Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Philadelphia's Folly: "Racial Loyalty Over Citizenship"

I feel like really profound articles are VERY few and far between. Most just hollowly regurgitate an event and those that seek to be moving rarely make the mark. Investigative journalism seems to be dead --whether for financial reasons or maybe reporters are just scared. The inkies shouldn't be baffled that subscriptions are plummeting and sales are at an all time low (even for the NYT).

But, that being said, every once in a great while you find and article that you can't just skim through. One in which each line written feels like a slam dunk and you're saying "yeah!" out loud. An article that makes you want to meet the author and shake their hand. I read one of those yesterday by Kevin Williamson on National Review Online.

It's an article about the state of affairs in Philadelphia, but I think it can be symbolic of the entire country when it comes to racial issues and the taboo in speaking about them.

"The careers of mediocrities such as John Street and Sandra Dungee Glenn have been made possible by what might be called 'the paranoid style in African-American politics,' the elevation of racial loyalty over citizenship. The hogwash proffered by Barack Obama's mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright--AIDS is a government plot to kill African-Americans, the CIA peddles crack--is pretty mild compared to political discourse in black Philadelphia. Before the 2004 election, one black newspaper warned its readers to flee the city because President Bush was planning to suppress the inner-city vote ... with nuclear weapons. This paranoid style is deeply embedded in the race-based politics of Philadelphia, and the police catch the worst of it.

'We have an avid hate for the police,' says Michelle Green, a black woman working an overnight shift near the Convention Center. 'Black police officers have taken on the role of overseers,' she says, smiling at the whip-cracking plantation metaphor. 'They are haters of their own race.' This attitude is not isolated. 'Stop Snitchin' T-shirts, advertising a philosophy that threatens death to those who cooperate with police--'Snitches get stitches, and get found in ditches'--are a hot item at street kiosks. A former prosecutor reports seeing a woman who planned to give a statement in the murder of her son being physically dragged out of a police car by her neighbors.

But it is precisely in the black neighborhoods that the police are most needed. Nine of Philadelphia's 25 police districts, mostly in black neighborhoods, account for two-thirds of the city's homicides. African-Americans represent about 85 percent of the homicide victims and a similar proportion of the killers." (Read the entire article)

I love Philadelphia. I just hate that it is being systematically destroyed by the criminals and the politicians alike and no one wants to talk about it --they just want to blame an inanimate object (guns) without ever taking a look at themselves...

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