Public Hearing Held About Controversial Article Published In Local Magazine
By Community Affairs reporter Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations held a public meeting last week about the Philadelphia Magazine cover story “Being White In Philly” published last month. (see related story)
The article included comments from white sources about poor African Americans, causing outrage among blacks and whites alike.
The meeting was in response to a scathing letter from Mayor Michael Nutter asking the commission to inquire into the article, which represented race relations as poor in the Fairmount community, which has been undergoing gentrification for years.
“We really have to change how we receive poverty,” said one attendee.
Several dozen community members attended the meeting at historic Girard College, expressing emotions expressed about the article.
“As a white person, I was deeply embarrassed to read that article,” said one woman.
“These things have existed for a very long time,” said another. “But the problem is the people who need to hear these experiences are not in this room.”
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter also gave testimony.
“This particular story did not serve the readers or the residents of this great city and it created an incomplete and therefore false impression of race relations here in Philadelphia,” said Nutter.
Philly Mag representatives declined to attend the meeting, citing first amendment rights.