Editor at Large
Ernest Owens is an award-winning journalist and CEO of Ernest Media Empire, LLC. As an openly gay black journalist, he has made headlines for speaking frankly about intersectional issues in society regarding race, LGBTQ, and pop culture.
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Stop Judging People for Going to Outdoor Events. The COVID Mandates Are Working.
This summer’s big music festivals weren’t the epic super-spreader events many armchair experts predicted, thanks to the enforcement of vaccination and testing mandates. We should acknowledge scientific breakthroughs and not be such Debbie Downers.
Philly Will Pay $2 Million to Settle a Police Brutality Case. It Will Also Give Cops a Raise. Why?
The new police contract means taxpayers are about to pay even more for bad policing.
Why I’ve Decided to Stop Debating Vaccine-Resistant People
Fear, not misinformation, is why some people around me aren’t getting vaccinated, and no factual counter-argument is going to change that. So I’m going to stop fighting them on it, keep my distance, and leave it to the experts.
We Told Our Wedding Guests They Had to Be Vaccinated. Here’s What Happened Next
We called every guest and asked about their vaccination status. It led to some painful conversations — and some progress.
New COVID Restrictions Prove That Unvaccinated Lives Matter
Those complaining about personal freedom being suppressed by new COVID rules are ignoring one thing: The very restrictions they loathe are here to keep them alive.
If You Won’t Get Vaccinated, You Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Have Fun
The rise in cases caused by the Delta variant could be halted if we stopped coddling the source of the problem. More institutions should follow the lead of the Philly restaurants refusing service to those who won’t get vaxxed.
Here’s What Happened When I Turned the Tables on a Street Harasser
An uncomfortable encounter in Center City has reminded me that going outside again means a return to some BS as well. But inaction is no longer an option.
Mayor Jim Kenney Doesn’t Care About Black People
More than 10 people, mostly Black, are being shot in Philly every day this month. The Mayor’s refusal to declare our city’s gun violence crisis a state of emergency shows you exactly where he stands on race.
ICYMI, Philly Police Made Sure to Defend the Free Speech of White Supremacists
Police allowed hate group Patriot Front to harass Philadelphians without much intervention. Compare that to their treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters, and the double standard is galling.
Philly’s New Budget Makes It Clear City Hall Will Never Defund the Police
If there was ever a moment to get serious about defunding our police department, this would have been it. Instead, we gave the people responsible for last year’s tear-gassing what amounts to a raise.
Helen Gym and Kenyatta Johnson, Grandstand Less and Legislate More
Gym’s arrest in Harrisburg made headlines but accomplished nothing. Johnson should be doing more than holding anti-violence rallies. Activism may be what put them on the map, but I expect more than political theater from my elected officials.
We Have a Chance to Create the Philly Pride Celebration We Truly Deserve
The abrupt departure of Philly Pride Presents leadership gives LGBTQIA community members a golden opportunity to build something that represents all of us — and completely unlike what came before.
I’m Boycotting the Philly Pride Parade Until It’s Under New Leadership
Philly Pride Presents doesn’t represent the LGBTQIA community. The group’s latest social media posts prove it.
Why Am I Not More Excited That Philadelphia Is Finally Reopening?
The city’s full-throttle charge into normalcy felt good at first, but now I’m feeling something unexpected: survivor’s guilt.