There was a rash of flash mobs of black youths from the ghettos of Philadelphia going through Center City, in and around Broad Street. They terrorized people throughout the area, including those sitting outside at restaruants and eating. They stole cell phones off table, pushed people to the ground and punch others in the face. It got so bad that Mayor Nutter had to inforce a curfew and stiff fines to the parents of the BLACK degenerates who terrorized the city. They weren’t ASIAN, or HISPANIC, or WHITE. They were BLACK. That’s not racist! THAT’S A FACT.

        • SargeInCharge

          Nikki, would you concede that statistics show a far higher rate of rape and robbery among blacks than among Asians both in America and abroad?

        • Gunrunner1

          To Quote the Washington Post on the Crime in New York City in 2010:

          “The Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter arrest population is
          similarly distributed. Black arrestees (53.8%) and
          Hispanic arrestees (36.4%) account for the majority of Murder
          and Non-Negligent Manslaughter arrestees while White arrestees
          (7.1%) and Asian/Pacific Islander (2.2%) arrestees account for
          the remaining portions of the Murder and Non-Negligent
          Manslaughter arrest population.”[PDF]

          Seeing the news so starkly distressed Capehart. He writes:

          “In
          short, 95.1 percent of all murder victims and 95.9 percent of
          all shooting victims in New York City are black or Hispanic. And
          90.2 percent of those arrested for murder and 96.7 percent of
          those arrested for shooting someone are black and
          Hispanic. I don’t even know where to begin to describe the
          horror I still feel looking at those numbers. But the word
          ‘hunted’ comes to mind.”

          Even worse, blacks completely own the category of interracial elderly rape. I quote the FBI:

          Of
          all the metrics of black violent crime against whites the sexual
          homicide of elderly white women offers the most compelling evidence of
          race hatred toward the victim. For starters, the motives of the perp
          in any sexual homicide of an elderly woman is pure hatred. His victim
          is largely symbolic. His motive is not lust but extreme hatred.

          (Special
          Agent Mark E. Safarik, a profiler in the Behavioral Analysis Unit at
          the FBI Academy, published in the May issue of the Journal of
          Interpersonal Violence)

          In closing he said:Based on other reports, Safarik says that there has never been a case
          of sexual homicide involving a white offender and an elderly black
          victim in modern times. Yet the sexual homicide of elderly white women
          by black men is epidemic in comparison.”

        • Jim G

          White racism is White people fleeing from Blacks.

          Black racism is Blacks robbing, beating, raping, and murdering White people that were unable to flee fast enough.

          White racism is a mainstay of the government, MSM and the academic
          world. Black racism is never addressed by the government, MSM, or the academic world. The classic case is the Duke Rape Hoax.

          The government, MSM, and Duke University with the rest of the academic world jumped on young White men spurred on by the incredible notion that White men rape Black women.

          Blacks continuously gripe about White racism. Whites never complain about Black racism.

        • greyghost69

          FBI statistic; You are 57 times more likely to be attacked by a black than a white.
          Try walking through the west side of Rockford, Il. Voted the third worst city to live in, and one part, the 18th most violent neighborhood in the US!
          It is NOT white! And, I am not sorry!

      • Joseph

        I think your daughter is afraid of urbanites and not “black people.” You probably brought her up in a culture of fear and you’re probably not a world-beater of a parent.

        • Nathanwartooth

          Oh urban places like Seattle and Pittsburgh ? Urban areas that are majority White are safe places.

          You act like the city is some magical place that turns people into criminals. I guess Africa is magical land that makes people use child soldiers and slaughter each other all day.

        • whiteyyyyy

          You’re scum.

        • 1stworlder

          Meeting black people is what turned me away from the illusion that they are equal, and explained why africa is africa.

        • SargeInCharge

          “You probably brought her up in a culture of fear”

          From my experience, and I think many will agree, there is a greater rate of instilling fear in your children about the other race in the black community than there is in the white community. Most white parents bend over backwards to excoriate their children to never judge based on race. Meanwhile, as we see in life and on CNN’s Black in America, many (if not most black parents) teach their children to be prepared for alleged white racism; thus leading many black children to look slanted at whites at an early age. You’ll deny this, but deep down you know it’s true.

        • NM156

          Joseph thinks “urbanites” are characters on Portlandia.

