Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter looked kinda sorta okay there for a while. As Rich Lowry noted, he was refreshingly candid on the subject of the city’s riots, and of course it is easy to look relatively good in the wake of a guy like John Street. But then he was faced with an act of journalism, and he went bonkers.
Philadelphia magazine is not exactly The Economist; it is best known for things like publishing rankings of the city’s top dentists. But it recently published a nice piece of reporting by Robert Huber on the subject of “Being White in Philly.” If you know Philadelphia, you will find the picture the piece paints amusing, if unsurprising: White liberals go about studiously not noticing the relationship between race and crime in the city while working to ensure that their children do not end up in majority-black schools; old-timers remark on not having been north of Girard Avenue since 1942; foreigners, who are not equipped with the guilt-powered standard-issue American conversational filter on the subject of race say things that will make you intensely uncomfortable; and whites living on or near the borders between white Philadelphia and black Philadelphia negotiate life carefully. It is pretty standard mildly controversial commentary, and Mr. Huber concludes that our inability to speak openly and honestly about race means that whites are “dishonest by default.”
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Kevin D. Williamson