Far worse crimes than a few Mummers in blackface, which was handled

I’ve known Philadelphia’s City Council president, who also represents my district, is out of his mind and his response to the *few* Mummers in blackface at this year’s parade confirms that.

He posted on Facebook:

Also, Darrell Clarke told the Inky,

“At some point, there needs to be a conversation about whether or not this particular portion of the parade should be allowed in the city of Philadelphia if people can’t police themselves.”

Remember: “If people can’t police themselves.”

Let’s see. Froggy Carr leadership told the Inky it’s not a racist club, and the brigade’s 550 marchers should not be condemned for the actions of a few. Also, it’s impossible to police everyone associated with the brigade in the chaos of the parade, the group was disqualified, and the people involved have already been punished. Job done.

A short time earlier, Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted:

The threats by the politicians has some support from the crazies. From what I saw on TV news, only about a dozen people showed up to this event.

The Mummers seem to have insulted everyone in the 120 years since they first started strutting. That doesn’t mean it’s right, but it also doesn’t mean everyone involved was and is a bigot.

Exactly a year ago,

“Mayor Kenney issued the following statement on the concerns being raised about a skit at this last year’s Mummers parade:

“It’s important to respect the concerns being raised about a skit in this year’s Mummers parade. I understand why the skit was offensive to people – regardless of who the performer was – and has raised much larger issues for Philadelphians, especially African-Americans. There has been a long history of racist themes in the parade, and while it has come a long way, it’s obvious that the Mummers still have much more work to do to ensure this is a parade that every Philadelphian can enjoy.

“Since the beginning of my Administration, we have taken unprecedented efforts to work with parade organizers to prevent racist and offensive elements from appearing in the Mummers Parade and to hold the organization accountable. My Administration will expand our work with the Mummers and members of communities across Philadelphia to ensure diverse viewpoints are represented and respected. But I also urge the Mummers organization to commit more resources toward comprehensive anti-racism and anti-bias trainings for its members.

“We’ll only truly be a united city when we all understand and respect each other’s experiences and perspectives. That’s something I strive to do every day as mayor.”

https://www.phila.gov/2019-01-03-mayor-kenneys-statement-on-2019-mummers-parade/

I honestly didn’t remember the issue on Jan. 1, 2019, and that says something. Turns out, I researched and you’ll be able to watch what happened, and what didn’t, shortly!

A lot has happened in the dozen decades of the Mummers parade, and there will be more changes for the better. A few people with bad taste in a sea of orange frogs, just one contingent of the parade, ought to be considered an improvement.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case with the city as a whole.

But back to “If people can’t police themselves.”

Mayor Kenney and Council President Clarke do not have their priorities in order and I don’t think any (or more than a few) Philadelphia politicians do. I’d like to hear from or about some who do, after reading this post.

Around New Year’s, how about getting the drunks who were blocking traffic on streets, which are already filled with potholes, out of the way? And ticketing the cars blocking already heavy traffic? Or push pause on the never-ending construction closing streets during the holidays (especially the 1100 block of Chestnut Street), instead of starting that one up?

Continuing with problems that won’t go away:

  • Policing the streets! Last year, Philadelphia had more murders than in a decade, and just a few more than in 2018. There are way too many real crimes going on than a handful of Mummers in blackface, which was immediately handled.
  • Get rid of “criminal justice reform” as a whole and only look at specific cases where there hasn’t been justice, in order to help people learn to “police themselves.” (See Meek Mill.) Give those “further penalties” and “additional penalties” to most lawbreakers instead of threatening the thousands who showed up to participate in and watch the parade, because a mere few exercised their First Amendment rights with bad judgment. (And we know you choose which lawbreakers to go after. Plus, the only “crime” in the parade was bad judgment because we know what happened to Megyn Kelly for seemingly defending the subject, as long as it was done with conditions.)
  • How about the pigs who throw trash everywhere and make this city an ugly one in which to live?
  • Plus, we’re investing in new bike lanes yet bicyclists using them fail to even pause to look for cars at stop signs and red lights, causing danger to themselves and congestion for the rest of us.
  • And while I’m at it, how about banning business deliveries during the day – and the same with deliveries for shows and festivals – to clear the streets? Maybe places that close at night will remain open instead, creating better lit and safer environments, and convincing people this city has more to offer in another way than the suburbs.