        • cadgbd

          You think wrong asshat

      • cadgbd

        I went through the same change of attitude. After being sent to a public jr. high school. I was robbed, beaten, punched in the face, punched in the chest, shaken down, threatened, stalked, bullied, harassed, everyday by several blacks. They are very openly racist and loudly shout “white m*f””, “white boy”, etc. It is a big joke they laugh about it and derive great pleasure in these racial hate crimes, I have witnessed white women being beaten and pimped-out by blacks. It is horrifyingly out in the open. They really hate white people. They are allied with islamic jihad and black panthers.When I complained, I was called a racist. Read the news almost everyday there is another black on white hate crime that the main stream media tries to cover up. Recently 16 year old white girl, Christina Edkins, on her way to school was stabbed to death in London by a black. This is a genocidal conspiracy by blacks. Deny this and watch your daughters be brutalized, murdered, robbed, raped, and pimped-out by blacks.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nikki-Star/853765440 Nikki Star

      You and you clan buddies are a sick disgrace to society. You are so ingrained in your own racism that you cannot even comprehend that every word that you have written oozes with racism. However I am not upset, because a new America is rising your evil generation is dying out and with every racist word you write or thought that your evil heart can dream up a multiracial child is born. So thank you for your ignorance because all it does is creates curiosity and pushes your beloveds to the culture you disdain the most. I can only hope to see the look on your face when your family member introduces you to their black partner. Racist like you are just begging for it. Such a terrible human being. Your life could be used for so much more yet you use it to hate and spread your wayward racist ideals. May God have mercy on your soul.

      • ms_anthro

        Yes, yes, we understand. We are racist. We are intolerant. We are blah, blah, blah. Nikki, understand me: we don’t care what you think of us. We don’t need you, or your fellow travelers. You are irrelevant.

      • MichelleLynn68

        Oh no! Those evil whities! If it wasn’t for these evil whities you wouldn’t have most of the creature comforts you enjoy, Nicole Roberts aka Nikki Star, let alone the freedom to enjoy it. What? Wait! What did I just say??? The FREEDOM to enjoy it. Ahh yes, that’s right. Freedom. The dirty little secret from hundreds of years ago is that your own people owned you as slaves and sold the worst of you off to an unknown world on the other side of the ocean. So, truth be told, had it not been for the evil white man, you’d be living in some grass hut in middle of the jungle or desert. Think about that as you relax in your posh little digs in LA.
        Hypocrite!

      • Jim G

        “You are so ingrained in your own racism that you cannot even comprehend that every word that you have written oozes with racism.”

        Yes it is racism, but it is White racism. White racism is White people trying to get away from Blacks. White racism is just wanting to be with White people. People like themselves.

        White racism is building houses, neighborhoods, cities that are White. White racism built the greatest country in the history of the world: America.

        Let me give you an example of White racism. You will certainly agree that it is racism to
        keep Blacks out of sporting events, both college and professional. It is supposed to be a wonderful event that Jackie Robinson “broke the color line” in MLB.

        But is was a disaster. Blacks offer nothing positive to MLB. White people enjoyed the game far more without them. Blacks bring the same negative factors to every sport that they force their way into.

        Look what the Blacks have done to basketball, especially the NBA. It is filled with ugly, tattooed, freakish thugs.

        White racism is the same as an attractive woman trying to get away from that creepy guy that wants to marry her because she was nice to him. We were nice to Blacks and now they
        stalk us wanting to live off us.

    • http://twitter.com/Timbothaking85 Slice Of Life

      oh blah blah blah woe is me and my white privilege and my white guilt give me a goddamn break. “whites sacrifice themselves?” what exactly have you sacrificed? cause I would really love to know. What have you personally given other races? I’d like to hear that as well. You talk about blacks being entitled but you sound pretty entitled yourself. Also I would love some evidence support your claim that only whites can create a civilized society. And since when have white people been worlds whipping post? do you evidence to support that? Or just more so called “facts” that pulling out of thin air? and exactly what gifts have you given the world? As history will show every ethnic group/nationality that has come in contact with white europeans usually had its culture and society destroyed in an attempt to made to assimilate within the dominant culture. Does that sound like a gift to you? I just have one question maybe you can give me a valid answer maybe not but Why is it that whites always assume that their presence is needed for anothers society to move forward? Or for that matter that their presence is even wanted in the first place? I actually think its refreshing that whites actually want to talk about race for once but unfortunately instead of having a constructive conversation about were just falling into the same old tired stereotypes and that doesn’t do anyone any good. Oh and one more point please stop trying to use white guilt no one actually cares if you have that guilt on you then thats your own personal problem quite frankly cause it in no way shape or form benefits me trying to get ahead in life. And also no one cares about your so “white privilege” except when you try to deny its existence.

