July 28, 2016 |
By sheer logistics, Ruth Donnelly and Dorothy Johnson-Speight might have never met. In 2001, Johnson-Speight was 52, living in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia, working as a mental health therapist. Donnelly was 43, living in Olney, and working in education. Five miles separated them. They lived in different worlds. But profound tragedy - and coincidence - linked the two: Both lost their sons to murder. Both sons were killed by the same man, just five months - and two blocks - apart.
July 20, 2016 |
I'd like to think the folks attending the Democratic National Convention next week will spend every minute of the day doing intense politicking at the Wells Fargo Center. But I'm willing to bet a few visiting dignitaries, delegates, and volunteers also will strike out to explore the city. My fellow Philadelphians are betting on it, too: Just about every arts and cultural organization in town has an event, exhibit, or performance planned. Here's a taste of what the city will have to offer.
July 12, 2016 |
The New City Stage Company's Roseburg , running through July 31 at the Adrienne Theater Second Stage, is a play about gun control, set in the 1960s, when great figures are being assassinated and Stokely Carmichael, ironically a former leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, is encouraging the disenfranchised and marginalized to take up arms. It is a fever dream of political theater, and its timeliness is eerily unsettling. Ginger Dayle writes and directs, with Russ Widdall acting as Bobby Kennedy (as he did in New City's RFK )
July 8, 2016 |
Philadelphia playwright Ginger Dayle was eager for her actors to learn all they could about guns and gun control before they staged Roseburg , her new political drama about gun violence in America. The New City Stage Company production opens Saturday at the Adrienne Theater after a two-day preview Thursday and Friday. The play, which closes July 31, will devote one of its closing nights to an audience of delegates from the Democratic National Convention. Dayle said that, to prepare, her cast of nine actors read about mass shootings from Columbine to the Orlando massacre and brushed up on legislative history.
June 27, 2016
ISSUE | GUN CONTROL Think of the victims In April, Dr. William Begg spoke in Philadelphia about the experience of watching the 6-year-old victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting come into the emergency room. As a doctor, that is one of my worst nightmares. Every time a mass shooting such as the one in Orlando happens, I think of the injuries that gunfire causes, and then I remember that people are injured or killed every day with guns in the city where I live. When I read about Sen. Pat Toomey's votes against gun-control bills Monday ("Gridlock on gun violence," Tuesday)
June 27, 2016
Scott P. Charles is the trauma outreach coordinator at Temple University Hospital She should have been safe. When I first heard that Akyra Murray, a recent graduate of West Catholic Prep High School in Philadelphia, had become the youngest victim of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, my immediate thought was, "My God, she should have been safe. " Honor student. Basketball superstar. Odds beater. A rising college freshman from a city that had 280 homicides last year, visiting Orlando, a city that had 37. In fact, the victims who lost their lives at Pulse nightclub that night equaled the total number of homicide victims Orlando lost in 2014 and 2015 combined.
June 25, 2016
By Taylor Hosking As members of Galaei approached the microphone at Philadelphia's City Hall vigil for Orlando, they asked Latino members of the audience to step toward the front and for non-Latinos to make room. Hesitant at first, the crowd started moving. Speaker Nikki Lopez read a passage by Latina scholar Gloria Anzaldúa's "To Live in the Border Lands" connecting queerness to Hispanic heritage. She introduced the passage, using the gender-neutral term Latinx , saying, "oftentimes, because so many of our lives are erased as queer Latinx people, we forget the legacies of those who have fought before us. Queer Latinx people live on the borderlands of many different identities.
June 21, 2016
ISSUE | GUN CONTROL Don't blame Second Amendment The Islamic State may encourage mass murders, but America is the great enabler. One need look no further than Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's 2008 opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller to find approval of gun laws and legal limits to the Second Amendment. Scalia wrote, "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. " He agreed that it "was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.
June 18, 2016
Show of hands: Who really believes the murders of 49 adults celebrating Latino night at the self-described "hottest gay bar in Orlando" will give a Republican-controlled Congress any more incentive to pass significant gun control legislation than the murders of 26 children and staff at a Connecticut elementary school did four years ago? That's not to say Congress won't pass anything in light of the human toll Sunday at Pulse nightclub in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. But it's hard to expect much when the result of a 15-hour filibuster was an agreement to consider legislation that only touches the fringe of America's excess of guns and easy access to them.
June 15, 2016
It only compounded the horror that the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history called forth talking points that had been composed long before 49 innocents were murdered early Sunday. The immediate reactions on social media to the killings at Pulse Orlando, a popular gay dance club, etched a portrait of our national divisions, our mutual mistrust, and our inclination to know what we think even when we lack all the facts. Even before President Obama spoke Sunday afternoon, there were declarations of great certainty that he would attribute the massacre to guns and not "Islamism" - and would therefore feed support for Donald Trump.