March 7, 2013

It's not always sunny in Philadelphia

Here's a massively controversial article in Philadelphia Magazine where a white journalist talks about the subject of race in Philadelphia with less misdirection than is the norm:
Being White in Philly 
Whites, race, class, and the things that never get said. 
By Robert Huber 
March 2013 
759 Comments and 0 Reactions

My younger son goes to Temple, where he’s a sophomore. This year he’s living in an apartment with two friends at 19th and Diamond, just a few blocks from campus. It’s a dangerous neighborhood. Whenever I go see Nick, I get antsy and wonder what I was thinking, allowing him to rent there. 
One day, before I pick him up for lunch, I stop to talk to a cop who’s parked a block away from Nick’s apartment. 
“Is he already enrolled for classes?” the cop says when I point out where my son lives. 
Well, given that it’s December, I think so. But his message is clear: Bad idea, this neighborhood. A lot of burglaries and robberies. Temple students are prime prey, the cop says. 
Later, driving up Broad Street as I head home to Mount Airy, I stop at a light just north of Lycoming and look over at some rowhouses. One has a padlocked front door. A torn sheet covering the window in that door looks like it might be stained with sewage. I imagine not a crackhouse, but a child, maybe several children, living on the other side of that stained sheet. Plenty of children in Philadelphia live in places like that. Plenty live on Diamond, where my son rents, where there always seem to be a lot of men milling around doing absolutely nothing, where it’s clearly not a safe place to be. 
I’ve shared my view of North Broad Street with people—white friends and colleagues—who see something else there: New buildings. Progress. Gentrification. They’re sunny about the area around Temple. I think they’re blind, that they’ve stopped looking. Indeed, I’ve begun to think that most white people stopped looking around at large segments of our city, at our poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods, a long time ago. One of the reasons, plainly put, is queasiness over race. Many of those neighborhoods are predominantly African-American. And if you’re white, you don’t merely avoid them—you do your best to erase them from your thoughts. 
At the same time, white Philadelphians think a great deal about race. Begin to talk to people, and it’s clear it’s a dominant motif in and around our city. Everyone seems to have a story, often an uncomfortable story, about how white and black people relate.

Many other journalists have objected to Huber writing honestly about race:

Jason Fagone writes:
Philly Mag’s “Being White in Philly” Doesn’t Make Sense as Journalism 
How do you launch a frank discussion about race under a cloak of anonymity?

Uh, how do you a launch a frank discussion about race not under a cloak of anonymity? To be precise, Huber isn't anonymous, but the white people who agreed to talk to him wanted anonymity.

And here's more controversy from Romenesko.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unless an article mentions fear of stronger black muscle and more aggressive black emotions, it's really useless.
Blacks scare whites, browns, yellows, and Muslims because blacks are built like the Williams sisters and NFL players.
It's not because of poverty. Sure, poor folks of all races have nasty criminal elements, but there is a special fear of blacks because blacks are much tougher and more aggressive naturally.

Anonymous said...

"A torn sheet covering the window in that door looks like it might be stained with sewage. I imagine not a crackhouse, but a child, maybe several children, living on the other side of that stained sheet."

Why not both?

And the scathing, biting, yet fabulous rebuttal comes from one Jason. One. Fag.

Anonymous said...

Gentrification. They’re sunny about the area around Temple. I think they’re blind,

1) People you meet in an area probably have come to terms with it, and have a more positive view than the general population.

2) They might be right it is a low risk high reward investment. They are gambling that the inner city has been tamed. People who bought the LA riots low did fabulously in big city centers.

DYork said...

Then there's this macroaggression in Philly. Happy Kwanza, White Lady.

A Christmas day she will no doubt remember.

Anonymous said...

The willingness of whites to anonymously talk about race is increasing. I occasionally attend a milk-toast GOP club here in my city. Six years ago, it was completely taboo to talk about race. Now, it's not uncommon for the subject to be broached after a few drinks -- esp. regarding crime, Third World immigration, IQ, not wanting one's kids to interracially date, etc. I heard from a guy that he regularly reads Sailer's blog, which pleasantly surprised me. :)

Anonymous said...

Jason Fagone writes:

Is his last name seriously "Fagone"?

Anonymous said...

@ first anon

Really, it's way less about the physique and way more about the -totally random- brutality that blacks inflict on whites. It's the fact that a group of blacks will beat a white passerby into a coma for no reason at all.

ironrailsironweights said...

Unless an article mentions fear of stronger black muscle and more aggressive black emotions, it's really useless.
Blacks scare whites, browns, yellows, and Muslims because blacks are built like the Williams sisters and NFL players.
It's not because of poverty. Sure, poor folks of all races have nasty criminal elements, but there is a special fear of blacks because blacks are much tougher and more aggressive naturally.