As it stands now, I can’t understand why anyone would want to move into Philadelphia: a one-party system. It’s never good, whether the left or the right is in complete control.

Step across the city line and there’s debate in politics, and those in charge have to show results quickly or they’ll get voted out in the next election.

There’s also no city wage tax (which is larger than the state’s income tax, and less for people who only work in the city), less of a sales tax, better schools in general and in many cases, easier access to Center City on SEPTA.

Most people in the suburbs are liberal on social issues and crafted their own nondiscrimination policies since the state won’t.

The only bad thing I can think of about living and staying in a suburb is not being eligible for city jobs. But that’s not important to most people since they work for private businesses, and would probably live closer to work if that was in the city.

Where am I wrong on this?

Different suburbs have different personalities. I like an urban atmosphere and being able to walk to various places instead of driving. (I certainly don’t do enough walking for leisure, despite living in the city and across from a park, and walking for “necessity” would be good for me.) Can anyone recommend the right suburb?

With all that can and should be should’ve been improved, a few marchers spotted wearing blackface during the Mummers parade got Philadelphia’s political establishment out of control. They should remember that’s not life-threatening, and tackle the issues that are, rather than simply open their big mouths and take time away from solving those life-threatening issues.

I watched a little of the parade on TV. Seemed from most of the pre-recorded messages that Mummer leaders live outside the city. Maybe a suburb would be interested in hosting the parade? No, it wouldn’t be as big. People would come to Center City anyway. Others would remain from the night before. But the host town would get people to visit, while shopping and eating there as well, helping the economy and getting its name more prominently on the map. And parade organizers would talk to politicians who really want to make a difference and don’t put so much red tape in the way.

You read a lot of how Philadelphia treats its citizens last, but it goes all out for Jay-Z and his private, overpriced concert around Independence Day.

Last year’s Mummers controversy concerned a skit showing a man dressed as Jay-Z appearing to treat Mayor Kenney like his dog. Click here to watch with your volume up. You saw how the mayor condemned the group and his reason for doing so in an official press release, but the man who portrayed Jay-Z wasn’t wearing blackface; he was black!

Issues like these should turn moderates who are bothered into Republicans, at least on a local level. (I’m a moderate who doesn’t support either big party, nor the smaller ones, but wrote that last line considering the situation in Philadelphia politics.) The election to vote most local politicians out is still far away, but doing so may finally force needed change in Philadelphia, and stop the same nonsense that causes productive people to leave.

P.S. To anyone who says fewer people have been leaving, or that Philadelphia has made gains: Tax abatements that get people here don’t last forever!

P.P.S. My response to the mayor, shortly after his tweet:

About the author

The journalism “business” has changed — from standards to platforms to layoffs — along with the American public, and I’ve managed to survive somewhat on my own terms.

I started in 1994, becoming an award-winning and respected TV newscast producer.

Even better was creatively producing websites and social media, and serving as a station's digital media manager — writing news, creating graphics and getting evidence of growing my audience here in the nation's fourth largest market, Philadelphia.

I also taught first grade for eight years. My principal saw my class website and made me electronic gradebook manager to assist co-workers when we stopped using paper gradebooks.

In 2018, I took courses and earned the Google IT Support Professional Certificate.

In 2019, I was a freelance newspaper reporter, but enjoyed copy editing and reviving the publication’s social media even more.

That got me striking out on my own with a local news website to join the blog I created, designed and write.

Ask me about all the details.

I did drive Uber to make ends meet until I started as a customer service representative at one of the world’s largest web-hosting companies, with more than 8 million customer contracts and hosting more than 12 million domains.

With classroom and newsroom experience, I know how to prioritize, analyze and take the best course of action. Getting results means attention to detail, following through and following up.

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