      • Nathanwartooth

        “Also I would love some evidence support your claim that only whites can create a civilized society”

        Asians and Whites are the only groups with a high enough IQ and a low enough crime rate to produce successful peaceful societies.

        There is a reason why all other races try to get into White countries at all costs. If they could build their own great societies they would.

      • 1stworlder

        There is no nation in the world where blacks are better off than in the US. There is not a black nation in the world that more than 1% of the natives live better than US welfare takers.

    • sbuffalonative

      It’s funny how blacks call us evil and blame us for all their problems but demand to live with us.
      I, on the other hand, know how blacks act and I do everything not to be around them.

    • Greg Thomas

      I love you ms.anthro! Keep fighting!

  • Melissa

    What I dislike about this article and the comments that follow it is that the behavior described is attributed to “being black” instead of “being poor”, “being uneducated”, or “being trapped in a system that is nearly impossible to break out of”. Black people, Hispanic people, Asian people, and dare I say White people sit on corners in different parts of this city smoking weed, committing crimes, dealing drugs, and stealing poor pumpkins and lawn chairs. [ Walk around some parts of Philly and your just as likely to a white girl in her pajamas pulling her two year old yelling at her baby daddy on the phone on her way to cash in her food stamps as a black girl] This article is slapped together as a race relations piece when the real discussion should have been the socio-economic gap in our city. Many of the differences between being black and white in his piece is that the people who he interviews are “law students who drive BMW’s” who clearly are affected by how poor people act and the closest disadvantage poor people they see and interact with are black. The writer of the article fails and missed the opportunity to acknowledge that the socio-ecomonic gap is the real reason for the behaviors associated with “being black” rather the actual color of the persons skin. Poor people act this way, uneducated people act this way, people who are born in a system destined for their failure act this way. Not black people– and that is why I take offense.

    • ms_anthro

      Except that poor whites don’t act this way in even close to the numbers that poor blacks do. Why is that, do you think? Why does West Virginia, overwhelmingly white and one of the most impoverished US states, have such low crime compared to areas with large concentrations of blacks?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=514204852 Leah Doner

        You might be interested in studies that show courts are much more likely to record convictions against black and hispanic people than they are against white people who are accused of similar crimes.

        • ms_anthro

          Could it be that black and hispanic people are more like to be guilty of those crimes? No, that wouldn’t fit the narrative.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=514204852 Leah Doner

            The studies show that the difference in white and black conviction rates vanishes when juries contain at least one black juror. I’d say that’s a pretty strong indicator that racial factors play a big part in conviction rates. But you’d probably see it as evidence of black thug jurors intimidating poor white jurors into letting criminals back on the streets. Because white people are the most persecuted people in America, aren’t they.

          • ms_anthro

            What a weird and rambling nonresponse. No, I would see it as evidence that self-hating whites are less likely to want to be seen as “racist” and are easily browbeaten behind closed doors in the jury room by the non-white token. That, or black jurors make for hung juries and mistrials, also a documented possibility.

            Your last sentence is sheer projection. We don’t feel persecuted, but taken for granted, ethnically cleansed, looted and pillaged, and displaced from the cities our ancestors built for us, menaced by violent criminals who live on our backs from cradle to grave, sneered at by ivory tower intellectuals who live in lily-white gated communities and doorman buildings and shriek about tolerance to working and middle class whites who actually have to live in the trenches of Diversity.

            No, Leah, we’re not persecuted. We’re just not buying what you’re selling anymore, and Atlas is about to shrug.

          • Joseph

            You’re actually a racist. FYI, I’m one of those “middle class whites who actually have to live in the trenches of Diversity.”

            When you think about race relations in terms of warfare metaphors, there is a 110% chance you’re a racist.

          • ms_anthro

            I am openly a racist, if speaking the truth as I see it makes me one. Instead of trying to hand-wave me away with the r-word, how about refuting even a single one of my points?

            Being called a racist by the likes of you is a badge of honor among honest people. You only prove my point that the multicult ideology is hollow once you strip away the ad hominem and straw man fallacies. You have nothing. You are nothing.

          • Joseph

            Really? Because when push comes to shove you’re a racist who has to live with people you find despicable in a world that finds you despicable. Think you’re a little off, you’re the one with nothing.

            Your defensiveness just shows that you have some weird shame about being a racist which is contrary to your “honesty” facade. Something tells me you don’t quite know what you think anymore.