It looks like the Blogosphere's Quasi-Homoerotic Black Male Physical Superiority Fetish is rearing its ugly head again.

Peter

FredR said...

Ta-Nehisi Coates didn't like it, although it sounds more like he's thinking about his own career than anything else.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/03/against-the-conversation-on-race/273735/

Anonymous said...

First anon,
Back in the 50s most Americans of all races weren't particularly frightened of blacks. Now some black athletes are bigger these days, but so are many fitness conscious whites so there is no reason to believe that the average black is hugely bigger than the average white. What has changed is the black crime and violence rate

Gloria

Anonymous said...

First anon,
Back in the 50s most Americans of all races weren't particularly frightened of blacks. Now some black athletes are bigger these days, but so are many fitness conscious whites so there is no reason to believe that the average black is hugely bigger than the average white. What has changed is the black crime and violence rate

Gloria

Anonymous said...

but there is a special fear of blacks because blacks are much tougher and more aggressive naturally.

Are blacks really tougher, or just more aggressive and violent?

Noah172 said...

It looks like the Blogosphere's Quasi-Homoerotic Black Male Physical Superiority Fetish is rearing its ugly head again.

Whiskey bait!

Beta alpha HATE HATE HATE black men white women SWPLs Scots-Irish nukes Obama blahblahblahblah....

Anonymous said...

Philly, Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago... Why only NYC as allowed to save itself?

Harry Baldwin said...

It's the fact that a group of blacks will beat a white passerby into a coma for no reason at all.

It's a combination of that and the fact that so many blacks don't really seem to fear the repercussions of their actions. They'll beat up an old man, video it, and put it up on World Star Hip Hop. It's hard to deal with that. I'm white and have my CCW but live in fear of ever being swept up in the criminal justice system, a la George Zimmerman. The Trayvon Martins just don't give a durn.

Rory Miller, a corrections officer for 20 years and now an author, wrote, "Crime fighting is an attempt, instead of lowering the rewards of the criminal lifestyle, to raise the risks. Catch 'em, book 'em, hard time. You have to take a look, a hard look at whether that is a risk or even a punishment in this subculture... or just the way rugby players think about the occasional injury. I don't think surveys will help... but I recall the young man about to be transported to prison for the first time at the tender age of eighteen. He was excited. In his family, doing time in prison was the rite of passage to manhood. Jail didn't count."

Anonymous said...

"Why only NYC as allowed to save itself?"

DC is steadily gentrifying. The difference may be that the economy is better here than in Philly, Detroit, Cleveland, and Chicago.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever heard of a black antinatalist?

Anonymous said...

To the very first anonymous poster:

I do not agree that blacks are inherently tougher or stronger then whites, or other peoples either. Have you ever seen a professional strongman contest? The contestants are almost always white. Indeed strongmen pro sports is probably the whitest sport out there, even more then hockey. Likewise most pro powerlifters and Olympic weightlifter champions are whites too. These sports just don't get the attention or publicity like the black-heavy NFL does.

HOWEVER, I DO THINK most blacks are more aggressive, anti-social and have much poorer impulse controls then people of other races. I have seen with my own eyes, blacks get into nasty physical altercations about things that I (and I believe most other ordinary whites) wouldn't bat an eye over. Take the Trayvon Martin case. Most whites or Asians would have simply replied that they were visiting relatives who lived in the development when asked by Zimmerman what they were doing there. That would have been the end of the whole matter. But one has to realize the mentality and pathology of blacks, especially young black males. He felt he had been "dissed" and had to do something about it. And a lot of blacks just don't seem to care about consequences or what happens to them. There is a kind of 'craziness' and irrationality to their anger. Most whites, Jews, Asians, etc, are simply not going to throw their lives away over such petty issues. It is this that gives blacks the psychological edge and creates the FALSE impression of black "toughness" and physical "superiority". Just as a "winning personality" can be used as a mask to hide a low I.Q, so can projecting an attitude of hostility and surliness can be used to appear as "toughness", rather then genuine intestinal fortitude.

Aaron Gross said...

A frank discussion of the savagery of black-on-white violence, and the white experience of that violence, was launched 50 years ago this year. It was not launched anonymously. It was launched by an influential, left-liberal editor and writer who was not afraid of controversy. Norman Podhoretz, "My Negro Problem - and Ours," Commentary magazine, February, 1963.

I can understand why the mainstream right wouldn't want to revisit that trailblazing article - Commentary included. But I wonder why nobody in the "alternative" right has revisited it on its 50th anniversary last month, when they were all busy talking about the 50th anniversary of The Feminine Mystique.

