OPINION: We Can No Longer “Agree to Disagree” About White Privilege in America

Aslan Alphan | iStockPhoto.com

Aslan Alphan | iStockPhoto.com

As the hand-me-down celebration known as Black History Month settles, I’m reminded of the legacy of my ancestors and the inheritance that has historically been denied to me. Culturally, racism is still viewed as a social issue, a realm in which “allies” (those well-meaning white people) can absolve themselves of their white guilt by verbalizing how supportive they are of diversity efforts and interracial harmony. But often missing from our collective narratives of black history and what it means to have such skin color in America during a Trump era is the role that race plays in financial equity and access.

Racism is more than just an individual character flaw and act of social misconduct — it’s the expression of a pernicious system that can’t be defeated with promises of moral sobriety and personal concern. One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding race, in fact, is the illusion that class position can somehow negate white privilege. Read more »

Want to Solve the Mummers’ Diversity Problem? Just Call It “The White Heritage Parade”

"Make Mummerica Great Again" truck at the 2017 Mummers Parade. | Photo by Ernest Owens.

“Make Mummerica Great Again” truck at the 2017 Mummers Parade. | Photo by Ernest Owens.

It’s a new year, and the older I get, the more I have begun to realize that some stuff won’t change because it really doesn’t want to.

Case in point: the Mummers Parade, the age-old Philadelphia tradition that marches along Broad Street every New Year’s Day. You don’t really need me to detail the parade’s racist, anti-LGBTQ, sexist, and culturally insensitive history — there have been plenty of reports in the past of Mummers in blackface, and some mocking transgender individuals and uttering sexist/racist/homophobic slurs. Read more »

Philly’s Biggest Losers of 2016

Background image by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia™

Background image by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia™

Now that the last shreds of wrapping paper have been vacuumed up and the good dishes are finally put away, we revisit our time-honored tradition of taking a look back at the year and the losers, miscreants, and ne’er-do-wells it spawned. (For a more optimistic view of Philadelphia, consider Holly Otterbein‘s Biggest Winners of 2016.)

Ed Rendell

The once-lovable former champion of the everyman now spends his time being largely irrelevant and making facepalm-worthy comments in places like the Washington Post. But when you’re pulling in a cool $5,000 each month to do virtually nothing for a casino in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, you probably don’t care. Read more »

That Time (Last Week) a White Man Joked That I Must Be the Coat-Checker

Photo: shironosov/iSotck

Photo: shironosov/iSotck

Holiday parties: for me, either the best of times or the most uncomfortable of times.

As the editor of G Philly, Philadelphia magazine’s LGBTQ channel, and one of the few Black gay journalists working in this city, I’ve become accustomed to a routine that rarely varies. I walk into an event and take stock of the sea of whiteness about to embrace me as if I were Tiger Woods at a PGA golf tournament. The hosts tell me how very happy they are that I came. After that, there’s a round of step-and-repeat photos in which my partner and I are the cute young Black couple that makes event planners feel even more flattered about the “progress” in our “community.”

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OPINION: As a Black Gay Man, I No Longer Support the Human Rights Campaign

Courtesy of Human Rights Campaign.

Courtesy of Human Rights Campaign.

Just one week before Election Day, the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization — the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — is causing a stir. On Saturday, HRC president Chad Griffin, revoked the organization’s endorsement of Illinois GOP Senator Mark Kirk after Kirk made racist remarks against Democrat challenger U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth during a debate. This was the first time in HRC’s 36-year history that it had rescinded an endorsement of a candidate from either political party.

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Trump Diehards Love the Wheely Wheely Good Food Truck

Alanna Li and Bailin Chen with their Wheely Wheely Good food truck.

Alanna Li and Bailin Chen with their Wheely Wheely Good food truck.

If you decide to go to the debate-watch party at the Republican City Committee headquarters on Cottman Avenue next week, you might see some familiar faces: the owners of the food truck deemed racist by Philadelphia City Councilwoman and second-generation Korean American Helen Gym. Read more »

Racist Male Model Bryan Christopher Sawyer Speaks: “I Gotta Be Me”

Philadelphia male model Bryan Christopher Sawyer. (Facebook)

Philadelphia male model Bryan Christopher Sawyer. (Facebook)

With Philadelphia in shock over video we published on Friday morning showing male model Bryan Christopher Sawyer unloading racial slurs against an African-American woman outside of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts on Thursday, Sawyer has finally responded to a request for comment from Philadelphia magazine. And he’s not apologizing. Read more »

Birth of a Nation, Luke Cage, and the Power of Black Resilience

birth-of-a-nation-poster-940x540

Over the last couple of years, several amazing reports were released that felt like throwbacks to an earlier America.

A 2000 Emory University study that found that 74 percent of whites, compared to only 50 percent of blacks, received painkillers for bone fractures. In 2016, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences looked at the intersection of racial biases and black pain in a survey of more than 300 medically and non-medically trained whites and found that 58 percent of the participants believed that “black skin is thicker than white,” including 40 percent of first- and second-year medical students and 25 percent of residents.

In 2012, the study “Racial Bias in the Perception of Other’s Pain” looked at pain perception as it related to white and black NFL players, in addition to a series of pain-related comparison scenarios (accidentally stapling your hand versus someone of another race stapling their hand), finding that participants consistently rated the pain experience of blacks lower. And in 2014, Social Psychological & Personality Science found a “super-humanization bias” when whites looked at blacks, more quickly assigning terms like ghost, paranormal and spirit to black people. Read more »

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