As part of their research to determine the most racist city in the United States, Gawker, has chosen to dissect the City of Brotherly love also known as Philadelphia. Personally, the only things I know about Philly are beards, cheesesteaks and my favorite drummer ?uestLove. I have yet to venture beyond that.
Gawker compiled a little list of facts about Philly:
- Population: 1.5 million
- Ethnic Breakdown: 37% White, 42% Black, 12% Latino, 6% Asian, 3% Mystery Box
- History of Racism:
- Race riots in 1964 and 1842. Of the 1842 Lombard Street riot, Wikipedia notes that, “Irish Catholics, often competitors for the lowest-paying, unskilled and menial jobs, perceived the city’s more successful African-American residents as flaunting their success, setting the stage for the blacks to become targets for the immigrants frustrations.” Thank God things are totally different now!
- Supermarkets offering ethnically stereotypical foods as part of MLK Day sales
- Racist local pool clubs
- Mayor Frank Rizzo, who’s practically a saint in South Philadelphia
Out of the few times I’ve been to Philly, I managed not to stay long. But, I definitely didn’t feel the urge to rush back to the area. Just a simple google search of “racism in Philly”, will yield some interesting stories, including the ones above. From incidents of racism by Yelp reviewers, to even a white firefighters suicide being blamed on tension between him and an African-American commissioner.
Now there’s no concrete proof that Philly is the most racist city in America, the Gawker article is not citing statistical facts, but there were several interesting stories of racism in the comments section. I just assumed everyone in Philly hated everyone equally. I noticed everyone in Philly wears a permanent scowl on their face. One commenter by the name of Moviefan21 stated:
Philadelphia has a long history of intolerance for everybody, blacks, whites, Catholics, the Irish, the Polish, etc. You will always have people that find a reason to think they are better than someone else – no one likes being on the social bottom. In Philadelphia the history is of everyone fighting everyone for whatever blue-color job was available and fighting off the newest immigrant or group. Racism in Philadelphia is ingrained and it is not just white racism against black, it is also black against white and black against Asian. Everyone is fighting to survive on a smaller and smaller pie.
Maybe Philly isn’t the most racist city after all. It’s just filled with angry people, trying to get by and make ends meet.