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Monday, October 27, 2008

Race in Philadelphia

Anyone who has lived in this area for 5 minutes knows that the city of Brotherly Love, isn't. There were 6 murders over the weekend. Meanwhile, I attended an event at Penn U. where Chris Mathews of Hardball fame was on the panel. He's a Phily native and felt he could drop some comments along the way as he and others commented on the Presidential election. Several times he casually dissed North Phily for its crime and well, you know (blackness...shhhhh - don't actually say it). He used all manner of code to speak about the way the old neighborhood changed. I cringed as the mostly white crowd (it was at the Wharton School, no less)laughed along with his derision, as if it were a wink-wink moment. Sigh.

But then I read something uplifting - a discussion at Temple U. (located in North Phily) about race. They tackled it, opened up about it, and generated some insight. Here's the article from the Phily Inquirer. Penn U. could take a lesson.

Gives me inspiration for how we can generate some movement on the Rutgers campus to work with Camden instead of against it. I heard a faculty member who lives in my neighborhood, sit in a meeting and dis the city. She spoke authoritatively about crime and how unsafe the city is. She's the type who will be the first recruit...

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