Anonymous said...

Most whites or Asians would have simply replied that they were visiting relatives who lived in the development when asked by Zimmerman what they were doing there.

I don't think Zimmerman even got the chance to ask that question. Didn't the kid jump?

wren said...

Yesterday, the Daily Mail ran an article about a young white honors student who was beat up in school and died. He didn't try to defend himself.

I think it happened in Philadelphia.

Strangely for the Daily Mail, the comments were closed, and there were no pictures of the attackers' parents or bullies.

A local paper showed me that it was just random school violence, and that the bully's dad was black.

Anonymous said...

Reply to Aaron Gross,

First of all, I strongly advise you to use a pseudonym not your real name.

Second, the reason the Alternative Right is not marking the publication of Podhoretz's excellent piece is of course the anti semetism of the Alternative Rigth

Robert in Arabia said...

I just saw my first sustained act of physical violence in public in 12 years on the Arabia Peninsula. Last night, a massive 12 year old son of Obama beat and kicked his 10 year old brother mercilessly. His three older sisters did nothing.

group strategy said...

I wonder why nobody in the "alternative" right has revisited it on its 50th anniversary

Just take the text but change the author to "Norm Pozniewojic" and replace all references to Brooklyn w/ "St. Louis" or "Toledo" or "Terre Haute" and the paleos will love it. They'll be falling over each other to hymn its brilliance--best piece of writing since Beowulf

racism singularity said...

Is his last name seriously "Fagone"

Watch it, you're on the precipice of violating several current laws of the universe right there; if ever we have to hear Italians complain about being associated with hatespeech terminology for gays AND (this is key) take it seriously, the whole damned thing is going to collapse in on itself.

Anonymous said...

Blacks seem to have a proclivity for pack attacks over one-on-one fights. Does that make them tough?

Anonymous said...

"Blacks seem to have a proclivity for pack attacks over one-on-one fights. Does that make them tough?"

No. It makes them cowardly.

Antioco Dascalon said...

Gloria,
That is not true. Blacks were particularly feared fifty years ago. "In my world it was the whites, the Italians and the Jews who feared the negroes, not the other way around. The negroes were tougher than we were, more ruthless and on the whole they were better athletes."
--My Negro Problem… and Ours, February, 1963.
As for the evidence of "strongest man" contests. I think we are talking about untrained, non-steroid using, non-bodybuilders. American blacks tend to be more muscular and enter puberty sooner than whites and Asians. In the formative years of high school, blacks are usually the largest and most athletic. And most violent.

Aaron Gross said...

"I strongly advise you to use a pseudonym not your real name."

Thanks, but I've long since learned to live with my last name. Oh, maybe you meant something else. In that case: posting under our real names is the least we should do, if at all possible. Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

I don't think anti-Semitism is the reason Podhoretz's essay is forgotten. Lots of alt/paleo right types aren't anti-Semitic, or at least not enough for it to matter. I mean, why hasn't Nicholas Stix said anything about the essay? Probably never heard of it or just hasn't thought about it.

Anonymous said...

Just take the text but change the author to "Norm Pozniewojic" and replace all references to Brooklyn w/ "St. Louis" or "Toledo" or "Terre Haute" and the paleos will love it. They'll be falling over each other to hymn its brilliance--best piece of writing since Beowulf

I take it that you have not read that 1963 essay. Paleos are not against it because a Jew wrote it. They would not love it no matter who wrote it because of the following passage:

I share this hope, but I cannot see how it will ever be realized unless color does in fact disappear: and that means not integration, it means assimilation, it means - let the brutal word come out- miscegenation.

wren said...

Aaron Gross -- Thanks for mentioning that article, but I can't easily find a link to it. I just find abstracts or mentions.

Do you have a link?

wren said...

Thanks 10:25 anonymous.

eah said...

Some of the black mob attacks over the last couple of years that the media tried hard to ignore happened in Philadelphia, where the reporting ignored race just as aggressively as everywhere else.

I won't bother to read the "massively controversial" article because having been to Philadelphia I'm sure it just states the obvious: a large part of it is a black shithole.

Video: Three sought in home-invasion robbery near Temple's campus

Aaron Gross said...

Here's a link to "My Negro Problem - and Ours".

Re the "miscegenation" conclusion: this was an article in a left-liberal journal. Still, I think I remember that many years later, Podhoretz - by this time a neocon - said that the article's conclusion had been naive, a reflection of liberal attitudes at the time.

