Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Philadelphia Magazine: Reader Comments on “Being White in Philly”



[Previously, at WEJB/NSU:

“‘Being White in Philly’: Philadelphia Magazine Published a Tiny Bit of the Truth about Life Under Jim Snow—the Masters are Not Happy.”]

Posted by Nicholas Stix

At this point, seeing as there are over 3,000 (update: make that over 5,000) comments to “Being White in Philly,” there’s way too much for me to copy and paste all of them. (And why would I care? Because I’m a thorough, obsessive-compulsive kind of guy.) However, when I read the article, only 50 comments appeared. The page said that my browser (IE) somehow wasn’t adequate, so I went to Mozilla Firefox, where I got completely different comments. So, what I did was take the 50 I got with IE, and added some excellent comments that showed up first on MF, at the top.

white kid in black gradeschool • 16 days ago

As I white kid whose well-meaning parents enrolled him in a majority black school for the same noble reasons as "Jen", I just have to say that that decision is really negligent. I love how she makes it about herself. I love my parents dearly and have never told them about how lonely and terrifying it was to be one of the only white kids in my grade school. I love them too much to put that kind of guilt on them. I was constantly teased, picked on, and bullied by a few kids... and even the nicer kids never seemed to display any sort of empathy. Given the state of race relations in this country, and the overt disdain black people have for whites, I don't suppose I see how that would be surprising. Whites only think racism goes one way... they have no idea what its like for those of us in the trenches. Especially kids.

• 2321 17

white kid in black gradeschool white kid in black gradeschool • 16 days ago

One thing that I came to see as a kid was that there was no end to the scorn for being white. While I didn't "wish I was black" per se, I definitely craved validation from the only people I was surrounded by, and for us handful of white kids, there was no higher compliment in life than being accepted by black kids as "cool", and somehow transcending our being white. I had one friend in 4-5 grade, and actually a few up through 8th grade. That said, there was no greater scorn among black kdis than that for kids who tried too hard to be black,. The irony was that those kids did actually find acceptance from a small group of friends, but that acceptance was in no way carried over to anyone outside of their group that accepted them: they were targeted by anybody outside that group, and generally made to look the fool. I never took that last step-- It was impossible for me because my parents were white educated liberals... it was mostly lower class kids who actually had no home life who turned into those kids, Actually, that isn't true, I did know 2 others more like my background who turned out like that. The worst part was that my parents, like Jen, thought that I was getting so much cultural value out of this experience. They couldn't have been further from the truth: I probably would be more positively disposed to black people as a group had I grown up in the suburbs. Again, even though I still have actual black friends, I definitely do not fall for all the white people are all racist lines. I really, really hope Jen's kids turn out OK-- I can guarantee they will probably have MAJOR issues throughout the rest of their lives. Not to mention, the academics, no matter how much Jen decides she just loves the teachers and the schools, are TERRIBLE. No one cares about schoolwork, even the teachers. Jen's on a moral superiority mission, and her children are the victims. I guarantee 100% that they dread going to school. If white privilege is the right to a carefree childhood, they are being robbed of their birthright. Almost every day I wish things had been different for my childhood. And to tie this in a little bit with the story: I have never been able to tell my story to anyone. White people's brains would blow up, black people get hostile (see comment to my first post)... it's just a story that simply doesn't compute in today's racial narrative.

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white kid in black gradeschool white kid in black gradeschool • 15 days ago

why did my other comments get deleted? I really spent a lot of time thinking about them and putting them down. I'm so disappointed because you are leaving up comically racist posts but taking down ones from someone who actually experienced something no one on here ever experienced. I didn't say anything racist at all. I'm really more sad than anything.
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ncpride to white kid in black gradeschool • 14 days ago

You are dead wrong there, my friend. There are thousands, if not millions, of us who know EXACTLY what you went through. However, people just don't want to hear it because it doesn't fit their narrative of White racism, and the poor black victim.

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libsrclowns ncpride • 4 days ago

Getting really tired of the black victim mau mau. Obama has turned back race relations 50 years with his comments ( white Cambridge police officer, Travon Martin etc.)