          • 1stworlder

            You cant get away from dieversity. You might white flight to a safe neighborhood but blacks will follow you when they have destroyed everything of value at your old place.

          • 1stworlder

            The only people who think dieversity is a good thing only see it on TV.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=514204852 Leah Doner

            Wow. No racism in your response. None at all.

          • ms_anthro

            What part of “I am openly a racist” did you not understand? Try a new tactic, if you have one. Name-calling only works as long as your opponent cares what you think of them. I don’t.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=514204852 Leah Doner

            I wasn’t name-calling; I was taxonomizing for the benefit of future researchers.

          • http://twitter.com/Timbothaking85 Slice Of Life

            Oh you mean like how africans were ethnically cleansed, looted, pillaged, displaced from the land that their ancestors built in order to be put into slavery and forced to work and build up land that you stole from the native americans? Hmm I wasn’t aware that being a racist also meant being a functional idiot, but hey whatever makes you feel better about yourself common sense and historical facts be damned.

          • ms_anthro

            You mean sold into slavery to primarily non-Europeans (you have heard of the Arabs, right?) by their own kind for whiskey and maybe some beads? And then brought to more advanced countries where their descendants now enjoy a higher standard of living than anyone back home in the motherland?

            Yes, that is what I mean. The rest of your post is just blah blah you’re a racist, you’re an idiot, blah blah. Meaningless. Please try again.

          • http://twitter.com/Timbothaking85 Slice Of Life

            Nope no need clearly you see yourself as some sort of white savior defeating the ills of urban society one meaningless blog comment at a time. And more advanced countries?. I just wanna say I think your hilarious and that you should have your own show on fox news cause clearly your pretty good at this whole misinformation thing if thats what you believe or maybe just delusional but I wouldn’t do that cause that would be making assumptions and generalizations about person and by extension that persons ethnic group which last I checked was the wrong way to go so despite all of the nonsense that you’ve spewed on this thread I wont blame every white individual I see because the actions of a few don’t define an entire group I’d like to think that you would at least give blacks the same type of respect but looking at all your previous posts I see that I would be holding my breath on that one for the rest of my life so I say good day ma’am I can only hope you one day see the error of your way of thinking.

          • ms_anthro

            Blah blah you bad me good you dumb me smart etc. Not a logical argument, refutation, or rebuttal. Please try again.

          • Nathanwartooth

            Read a history book.

            Your ancestors captured slaves in warfare and then sold them off for items in trade.

            It’s a myth that Europeans ran into the heart of Africa and rounded up a bunch of Blacks with a net.

            Do you know how dangerous Africa is? It was much safer just to meet with African tribes on the coast to buy the slaves from their own people.

            Oh and you should be thanking God every day that your ancestors were slower than others. Otherwise you would be living in Africa. Blacks can’t build a city, let alone a country or nation.

          • 1stworlder

            What have black people built? You know it was blacks that sold rival tribes and crooks as slaves, and you can still buy black slaves in africa today.

          • Nathanwartooth

            Links to the mythical studies please.

            When I first became a race realist I explored every possibility. I did my own research into all of these topics. When I first read that Blacks commit 50% of all murders but are only 13% of the population I literally couldn’t believe it so I tried to disprove it.

            I couldn’t disprove it. Studies that look at both PREVIOUS convictions and the current conviction show that at most Blacks get 10% more jail time than Whites.

            Sorry but race is not a social construct. Blacks on average are more criminal than every other race.

            It goes like this:

            Blacks > Hispanics > Whites > Asians.

            Oh, did I just say that Asians commit less crime than Whites? Guess I’m an Asian supremacist Lock me up!

          • 1stworlder

            Actually its called jury nullification. Good thing 90% detriot has so few non criminal black citizens(who cant sever jury duty) that it usually has an all white or no-blacks on the jury.

        • 1stworlder

          Could it be that courts like life is a form of IQ test. Blacks always try to run from cops making any crime worse.

      • Melissa

        In Philadelphia-poor whites act the same way as poor blacks, poor hispanics, and poor asians. Your example is completely removed from the fact that city dynamics, are different from rural ones. And we can look back at history to see examples of poor whites in cities committing crimes to get ahead — the mob anyone!

        • ms_anthro

          Yes, the old “white people do it too” excuse for the indisputable fact that 13% of the population commits the majority of violent crimes. But here’s an interesting thought experiment, Melissa: in which majority-white neighborhoods in Philadelphia does a peaceable black person risk his very life just entering after dark? Now, in which majority-black neighborhoods in Philadelphia does a peaceable white person risk his very life just entering after dark?

