A couple of hours ago, Gawker posted a blog that at first glance might seem like a cheap shot for quick hits. One of my smart Twitter followers said as much.
The post’s title: “The Search for the Most Racist City in America Begins Today. First city under the microscope: Philadelphia.”
Cue the hateful, ignorant, racist Internet trolls, right?
But there was something in the post that intrigued me. According to the author, it was residents of Philly who complained about being omitted from an original list of the five most racist cities in the America.
Philly is racist, online commenters said. “It’s sad but true,” wrote Kevin Schueller.
“Philly definitely gets my vote for the most racist town I have ever had the displeasure to live in,” added Niles_Urdu.
But others who disagree also chimed in: “When I go to bars in NYC, I rarely see the level of race-mixing I do in Philadelphia,” said fugit.
And from Isthatso: “Philly is awesome — the least racist big city I’d venture you’d find in the U.S.”
Part of me agrees with fugit. In my time here, I’ve seen a refreshing level of diversity that was sorely missing from some of the places I lived in Connecticut — not to mention my old newsroom.
But parts of Philly — the very poor and the very affluent — strike me as decidedly segregated.
As for people’s feelings about race and ethnicity here? It’s been a mixed bag for me so far. It’s either a non-issue or one that seemingly well-meaning folks seem to trip over. Example: Several people have mentioned my “tint” when discussing my ethnicity.
From the comments on the Gawker blog so far, it seems like many seem a little torn about how Philly handles issues of race. Either way, I think my smart Twitter follower is right about one thing. This will most certainly get Gawker plenty of hits.