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WilliamWallace libsrclowns • 3 days ago

After reading many of the comments left by black people one thing is for certain,
Anti-Racism is a code word for Anti-White

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Tonya WilliamWallace • 3 days ago

I grew up black in a mixed school. I can confirm that we are taught to be racist by the teachers and most parents. Teachers will tolerate and even promote acts of agression against whites, while at the same time telling stories about white privilege. I found myself feeling sorry for many whites that were bullied for no reason. While it was reversed in the past, blacks have now assumed the roll of the bully and racist.

Greta G. Tonya • 3 days ago

While I don't feel good about it, I can say that as a minority I've been given many options that my white friends did not get. I was awarded several scholarships that whites could not apply for. I ultimately found a government job that was openly created for non-whites.

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truth Greta G. • 2 days ago

Scholarships that whites could not apply for , that is the absolute definition of racism ( you can be damn sure that whites paid for them though) , while white children in Philadelphia drop out of school to avoid the violence of so called minorities , end all race based entitlements and so called affirmative action it is time to level the playing field , In Philadelphia whites are the minority an oppressed minority with no voice , It is about time this conversation started

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Seamus truth • 2 days ago

I went to A PA Statae school and was told I should apply for a scholarship for kids from the city of Philadelphia. I went to the financial aid office to inquire, they looked at me (I'm white) and said that i needed to be from the city. i said I was. Then they told me I was. Not able to apply because I was not black. Many of my black friends received the scholarship which I could not qualify for just because i was white.
• 119


• Hank Reardon

With the decline of our daily newspapers' ability to do long in-depth pieces on controversial topics, i see nothing wrong with Philly Mag's taking on a subject like this. While you could quarrel with the cover title or some of Huber's conclusions, the piece does poke at a scab that is still sore. and one that desperately needs healing.There is probably a good reason why some things "never get said". But journalists historically have not been afraid to utter them out loud.

• Livia

So this premise that the things in this article are never spoken is false. People say this stuff all the time. Racist white people say this to other white people. And that's just part of the infection making the scab sore and purulent.
How about talking about the difference is funding between the two mentioned schools. Talking about the systemic discrimination. Let's talk about what it means to be snotty about the quality of some kid's halloween costume when that family might be struggling to have sufficient non-costume clothing options.

There's nothing wrong with Philly Mag talking about race. But doing so in a way that explicitly reinforces white disdain and does not actually encourage interracial discourse is not actually fearless journalism.

• Fair Dingum

Your comments reflect the main reason that it's impossible to have an honest public discussion of race. Whenever whites don't tell liberals what they want to hear, the liberals will accuse them of "racism." It does not matter how sound your facts are. The left controls the agenda here, and they absolutely will not tolerate anyone who doesn't conform to their ideology.

• Room101

While Leftists love to smear their political and ideological opponents with naked accusations and crude bludgeoning charges of Racism/Hate, they've updated the software to include charges of some nebulous "White privilege" ALL White people are born with. The color of White skin constitutes being born in original sin by the high priests of Leftism, unless you say you're gay or something.

The irony in the accusations of "White-privilege" is that the accuser is still calling you a "Racist" merely because of the color of your White skin, thereby removing your right to remain in the human family, let alone any rights the government need respect.

• foresight

Yes,I'm told I unjustly benefit from "white skin privilege". But I have to wonder... does that mean Barack Obama, Cory Booker, Deval Patrick and Valerie Jarrett unjustly benefit from "light skin privilege"?

• maxsnafu

Whites need to learn to simply laugh it off when called a racist. Why we let that stale, overworked epithet get to us escapes me.

• Sue Brown

It bothers us because it is a dividing term. It infers that because we are white we are racist and therefore must be punished. We walk on eggshells trying not to offend and when that gets tiring, we avoid the issue and the people all together. Avoidance will not heal the racial rift that exists- it will only make it wider. The other reason it bothers us is that ONLY whites can be considered racist yet by its very definition ANYONE that disparages a person because of the color of their skin or difference in physical attributes (and not their character) is a racist. That includes Asians who look down on each other (IKoreans vs Japanese etc) That include blacks who look down on other blacks because of the lack or excess of the melanin in the skin. Blacks looking down on Hispanics and Asians and whites. Whites looking down on Asians, Hispanics and Black. ALL that is racist and to only pick out one set of people to call racist is in itself racist!