          How many of each are there? It’s okay; we all know the answer. Multicult sophistry can’t hide the reality we see with our own lying eyes every day.

        • SargeInCharge

          Studies reflect that mob violence as measured per number killed pales in comparison to modern black “youth” killing figures. Mob hits were also more isolated to other mobsters, whereas black “youth” attacks have a higher rate of attacking innocent bystanders. Black men are the most criminal demographic per crime statistics.

  • Whit

    You absolutely deserve it. I used to care about this magazine, and I hoped to write for it someday. I am offended and shocked by this quality of work coming from Philly Mag. I think the term “blacks” is degrading, and it’s used about 50 times in this massive article.This is so disappointing and discouraging. I’m gobsmacked.I think this article is going to cause to a lot of damage to all races living in Philadelphia. The ignorance in the comments is spreading like wildfire already. If this was meant to generate some publicity, good job. But, really this is such a disappointing failure.

  • http://twitter.com/SusieMadrak Susie Madrak

    “I’m proud of our investigative reporting and narrative writing on gun violence, the police, sex offenders, the Mafia, real estate developers, the pensions crisis,politicians, corrupt neighborhood leaders, union intimidation, and dozens of other important topics.”

    Jason, you see what every one of those stories has in common? They feed the fears and class-based grievances of conservative white suburbanites against the city and all that’s associated with it. Hmm. Could that be a coincidence?

    I’ll believe you’re not catering to the Main Liners when I finally see that groundbreaking expose on the corrupt suburban Republican machines. I’ll just sit right here and hold my breath.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Todd-McDonald/100002318958748 Todd McDonald

    It’s actually quite telling that you are overly concerned with the framing of an issue and through which “lens” one is looking at it than you are about the substance conveyed. This preening and posturing is vacuous prattle. If this were an article about being black in Philadelphia, I have no doubt you’d have kept your yap zipped.

    My take away from your blog post is that you consider yourself a high-minded instrument of truth, all the while degrading the work of one of your colleagues. You proclaimed your unbounded respect for Mr. Huber, but also that his specious, unjournalistic article would do tremendous harm to the ridiculous publication for which you both work. Mr. Fagone, you are an intellectually dishonest man who talks out of both sides of your mouth. I’m sure you have the best intentions — after all, you told us you did, so it must be true.

    If you think “Philadelphia Magazine” is anything but self-absorbed suburban fluff, take a look at the ads in the magazine. It is fair to say your advertisers know your readers better than you do.

  • juliacr

    What’s funny is that out of all the commentary “Being White in Philly” has generated, I have yet to find an article about it written by a black person. And I thought institutional racism was dead…

  • Guest

    I find it hard to believe, as a native Philadelphian, that this paper and the city continues to discuss the merits of one race over the other. I am truly appalled at the lack of discussion around gentrification and classism this “journalistic piece” seems tip toes around. Forget the “frank discussion” you want to have around race, what about a frank discussion on unemployment and poverty that has plagued city residents for years? I grew up in that neighborhood, and yes their are good people and bad people. But I ask you and your paper, outside of flaming racial tensions, how is this “frank discussion about race” helping the people of Philadelphia? In my opinion, with a “cloak of anonymity” or not, this is irresponsible journalism at it’s best and race baiting at it’s worst.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002607709886 Halima McMullen

    I find it hard to believe, as a native Philadelphian, that this paper and the city continues to discuss the merits of one race over the other. I am truly appalled at the lack of discussion around gentrification and classism this “journalistic piece” seems tip toes around. Forget the “frank discussion” you want to have around race, what about a frank discussion on unemployment and poverty that has plagued city residents for years? I grew up in that neighborhood, and yes there are good people and bad people. But I ask you and your paper, outside of flaming racial tensions, how is this “frank discussion about race” helping the people of Philadelphia? In my opinion, with a “cloak of anonymity” or not, this is irresponsible journalism at it’s best and race baiting at it’s worst.

    • IstvanIN

      Maybe if your people learned how to behave we wouldn’t have all the problems we have. Oh wait, I bet all your problems are the white man’s fault!

    • Greg Thomas

      Being poor and unemployed is the direct result of being involved in gangs, lack of education, drugs, and out of wedlock births. In this age of diversity, a black
      can get into any college they so desire, so long as they have a heartbeat and score at least 800 on their SATs. Being a member of diversity will take care of
      the rest.