I don't see why alt/paleo writers should ignore the article because of its conclusion, which was a non sequitur anyway. "Revisiting" should be critical, as it was for The Feminine Mystique.

Here are a couple excerpts. Keep in mind that Commentary was at the time a leading journal by and for the left-liberal (especially Jewish) intelligentsia, which strongly supported the Civil Rights movement.

That day in school the teacher had asked a surly Negro boy named Quentin a question he was unable to answer. As usual I had waved my arm eagerly ("Be a good boy, get good marks, be smart, go to college, become a doctor") and, the right answer bursting from my lips, I was held up lovingly by the teacher as an example to the class. I had seen Quentin's face - a very dark, very cruel, very Oriental-looking face - harden, and there had been enough threat in his eyes to make me run all the way home...

In the last three or four years of the elementary school from which we have just graduated, each grade had been divided into three classes, according to "intelligence." ... These divisions by IQ, or however it was arranged, had resulted in a preponderance of Jews in the "1" classes and a corresponding preponderance of Negroes in the "3's," with the Italians split unevenly along the spectrum.

wren said...

Aaron Gross -- I enjoyed that article very much. Thanks for bringing it up. I'd like to see his follow up.

I appreciated his comment "I am constantly being denied my right to an honest expression of the things I earned the right as a child to feel."

That's a constant micro-aggression I feel too. And I bet all micro-aggressees feel the same way about their particular issues.

Time for micro-WWI



Anonymous said...

Good Lord!

I never knew that Lukeford.com (my favorite internet site back in the day), would ever get a hat-tip in iSteve.
Think of the early days of the net combined with adolexcent male obsessions.

Bill said...

Aaron Gross said . . .


I don't think anti-Semitism is the reason Podhoretz's essay is forgotten. Lots of alt/paleo right types aren't anti-Semitic, or at least not enough for it to matter. I mean, why hasn't Nicholas Stix said anything about the essay? Probably never heard of it or just hasn't thought about it.


It's obviously not anti-semitism. Some alt righters don't know the article. Among those who do know the article, almost all also know other aspects of the history of the right in the US. Like, for example, that the alt right consists of those rightists purged and persecuted by Norman Podhoretz & company. Praising him would be an act of craven cowardice and stupidity.

This is not even a little hard to understand. Nor is it bad strategy. The circumstance for digging up this article from an alt right perspective would be if it were to be useful to bludgeon the Pods with at some point. Say, as anonymous at 10:25 did.

Keep in mind that Commentary was at the time a leading journal by and for the left-liberal (especially Jewish) intelligentsia, which strongly supported the Civil Rights movement.

It remains that. That the Pod people have taken over the R party does not magically make them non-left-liberal. It just means that the right has no party in the US.

carol said...

each grade had been divided into three classes, according to "intelligence."

Ah, yes. They did that at my HS circa 1967. I was in several "accelerated" classes, and never realized how many NAMs were enrolled. It was a half-mestizo school.

Good times.





Anonymous said...

Re the "miscegenation" conclusion: this was an article in a left-liberal journal. Still, I think I remember that many years later, Podhoretz - by this time a neocon - said that the article's conclusion had been naive, a reflection of liberal attitudes at the time.

I don't see why alt/paleo writers should ignore the article because of its conclusion, which was a non sequitur anyway. "Revisiting" should be critical, as it was for The Feminine Mystique.


Whether or not he has backtracked on miscegenation, I don't know. But I find it more troubling that he wrote this to a Jewish audience in 1963, who probably shared his experiences of growing up with blacks in NYC. Yet much of this audience, led by Emanuel Celler, would go on to push for a complete overhaul of our immigration system two years later bringing even more dysfunction into our nation. Given their first hand experiences of going to school with blacks, you'd have thought they would have been in the vanguard against the demographic destruction of the USA. Go figure.

As to whether Paleos should study his essay, I suppose they could, but they could probably do better in reading Thomas Jefferson's accounts on race.

Anonymous said...

here is no reason to believe that the average black is hugely bigger than the average white

Unless, by "bigger", you mean more obese. It is time to put this Black Supervillain idea to rest. Only a tiny fraction of black superjocks are so huge, tall, muscular, and athletic. One might as well believe that Yao Ming is a typical Asian.

Most of black (and other NAM) aggression is due to their gang- based tribalism (ten against one, that's SO brave) and unwillingness of the "white" police and justice system to acknowledge, much less fight, the problem.

Anonymous said...

"Given their first hand experiences of going to school with blacks, you'd have thought they would have been in the vanguard against the demographic destruction of the USA. Go figure."

