It’s Time for Philadelphia to Take Down Its Own Symbol of Hatred

On Monday, the right-thinking people of the Union let out a collective you go girl when South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state Capitol less than a week after a white man walked into a historic African Methodist Episcopal church and assassinated nine black people. Most Philadelphians shake their head at the notion of such a hateful symbol being so prominently displayed — those crazy rednecks! — but the truth is that we have our own monument to hatred. Read more »

A Miracle in Charleston

When the arguments about guns and race subside after last week’s Charleston massacre — and, inevitably, they will — there is one moment from the whole ugly affair that I expect to remember for a long, long time.

That moment came after the alleged shooter, Dylann Roof, had been captured and brought before a judge to hear the charges and have bail set. In a moment unlike any I’ve experienced in court, the judge then allowed family members of the victims to speak to Roof.

And what happened was kind of extraordinary. Read more »

In Charleston Church Shooting, America’s Founding Racism Rears its Ugly Head — Again

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The media are notorious for name-calling.

Let me be even clearer. The racist white media and their racist white viewers, listeners and readers are notorious for their racist name-calling and racist approval of such.

Wednesday night’s attack by a white man against black churchgoers was textbook terrorism, but we’re currently engaged in a furious debate over whether to call it such. Meanwhile, the 21-year-old sadistic terrorist Dylann Storm Roof has been described in an ABC news broadcast as “just a quiet kid…,” in Reuters as “quiet and soft-spoken,” in the Washington Post as a “quiet, shy boy… (who) didn’t get into trouble… (and) a son, nephew, and brother… (who merely) slipped toward his alleged horrific… visit to the church, and in The Wall Street Journal as a “bright boy from a middle-class… family.”

Bullshit. Pure racist bullshit.

After all, this is the very same person who has reportedly confessed to methodically shooting to death nine defenseless bible-studying black women and men at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Therefore, he’s no nice kid who merely went astray through no fault of his own. To say otherwise is racist hypocrisy.
Read more »

Councilman Squilla Discovers Gawker After “White Lives Matter” Article

Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla at event last Tuesday labeled as a  "'White Lives Matter' Rally" by Gawker, via 6ABC screenshot.

Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla at an event last Tuesday labeled as a “‘White Lives Matter’ Rally” by Gawker in an article published on Friday. Photo via 6ABC screenshot.

On Friday evening, Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla learned the hard way what Gawker was after the New York-based blog published an article entitled “Philadelphia City Councilman Attends ‘White Lives Matter’ Rally.” Gawker used the above image of a defiant-looking Squilla speaking into the megaphone at an event that took place in South Philadelphia last Tuesday amid accusations that police failed to respond to an alleged attack at Fourth and Wolf streets. So is Councilman Squilla a closeted Klan member, was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time, or was this simply not a “White Lives Matter” rally? We got him on the phone on Monday to find out. Read more »

Racism Rampant in Philly Gay Bars, Says Metro Columnist

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Metro columnist Ernest Owens has penned a new piece entitled “Black Not Fetch Enough for Woody’s?,” in which he points out the racial divide that is still prevalent in Philadelphia’s gay clubs. He references experiences at several familiar spots, like Woody’s, Icandy, and Voyeur, where he has been made to feel like he doesn’t belong simply because of the color of his skin. A photo from Boxers PHL adorns the article, even though it isn’t mentioned in the piece. It shows three shirtless, white bartenders mixing up drinks behind the bar. More from the column:

Read more »

Controversy Erupts Over Borgata’s Special MLK Day Menu

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On Monday, professional poker player Shaun Deeb was in Atlantic City for the Borgata’s Winter Poker Open 2015. And while there, he noticed a special Martin Luther King Day menu at the Borgata’s Metropolitan restaurant, which included fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, sweet potato casserole and a slice of pecan pie for $24. So he took a picture and tweeted it to his nearly 20,000 followers with the hashtag #isitracist:

Not surprisingly, response to Deeb’s question has been mixed. But after thousands of tweets about the controversy, the casino has issued a statement from Borgata senior vice-president Joe Lupo.

“Our general manager of the restaurant is an African American female who wanted to come up with the menu to celebrate and honor Dr. King,” Lupo says. “We allow our managers to run their restaurants. She did research and came up with an authentic recipe. It’s very clear that these were his favorite foods.”

The Borgata also points out that some of its restaurants offer other holiday-specific menus, like Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo, Irish food for St. Patrick’s Day and Chinese food for Chinese New Year.

Facebook and “Friends” in the Wake of Ferguson

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Scene from last Wednesday’s protest march (top); detail from a controversial post on the Facebook page of a Central Bucks West guidance counselor.

As a 29-year-old woman, this is how my Facebook feed tends to look: baby picture, wedding picture, baby-at-a-wedding picture, Supernatural spoiler (that last one might be my own contribution).

But over the past couple weeks, I’ve noticed an even less appealing trend: racist rant, thinly veiled racist rant, confusing meme that I suspect is a racist rant.

To clarify, I’m from the Northeast.

This is not, necessarily, to say that my hometown is any more backward than your own hometown. (Unless you’re from Amherst — you guys are pretty squeaky clean.) There’s an ugly, dumb contingent in every group of humans, and most of the time, I love that place. But post-Ferguson, I find myself rethinking my Internet relationship to the (Often, But Not Always) Great Northeast.

Read more »

Philadelphia Newspaper Calls Asians “Chinky Winky” and “Dinky Doo”

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UPDATE 8/25 1:10 pm: The newspaper editor responsible for the Asian slurs has been fired. For the full story, go here.

ORIGINAL:

In the August 21st print edition of the Philadelphia Public Record, the free weekly tabloid published by former Philadelphia City Councilman turned federal inmate Jimmy Tayoun Sr., current Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla is pictured at an event in Chinatown with, among others, “Chinky Winky,” “Me Too,” and “Dinky Doo.” Read more »

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