• Aggie95

you want to make a small wager that the school with a higher minority population is funded at a higher rate

• D J M

If nothing else but to replace the smashed computers and other properties not smashed at the white schools.

• sharinite

The further truth is that "perception" fuses itself into reality and blinds most to what is real. Racist black people and brown people say racists stuff about whites all of the time in every place in this country....get real!

• sharinite

"JournOlists" offend the Right, conservative, independent, religious and republican people..they smear, lie, distort and disdain. But, if you are black in this country
there is no wrong you can do the journolists can't find a cause, reason or excuse. That is the truth, period!

• BandungBaby

They get ostracized for having stories that derive different conclusions then the dominant paradigm.

• anonfreepress

Good point. Until more people are willing to check their racist attitudes at the door, so to speak, we will not see a meaningful relational connection. I am glad that it happens in small ways at least. I love the name you chose btw. I have been positively impacted by black men in the past, and as someone who feels that walking or driving while libertarian is the new black, I feel a certain level of dismissal from others so used to looking to government for the answers to everything.

I will always welcome all comers regardless of persuasion, who believe in liberty for the individual and defend the rights of individuals over governments groupthink.

• Stephany

This entire article can be summed up in a few words "What about our white feelings?" In response to your indirect question and the real intent of your marginalized discourse, I say: How sweet the taste of your privilege that it compels you to climb invisible trees in search for more of its poisonous fruit.

• Vyncennt

"How sweet the taste of your privilege"

I was not born into privilege and do not enjoy it now. I work hard with my hands. No one has given me a d*mn thing. The only privilege I have seen is the constantly rewarded whining of those with a darker complexion.

I don't owe you or your kind a thing. Nor does my father or my fathers father. Not even the time of day. I'm growing a bit tired of hearing that I do so.

• John

I understand your discontent with those of "darker complexion". And I applaud you for working with your hands and overcoming whatever plight you experienced. But you sir, cannot ignore your privilege as a white male and you cannot ignore the historical and sociological reasons for such behavior of those with a "darker complexion".

I agree, it's time for those of a "darker complexion to start doing something instead of sitting around. But when you and your community and your parents are caught in side a cycle of parents who haven't gone to college, poverty, crime, drugs, violence and all of the like, it becomes a little harder to pull yourself up by the bootstraps. So how easy is it to simply do something when one lacks the resources others have? And it's not just a black and white problem. There's plenty of black kids that get to go to private schools and successful public schools that inner-city kids don't have access to; and these black kids too are privileged.

Maybe you don't owe anyone anything, but you do owe them a discussion. You owe them the benefit of the doubt. You owe them the slightest notion that maybe their lives are complicated by countless webs of inequality. You owe them the confidence that maybe someday, they can turn it around, maybe even with your help. And you owe them respect. Because the attitudes radiating from your comment only turn the wheels of misunderstanding between the races.

• Vyncennt

"But you sir, cannot ignore your privilege as a white male"

You mistake my intent friend. I am not ignoring it. I am outright and vehemently denying it's existence. At no time in my adult life have I experienced anything worthy that I did not earn and very little that was bad that I did not bring on myself. As secular as the modern liberal appears to be, make no mistake about it...he has found God. He simply has renamed him.

"you cannot ignore the historical and sociological reasons for such behavior of those with a "darker complexion"."

Their behavior is born of a dismal culture that they create. It is not unique to the United States. This self defeating culture is practiced by the same men and women in every country they inhabit. People create the culture and the culture shapes the people. I don't ask that they change theirs, as much as I may believe in its benefits, simply that they not blame it on mine.

" it becomes a little harder to pull yourself up by the bootstraps"

Teach your children all of the wrong lessons, and by golly, they may learn all of the wrong lessons. We're back to culture. I can not change their culture and am not to blame for their culture. They are. I had nothing growing up. Yet it was quite free for my mother to tell me, in no uncertain terms, how important school was. It was also free for my father to beat a trade into me along with the accompanying work ethic. It was simply their culture.
Not their privilege.