Good point. This just shows how often people act in a manner NOT in their best interests, especially their best long-term interests. I see nothing to suggest that muslims, Asians or Latinos feel any affinity or connection to Jews. While Jews like to think of themselves as a "minority", most non-whites just see them as privileged whites. Jews may yet find themselves being hoisted on their own petard. What was the worst thing to happen to Jews in pre-1965 America? They weren't allowed to join some private country clubs? (Oh, the humanity!) The unknown future may be far worse.

JSM said...

No, guys.

Jason is right.

Because how *do* you have a frank conversation with an Anonymous when what you want to say to him is: "Frankly, you need to shut up or we'll MAKE you shut up"?

Anonymous said...

30 or 40 years ago, it was common for middle class and lower class whites to live in urban neighborhoods with large proportions of poor blacks. These days not even the poorest whites live in these areas.

There's got to have been some change in culture to account for this. Saying that blacks are more muscular or more violent doesn't make sense, as this likely was the case even decades ago. Something else must've changed.

The poster who made a comment about race-based tribalism seems to be on to something. I think a few decades ago, white Americans (Italians, Jews, Southern whites, Irish, Polish) were quite a bit more tribalistic. If you messed with one, you brought down the wrath of the tribe. These days, however, the only tribalistic people in America are minorities. It's a different world we live in. Other than maybe Asians and Indians, who are physiscally weak and non-aggressive, non-whites are generally regarded as being somewhat tougher because of their higher degree of tribalism.

Even in the EU, white Germans seem scared of Turks..... and white British seem scared of Pakistanis....... and white French seem scared of Berber-Arabs.... and in each of those countries, the fear of the immigrants comes not because of their strength, but their pack attack behavior.

That blacks are stronger and more impulsively violent matters, but what about Mexicans? They're not particularly strong or violent, but they seem to not be as intimidated to live in black areas.

An instructive case are NYC and Boston. Both used to be full of white ethnic neighborhoods (Bensonhurst, Howard Beach, Southie) where blacks feared tread at night. Not really so much these days. What changed?

Or in Britain. White chavs used to beat up Pakistanis all the time. Now they're generally scared to go into their neighborhoods and are actually in a situation where Paki gangs are running prostitution rings full of chav girls. What changed?

It seems to me that a decline in white tribalism can account for quite a bit of this.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 7:21 PM;

I agree with a lot of what you say here but I also think sheer numbers (demography) matter too. In the respective European countries you mention, the ethnics were far fewer in times past then they are now. But you are right. Whites are not organized.

Jay said...

I'm anoynmous 7:21 PM.

To 8:51 PM: Okay, but what percent of Britain is Muslim. Like 5 percent? These numbers are not overwhelming.... and anyway, Afro-Carribeans (1 percent of the population) are not scared of Muslims. How can a 90% white country fear the other 5 percent, especially when the other 5 percent are from groups not known for their physicality (South Asians are underrepresented significantly in soccer and boxing, compared to white British and blacks)?

It's less about organization than raw tribalism. You mess with one of the tribe and you bring down the entire pack on you. Mexican-Hispanics aren't especially tough or violent, but they're mildly tribal enough that they can hold their own when they're in the majority. Whites (and Asians) are so pathetic that a few blacks can scare an overwhelmingly white/Asian/Indian crowd.

That wasn't true back when white mobs and blacks mobs fought during the MLK riots. Wasn't true back when whites fought (sometimes physically) busing. Wasn't even really true in the east coast ethnic (Irish, Italians, etc.) neighborhoods as recently as the late 1990s.

I laugh when people refer to Hispanics as they're some sort of emerging tough anti-black resistance force. Hispanics have never really been regarded as physical specimens or good fighters. Read Podhoretz's "My Negro Problem" where he says he doesn't feel scared passing Puerto Rican men late at night. Hispanics are not tough and were traditionally regarded as downtrodden docile people.

For Hispanics now to be regarded as some sort of tough fighting force, relative to the white population, really represents a change in this country. Podhoretz Sr. didn't think Hispanics were tough, but junior does.

We live in a changing country. As Eric Holder said, a "nation of cowards."

Londoner said...

Read about the case of Thomas ap Rhys Price for one of the clearest and most extreme exemplars of what we're talking about. It's like a bio-weapon has been introduced into western cities. Like something out of 'Aliens'.

As for people not acting in their own best interests, never heard of the frog and the scorpion?

Anonymous said...

Also factor that the police now are so afraid to look racist, or they want to reverse decades of past racism and brutality, that they are afraid to go into minority neighbourhoods, or tackle minority crime, even when clearly justified.

Truth said...

"Blacks seem to have a proclivity for pack attacks over one-on-one fights. Does that make them tough?"

Well, Son, so does your U.S. Military.