Robert Huber published an article on race relations (specifically from the perspective of a White person) in Philadelphia magazine. It is a long piece and touched on a lot of issues. The mayor is upset and looking to score political points.
An article in Philadelphia magazine, Being White in Philly, has prompted a public rebuke from city Mayor Michael Nutter, who called its tone "disgusting" and asked a city commission to investigate the racial issues it explores. "I applaud the mayor for asking for an inquiry into the state of racial issues in Philadelphia," said the magazine’s editor, Tom McGrath. "[H]is sophomoric statements about the magazine and mischaracterization of the piece make me wonder if he’s more interested in scoring political points than having a serious conversation about the issues."
Here is a 4-paragraph excerpt from Page 2 of the article.
Early on, during my walks around northern Fairmount, I’m surprised by a couple of things. One is the international flavor. On a warm Sunday in October, I buttonhole a woman I’ll call Anna, a tall, slim, dark-haired beauty from Moscow getting out of her BMW on an alley just south of Girard College. Anna goes to a local law school, works downtown at a law firm, and proceeds to let me have it when we start talking about race in her neighborhood.
“I’ve been here for two years, I’m almost done,” she says. “Blacks use skin color as an excuse. Discrimination is an excuse, instead of moving forward. … It’s a shame—you pay taxes, they’re not doing anything except sitting on porches smoking pot … Why do you support them when they won’t work, just make babies and smoking pot? I walk to work in Center City, black guys make compliments, ‘Hey beautiful. Hey sweetie.’ White people look but don’t make comments. … ”
That’s the other surprise: If you’re not an American, the absence of a historical filter results in a raw view focused strictly on the here and now. I meet a contractor from Maine named Adrian, who brought his Panamanian wife to live here, at 19th and Girard, where she saw fighting and drug deals and general bad behavior at the edge of Brewerytown. It all had her co-nvinced there is a “moral poverty” among inner-city blacks.
American whites I talk to in Fairmount have a decidedly different take. Our racial history, as horrible and daunting as it is, has created a certain tolerance of how things operate in the neighborhood, an acceptance of an edgy status quo.