"So how easy is it to simply do something when one lacks the resources others have?"
They have every opportunity that I had. Every one. Use it or lose it. In today's times they have even more. No more excuses. Not everyone will be successful. Many, in this economic climate, may even struggle grasping the rungs of the middle class. Yet there is no one to blame for their current plight but themselves and those at the receiving end of the pointed finger are growing angry.

" you do owe them a discussion. You owe them the benefit of the doubt. You owe them the slightest notion that maybe their lives are complicated by countless webs of inequality."
I do not "owe" them a discussion, although I may engage in one at my leisure. I do not "owe" them the benefit of the doubt, although I may gave that to any man whom I judge worthy of it. As to "owing" them a notion? Men's lives are riddled with complications and inequalities. Mine...theirs...that guy across the street. The difference, in my eyes, between them and I? I'm not pointing any fingers nor asking any favors. I bring neither gifts nor burdens. Any favors I grant, as a citizen in a free country, are my own to give not theirs to demand.

" You owe them the confidence that maybe someday, they can turn it around, maybe even with your help"

If I believed my help was what it would take, I'd give it. I simply do not believe that.

"And you owe them respect"

No. I do not. I owe no man respect that has not earned it. This, above all, is the crux of our misunderstanding. You have a notion, a mindset, that I find alien and illogical. That is one of the lessons I learned from the earliest age. Respect is earned. Never given. I don't ask anyone for respect. I do labor to earn it.

"Because the attitudes radiating from your comment only turn the wheels of misunderstanding between the races"

This may be true, and for that I might apologize, as my intent is not to cause strife between any two people. My purpose is only to point out what I believe to be blatant distortions of the truth and to shout down undeserved blame. Too long have people like myself kept out of the limelight and absorbed the blame for actions we never engaged in. Of course, to do anything but, would simply make us "racists".

• Aggie95

very good

• npcomrade

Wait, so you are white, right? And your father was white? The one who worked in a trade? A trade that is likely union, which means it's historically mostly white. And you got a job in that same trade. The one that your "father beat into you". So you, a white man, got a job in a typically white union, where your white father had also worked or had been associated with, and you don't see where the white privilege is? You seriously misunderstand the concept of white privilege then. Perhaps you should stop trolling message boards for awhile? I've see you respond to nearly every post at the top of this section, often upset that people shouldn't be forcing THEIR ideology down YOUR throat. Maybe you should start the change we can believe in.

• Vyncennt

"Wait, so you are white, right? And your father was white? The one who worked in a trade?"
Yes, yes, and he still works in that trade. He will until he dies. SIgh.

"A trade that is likely union, which means it's historically mostly white."

My father worked for a self employed man who was not union. At the age of 19 he bought that business from that man in cash. I am self employed. I started my business with no loans, no family support (besides cheering), and no government assistance. We both despise unions. Try again, friend.

"So you, a white man, got a job in a typically white union, where your white father had also worked or had been associated with, and you don't see where the white privilege is? You seriously misunderstand the concept of white privilege then."

You made all that up in response to an event that you also made up? Is it ok for me to giggle now?

"often upset that people shouldn't be forcing THEIR ideology down YOUR throat"

Do you really believe that if I were to leave this message board, your type would simply stop shoving their views (and their yummy blame!) down my throat? No? Then I'll just stay here and pick which venue fits me for myself. Thanks though!

"Maybe you should start the change we can believe in."

I can not start reality. It's already here. You simply need to accept it.

• GChan1983

I think, ultimately, you and your critics are talking about different things. It seems your frustration is about personal, anecdotal issues. You worked hard all your life, your parents worked hard, you don't believe you've ever received any benefit from being white nor have you used your race as a bargaining chip or a way to get an advantage. You've also heard stories and seen new pieces about reverse discrimination, black-on-black crime, and black-on-white crime, like the stuff mentioned in this article. No wonder you're frustrated about people asking you to be more open. You understandably see no reason to from personal experience.