      If your people are poor and unemployed, then perhaps they should look in the mirror. White America is tired of subsidizing your failure. How is that for a “frank”discussion!

  • mcmash54

    It is racist to talk about race so that makes Fagone appear a bit racist by commenting on it, but we know he is to liberal to be a racist. He has a black friend too.(His black friend finds him rather annoying).

  • KoeniginLuisevonPreussen

    Are you serious? The only way for white people to have an honest conversation about race is to have the shield of anonymity.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, any opinion about race that might offend black people is considered “racist,” regardless of its truth. And: the scarlet letter of “Racist” is a surefire ticket to the end of a career in public life. That’s why you can’t “just go and have the conversation.”

  • NaiveWhiteGuiltLibtard

    We can’t have an honest conversation about race because a really honest conversation about race would include the latest scientific findings that prove beyond all doubt that we are not “the same”, and that black violent crime, black impulsiveness, and black low intelligence have a largely genetic basis. That is absolute heresy to white liberal dogma. “Celebrate diversity™”, say the liberals, just don’t you dare point out any of the very real actual DIFFERENCES.

  • IstvanIN

    1) the article was about White people’s feelings, not blacks, Hispanics or Asians, therefore their opinions were not needed.
    2) White’s fears must be addressed anonymously, otherwise they will be attacked and loose their jobs.
    3)
    blacks have made frank discussions about race impossible because any
    mention of black society’s dis-functionalism, and they are the most
    dysfunctional identifiable group in the nation, is considered racism,
    regardless of how true the comments are.
    4) Whites are
    disproportionately the victims of hate crimes by blacks, although the
    government won’t prosecute them as such. Eric Holder Obama’s AG, said we don’t have civil rights protections. They have little to fear from
    us, we have MUCH to fear from them.
    5) Mr. Fagone, get off your disingenuous white liberal pedestal and join the real world the rest of us have to live in.

  • SargeInCharge

    How many white people did Soledad O’Brien interview for her “Being Black in America” series?

    Do you think this author, Jason Fagone, had similar reservations about CNN’s single race perspective?

    • Nathanwartooth

      But being White we aren’t allowed to talk about how we feel about race.

      We must always contact the Wise Latina or the Streetsmart Black to validate what we say.

  • Paleoconn

    Enough of this nonsense and whining about who the author interviewed and who he didn’t. Most of us don’t need interviews. We just need to read the stats which point out the racial truth of why these Philly neighborhoods and others all over the country have gone to seed. Another disingenuous White liberal who cries racist when another White has the cojones to say the truth about race.

  • Zackers

    “I fear our good work [journalism at Philly Mag] is going to get lost in the criticism”

    hehe, After all this ‘hard work’, Philly must be a vibrant, wonderful place to live. Too funny! Always there to take credit! I usually don’t make comments like this, but the picture kinda makes the author look like a doofus.

  • Jason

    Why do you say the article is “unfortunate”? What’s “unfortunate” about it? I read Huber’s article. There’s nothing wrong with it. Then you go on to say you, “can’t believe it’s real”. Why not?

    Then you say Huber is “a friend” and “talented”, but you think he is “misguided”. And the story wasn’t “framed correctly”. Oh really? How? Why?

    Is there something “wrong” with being white, in your opinion? You believe it’s “wrong” to “frame” an article and write it from a white perspective. Why?

  • James Flower

    Birmingham, Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, Jackson, St Louis (and many more)

    High crime, violence, gangs, murder, shootings, rape, assault, black on white racism, black on white violence, black on white crime, low education standards, low test scores, crumbling infrastructure, shocking graduate rates, high unemployment, high welfare levels.

    Now please white liberals, Marxists, non-whites, and the author of this article:

    Please tell me who is to blame for these specific issues in these cities and towns? Is it the ‘white man’ and his ‘wicked racist ways’, or is it the black people who are the ones responsible for these things and the causes of the problems these places have?

    Why has South Africa fallen apart without whites running it and with whites fleeing it like the plague? Why has Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) turned from a prosperous, first world African nation into a third world hellhole since the ‘racist whites’ were forced from power and off land? Why is it that EVERY SINGLE black majority town, city, state and nation on the face of the planet have the EXACT same problems with crime, violence, rape, murder, gangs, poverty etc?

    Why is a nation like Liberia, which whites have never colonised or ran, which has been ran and lived on by blacks for hundreds of years now, a third world hellhole just like most of Africa?

    We all know the answer. All of us.