PW readers sound off.
I grew up in Detroit, went to school in New Orleans and my first job out of college was selling pharmaceuticals in Camden, N.J. I’ve been to, and lived in, some racially sensitive areas. However, I have never seen the animosity and hatred in the eyes of people like I see here in the eyes of African-Americans. And I get the feeling that the whites just want to ignore that hate and hope it goes away. I don’t know what the answers are. But I know that South Philly (I live about four blocks north of South Philadelphia HS) does not feel safe at any time that the students are not in school. The tension is palpable. After four years in SP I have decided to leave. I am sick of being looked at like I’m the enemy, of having my bicycle stolen again and again and feeling frightened all the time. I live in a building with a young, white couple, a hispanic couple and a single, African-American mother with two kids. I will miss all my neighbors, they are my friends.
TERRI PRATHER via philadelphiaweekly.com
Good article, which makes good points. The ethnicity and racial heritage of city officials is now secondary to the job and ideas that they promote. These officials were elected by a wide section of the population, based on beliefs about their competence. As a multi-ethnic city, we have come a long way in digesting the bad meal that slavery and segregation and poor schools in the South created for the whole nation. I have run up against some bad vibes in Philadelphia, some times from African-Americans, sometimes from South Philly Italians. It sucks, but is generally no more damaging than the bile I produce as I react to these idiots. There is history here, behind these hard feelings. We must work to create a sense of citizenship and commonality, so that we do not feel frightened, oppressed, or angry at others based on stereotypes.
STEVE via philadelphiaweekly.com
Thank you for an excellent article. I am getting very tired of the unreasonable, blatantly racist and openly violent reactions to this issue. The young people of our city are our responsibility and it’s up to all of us to find solutions, rather than somehow paint a bunch of kids looking for a good time as the enemy.
MONICA FLORY via philadelphiaweekly.com
Regarding Stephen Zook’s article on green jobs in Philly:
Anyone who believes that ANY industry, let alone a Green one, will come here is smokin’ some serious weed. Look at our City and State government. Crooked as all hell, and incapable of getting anything smart, or productive accomplished. Green Industry will NEVER be here as long as these morons and their party keep getting re-elected here.
NEZHY via philadelphiaweekly.com
Regarding Brian McManus' cover story about Philly musicians at SXSW:
I was surprised and disappointed to find no mention of city veterans, the Notekillers. The band has been mentioned by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore as one of his biggest influences, so much so that he released their back catalog a few years ago. In the same Wired.com article that McManus mentioned in reference to Dr. Dog (9 SXSW Bands That Blew Us Away Unexpectedly), he neglects to mention that the Notekillers were chosen as well. They beat out over a thousand bands to be recognized by one of the biggest music media outlets around and don’t get mentioned in an article highlighting the success of our city’s local talent? I am hard pressed to find a reason why that is. McManus wrote: “Like our restaurant scene, Philadelphia’s music community is in the midst of a renaissance.” And I wholeheartedly agree. If he believes this to be so, then why leave out a band that has supported the local scene and represented it with such success in Austin this year?
GORDON SHUM via email
In last week’s article titled “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” we incorrectly stated that from 2008 to 2009 Philadelphia went from having 50 LEED-certified buildings to 36 and that some building had lost their environmental ratings. USGBC’s LEED project database shows in 2008, Philadelphia gained 8 LEED-certified buildings and in 2009 gained 16 for an overall total of 33 LEED-certified buildings. Additionally, USGBC has never decertified any of its buildings. We regret the error.