Muslim Editor Wasn’t Talking About Philly’s White Supremacist Fireworks, Thank You Very Much

In a Monday story about Friday’s very late fireworks at the Phillies game, Daily News reporter Dana DiFilippo suggested some folks thought the ruckus had something to do with the Trayvon Martin verdict.

Meanwhile, aghast newsies from Philadelphia and beyond who heard fireworks – those in South Philly and elsewhere – assumed they were sent into the skies by racists celebrating the Saturday-night verdict in Florida’s George Zimmerman case.

Sana Saeed, a senior editor at Islawmix, a project of Harvard Law’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, tweeted: “People were afraid a guilty verdict would have resulted in riots,” wrote Saeed, who is based in Canada. “Thank god #Zimmerman’s verdict only resulted in white pride fireworks.”

The problem? Saeed said the literal Philadelphia fireworks weren’t on her mind when she tweeted Friday night. In a blog post, she wrote:

This sarcastic tweet, and a following tweet, were in direct reference to the flood of tweets that erupted following the Zimmerman verdict. They had nothing to do with Philadelphia – a city that rarely (I’m sorry to disappoint Philly Daily News) crosses my mind. In fact, the tweet which was used in the article was made more than two hours prior to when the fireworks show, that I apparently ‘rained’ on, took place. I contacted both the writer of the article as well as the paper to request a removal of my name, affiliation (irrelevant in the article as my views certainly do not represent anyone other than myself) and the tweet and have yet to receive any response.

The example of the Philly Daily News article is worth highlighting simply for how painfully far they had to reach to somehow make a dull local news topic ‘sexy’ and ‘relevant’ to national outrage over a case that reminded the country of that very reality faced by millions of its citizens daily. In creating an unnecessary and unfounded connection (after all, the only evidence of the reporter’s claim was my tweet), the Philly Daily News showed exactly how we do talk about race, in particular, in the United States: as misplaced, mistaken outrage, ‘raining on everyone’s parade.’

As of Tuesday afternoon, there was no correction to the story, but the online version had been tweaked slightly to reflect that Saeed is based in Canada.