However, this is where it's important to separate the personal issues with the overall bigger picture, which is that IN GENERAL, blacks have a legitimate socio-economical disadvantage compared to whites and other races. No one reason is entirely to blame.
Certainly the "institutionalized, non-even playing field" that you seem to completely discount unfortunately is out there, regardless of your personal experiences with it. A good example out of hundreds is a study found in the book Freakonomics, where researchers sent out hundreds of identical resumes to multiple companies with the only differences being one had a very "white" name while the other had a very "black" name. The white resume go almost 3x as many callbacks. It doesn't get more non-even than that.

The thing is, you are also right in that issues within the black community should shoulder some of the blame as well. Like you said when quoting the "footsteps" remark from a prominent member of the black community, this isn't a made-up issue either. It is true that when standardizing for income levels, poor blacks are more likely to commit crimes than other poor races. Perceptive members of the black community are aware of this and plead with their brethren that they all need to work together to lift up and change the image of their community, because they know that if they don't work hard to change it, then they cannot expect others to look at them differently.

All of this leads to the conclusion that there are many facets to this race "thing" and that it is too broad and too all-engrossing to have just one party all to blame, or to flat-out say that you've never been affected by it, even if you have personal experiences that say otherwise. Even if you never see a benefit from having open dialogues and trying to see the big picture about race, the hope is that your children and your children's children will live in a world where this is TRULY a non-issue. The only way we get there is for ALL sides - white, black, Hispanic, Asian, etc - to start with open discourse and work together, regardless of personal biases or experiences, even if they know it's hard, even if they know that the results won't be seen in a quick manner.

• Flytrap

THat sounds nice and all, but in these poor neighborhoods, the rent is cheap and no one is stopping blacks from starting their own business. And some do, mostly hairdressers. Shopkeepers, landscapers, or any other relatively easy to start business, not so much.

A couple of years ago we were hearing how there was no good market in downtown Detroit.
Sounds like an opportunity to me, yet no one took it. Surely there must be some enterprising black entrepreneur ready to serve his community and make some money in the process?

• npcomrade

Hey that's totally fair. I did assume (hence why I said likely) that by you working in a trade you would be union, because in a traditionally union city like Philadelphia, trade labor is traditionally union.

I congratulate you for starting your own business, with no loans and no support, but here is what people have failed to explain about white privilege:

Assuming your business started out slowly. People in that position would often buy used equipment, like trucks, heavy machinery, and tools. Equipment that might look a little rough, but still get the job done. Because you are starting a new business, people in that position will also rarely have a nice suit to wear when meeting potential customers.

So here is where we get to the white privilege part, if we assume all of that, which may not be the case for you but it is for many that start such a business, what gets you hired to do a job for a white customer over a black man in your same position is only the fact of you being white. Your used trucks and equipment is viewed as enterprising and entrepreneurial, where for the black man it will be viewed as failure and the result of some pathologized irresponsibility.

It is not some conspiracy where you or the customer are trying to "keep the black man down," it isn't reputation because both companies are new and have none, it often isn't even spoken racism. What it is, for a white customer hiring you, for example, to remodel their kitchen, they simply "feel more comfortable" with you in their house. They would feel "uneasy" if their wife were at home alone with a black man working in their house, and equally "nervous" for their possessions, if he were to work their all alone. But not a white man.

White privilege is the day to day things that you don't have to think about because you are white. If the police stop white people on the street they often say something like, "do I look like a drug dealer to you?" Despite that drug use is the same across races. It's that look or assumption that people make if a white person in the grocery store pays with an EBT card that "it's temporary, they just need a little help" but that the black person behind them is "forever a useless drain on our economy." It is a loud white man on a construction site being labeled that he is simply loud, where as a loud black man, is labeled as simply black. White privilege is walking into a CVS to buy band-aides and having them match your skin color. It is turning on the television and seeing that most people "look like me." It is walking into a retail store, and NOT having the store clerk follow you around.

White privilege is a passive system that structurally denies opportunity to people of color. That is what all of these discussions around race are about, right? That black people are responsible for their own poverty because of some moral failing, because this is the "land of opportunity" and if you don't lift yourself up it is your fault. That is a lie. There are structures of power, such as white privilege, that have historically denied and continue to deny opportunity to people of color.

