Calls on PCHR to conduct an inquiry into the state of race relations in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia, March 15, 2013 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter sent a letter to Rue Landau, Executive Director, Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, in response to the Philadelphia Magazine cover story “Being White in Philly.” In the letter, Mayor Nutter decried the article for its “disgusting” tone, its collection of disparaging beliefs and negative stereotypes, and its categorical generalizations of both the purported perspective of white Philadelphians and the perceived character of African-American Philadelphians.
“Being White in Philly”, written by Robert Huber, is a piece featuring comments from anonymous, Caucasian sources describing their personal experience and feelings about the current state of race relations in the city of Philadelphia.
Mayor Nutter said in the letter, “…I believe we should take the opportunity this essay offers to conduct a more comprehensive, fact-intensive evaluation of racial issues and attitudes that provide the prism through which not only Philadelphians but Americans across the country view the many challenges that confront us as a community and a nation. I therefore request that the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations… conduct an inquiry into the state of racial issues, biases, and attitudes within and among the many communities and neighborhoods in the City of Philadelphia.”
Rue Landau responded to Mayor Nutter’s letter saying, “The Commissioners and I share the concerns of the Mayor regarding the racial insensitivity and perpetuation of harmful stereotypes portrayed in the Philadelphia Magazine piece. We will take up the Mayor’s charge and, as a matter of fact, we are already looking at intergroup relations in the city, particularly in changing communities.”
The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations voted today at their regularly scheduled public meeting to host their next public meeting in the Fairmount/Brewerytown community to address the purported state of intergroup relations in the article. The meeting will be held on Thursday, April 18 from 6-8pm at a location to be determined. Members of the community are encouraged to attend to share their personal experiences, perspective and recommendations for change.
For more information on the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, log on to http://www.phila.gov/humanrelations/.