You have white privilege, I have white privilege, and the author of this article has white privilege. It's time that people stop pretending that there is equal opportunity for everyone, and failure to escape your situation is due to some abstract moral failing.

• persephone


• ncpride

What utter nonsense. The fact is, EVERY race of people on earth feel more comfortable around their own, yet Whites are the only ones to be called RACISTS! for what comes naturally to everyone. Look at any High School cafeteria in the country, they SELF segregate. As for your other nonsense, a band-aid that matches skin color? Seriously? Even if a black one were made, I'd bet a weeks pay it would be deemed RACIST! Turning on the TV to see someone like me? Again, seriously? You must not watch much TV. And don't preach to other Whites as if we don't have legitimate reasons to fear and distrust blacks. With their culture of gang violence, flash mobs, flash robberies, and beat downs of innocent people, it's their own fault for the way they are viewed. Is that fair to the other black people who play by the rules, and live right? No. But that is the reality of the situation.

As for the drug part, it was black people themselves who demanded police to do something more to curb the crack epidemic back in the 80's, and demanded stiffer sentences for dealers because it was destroying their communities, yet 20 years later, the system is RACIST! and they are being targeted.They even held rallies making these demands. Look it up yourself. Nobody is buying this White Privilege nonsense anymore.

• Mitchell

On the hiring issue not 'white privilege', that's people being people. Blacks hire blacks, Asians move into Asian neighborhoods. Whites hire whites. Nothing wrong with it at all.
". It is turning on the television and seeing that most people "look like me."

I don't know what television you watch, but given that blacks are only 13% of the population, it seems to me they are vastly overrepresented on the tube.
You need to get out of your self-hating white mode.

• Mitchell

So whites start a union, work for white businesses, in a city built (overwhelmingly) by whites. Then they pass the legacy of their hard work to their kids. That's not privilege, any more that if Barry Gordy hired mostly blacks at MoTown.

• Dinz

Good thing you don't need to believe in privilege to benefit from it.

• Vyncennt

Good think I don't need to benefit from privilege to be harnessed with it.

• persephone


• GeneralTACO

"As secular as the modern liberal appears to be, make no mistake about it...he has found God. He simply has renamed him."

It sounds like Vyncennt is a reader of John Derbyshire or someone like him. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one in Philly . . .

• Luca

John, I feel sorry for you. You were taught that white privilege exists, you could never arrive at that conclusion on your own. You are a product of liberal academia, media and politics. You have been taught myths and you believe them. You deny reality and are no longer objective, if at one time you ever were.

You allude to a "skin color" (darker complexion) myth. Rebuttal: Many East Indians come here with completely dark, virtually black skin, so do caribbean blacks, some Asians that are dark and African blacks. They study, they work hard, they run businesses and achieve an unbelievable degree of success here in America. Conclusion: Skin color cannot hold you back.
Poverty cycle myth: Does poverty cause crime or do people cause crime? If poverty causes crime then half of the people in the United States would have murdered and robbed the other half during the Great Depression. I was born and raised into poverty but I learned not to dwell on the cards I was dealt but to overcome any setbacks. I went to work at age 15 so I could go to the dentist, buy my school clothes and get whatever I wanted. I depended on me. I had no privileges, no affirmative action, no help, no handouts. And I never once thought that crime would be my ticket out of poverty. One of the poorest States is West Virginia and it is predominantly a White state. Crime rates there are very low when compared to other demographics. Poverty does not cause crime.

The discussion we owe them is this: No one owes you anything in life. There will always be hurdles in life that you must find a way around or over. You can lie down in front of that hurdle (real, imagined or exaggerated) and scream racism/poverty/discrimination, or you can let other people make excuses for you and give you handouts, but I suggest you can get up, brush yourself off and do the hard work that in the end has a reward.

I learned in life that you are the author of your own life story. You will be given choices and paths in life. It is up to you to decide which path you will take. I decided to go into the military, get training, go to school and get a job/career. If I had some form of privilege maybe someone else would have paid my tuition or I could have avoided military service but that was not the case and I am glad I did it on my own. I feel a greater sense of accomplishment, I am not a victim of poverty, I am a victor and I am a better person for the experience.

• ViktorNN

What happened to the "white privilege" of the white guy who got his head bashed into the front steps of his building while getting robbed?

Or the "white privilege" of the old white man who had his house invaded and arrows shot into his house?

Or the "white privilege" of the white woman who keeps getting everything stolen off her front porch, over and over?

Or the "white privilege" of the white guy bullied by his drug dealing neighbor, and threatened to be killed by him?

All that "white privilege" sure doesn't seem to be helping those white people much.
And where are all the stories about white people doing this stuff to black people?
If "privilege" means being able to live safe from being preyed on by people of another race, then the idea that whites in Philly are "privileged" is a bad joke.

• Greg

No one is discounting that and that is not white privilege.

• Snoop8765

Grow up

• Idella Spann

Well, most of those situations happen when people try to gentrify neighborhoods. People expect these areas to become magically safe just because some hipsters open up a coffee shop on the corner. Not saying that's any excuse for these things to happen but you do have to take into consideration the areas that these events occur. You have to wonder, how did those people get into those situations in the first place.

• Flytrap

Try to gentrify a neighborhood? You mean paint a house and do some yard work and generally make a formally nice place look nice again? So we should just expect poor blacks to be vandals and thieves?

• Bill Bradley

Whites built the USA you know, so its not so much "privilege" as it is birthright.

• blck kid frm all white suburbs

You are absolutely right. White people did build the USA, on the backs of hard working slaves. Now I don't mind you making a case for you people. But at least try to be objective. I'm a "fact" guy and clearly you got it work. Slave labor was an intricate part in the building of this country and they fact that we have fought in every single American war ever proves that this country is just as must yours as it is ours. But that probably hurt to hear that am I right?

• Mitchell

Sure the slaves helped. But look at Canada or Australia. One really cold, the other really far away from anything. But whites in each country created first world societies.


But you were in no way a part of that and yet you as another white person are able to take pride by extension in the work of another white person and because of your privilege no one will laugh at how utterly ridiculous you sound by taking pride in some event you did not play nor could you have ever played any part in. Because all white history is written by the winner and Whites have been winning (By hook or by crook) for a LONG tiime.

To the victor go the spoils friend and the greatest spoil of war is not any bauble or gold, it's a chance to write history, to create legacy.

• Chris in NC

oh please. The US was NOT built on the backs slaves. The fact of the matter is that slaves were regional and those regions never advanced until that was eliminated. As any decent historian will tell you, the slave labor in the south was the worst method of getting things done. They didn't produce nearly as well as the technical advancements that replaced them.

• yakov

since blacks have roots in the US that go back to the 1600s I guess you can say blacks did as much building (probably more) as your vaunted white ancestors. Blacks been working here for almost 400 years. Without slaves america would've been a mediocre country.

• Snoop8765

Up yours. Privilege comes from IQ and hard work. How is Detroit working for ya?

• Alex

I'm pretty sure any of Huber's son's contemporaries could write a better article on race relations in Philly. Ah Philadelphia magazine, courting white audiences since the 20th century.

• Vyncennt
Yes, courting the entire 37% of us remaining in this city. Did the author offend you when he did not sing the praises of our African American citizens? Or was it when he refused to denigrate the white citizens? Which of these un-PC crimes bothers you more?

• Stephany

What controversy has Philly Mag taken on here, Hank? These things that "never get said," have they not been said before (by whom the disparity of class and racial inequality is effecting), or is no one listening? Philadelphia is one of, if not thee most racist of states. It is where race relations began and were defined. One could strongly argue that Philadelphia is intrinsically racist. I cringe at the fact that the race issue in Philadelphia will now be described to have been "daringly" poked at because a white, privileged man drafts a cry for attention with poorly drawn conclusions and flagrant disregard for the actual history of the city of Philadelphia as it relates to race.

• Fred

Philadelphia is a state?

• Cornball_Kenyan

What does it matter if they are a state or not? They are racist! Didn't you read Stephany's educated comment?

• Spectral

"...white privileged man drafts a cry for attention..." ?

You are so blinded by your politics and your well-stoked self pity that you can't recognize the truth when you see it. If this mild article, with its anemic forays into race relations, sets you off that much, then you are part of the problem.

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