April 16, 1997
History is a sobering and humbling instructor. Facing into the truth of our own histories gives much to confess: We Caucasians have oppressed those of other races, African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native Americans. We Christians have persecuted Jews and been silent when others persecuted them. We Protestants have discriminated against and sometimes fought against Roman Catholics. Concerning the present, the situation in Grays Ferry is a wake-up call. We confess that Grays Ferry has been invisible to most of us who do not live there.
January 17, 2002 |
IN THE FOUR months since September, we've moved from our first waves of dread and rage over a massacre to the slower task of facing what has been lost. The new year is a good time to assess how we're doing. In a thousand ways we've honored our dead with honorable behavior toward each other, but in some quarters we're still captive to fear. We hurt. In our frustration with the impossibility of making our world safe, some are drawn to easier targets, willing to have straw enemies set up to be shot down, to relieve the popular anger.
May 12, 2008 |
Barry Morrison listened with a modest smile last week as one speaker after another extolled his "courage" and "passion" and "integrity. " "He is a hero," Mayor Nutter told the audience of 500 at the Crystal Tea Room. "I love you, Barry, for being my friend," said an emotional Tom Martinez, a former "white supremacist from Kensington. " It sounded like a farewell party, but no. Morrison, executive director of the regional Anti-Defamation League, was celebrating his 30th anniversary at the ADL and has no plans to leave soon.
October 1, 1990 |
Though he never apologized, Japan's Justice Minister Seiroku Kajiyama regretted his ignorance and incendiary remarks that he recently made, comparing American blacks to Japanese prostitutes. Four years ago former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone saluted the intelligence of his people at the expense of blacks, Hispanics and Mexicans by alleging that America's intelligence had been undermined by its minorities. He was engaging in a highly popular game called "blaming the victim.
August 6, 2012 |
George Parry is a former state and federal prosecutor practicing law in Philadelphia Vast expanses of Philadelphia are crumbling, postindustrial wastelands bordered by neighborhoods ravaged by drugs and mindless violence. Our schools are failing, and revenue-producing private commerce is leaving as our feckless city government leads us on an economic death spiral of high taxes, excessive spending, and onerous government regulation. So, when confronted by one of the nation's highest murder rates, rampant street crime, a declining economy, and an eroding tax base, to what should City Council devote its time and resources?
September 19, 2001
Patience, intolerance, justice and retaliation I belong to that practically all-inclusive category of Americans caught up in one emotion or another. But now is the time to gather ourselves, to acquire the patience that will help our leaders lay their plans dispassionately and well, and to prepare for the possibility of an imperfect outcome. Colin Powell's view that nonmilitary means may be just as effective against a nontraditional foe is reassuringly sensible. In this contest, pitched battles could not possibly have the same significance as in World War II. And, in light of reports of intolerance directed against good Americans irrationally linked to the terror, I would hope that our commitment to the golden rule can coexist with the need for retribution and justice.
March 31, 1995 |
Two years after scrambling from behind to win re-election to the U.S. Senate, Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter yesterday began the toughest climb of his 30-year political life - the quest for the Republican nomination for president. "Yeah, it's uphill," Specter admitted quietly as he formally announced his candidacy in Washington and in Harrisburg. "I'm used to it. I don't know what it would be like any other way. " With the Lincoln Memorial as a backdrop and the day's momentary sunshine shining upon several busloads of Philadelphians gathered on the National Mall, Specter, 65, launched a long-shot effort to capture moderate voters in the GOP with a program of fiscal conservatism and social libertarianism.
January 5, 1988
OF IRELAND, KILLINGS AND RECIPROCITY Just before Christmas, I received a phone call informing me that a dear friend of mine in Northern Ireland was murdered when his car was blown up by the Irish Republican Army. While I write this, I am blinded by grief. Yet, that grief turns to rage when I remember that it is the money of countless "Americans" (who consider themselves Irish first) that bought the bomb that killed my friend John. Many in our country are sympathetic to the Irish cause because they have not heard the other point of view.
March 6, 1995 |
In just the past six months . . . many were affronted by a research funding received by a faculty member from an outside foundation accused of supporting neo-Nazi and racist agendas, by a student's article on Haiti published by a campus publication, and the retrospective exhibit of Andres Serrano's photographs . . . especially the notorious, "Piss Christ. " Not surprisingly, the common cry in response to each of these incidents has been: "Why doesn't the university stop this!" We "permit" these events because, first, in truth, we can never wholly prevent them - and in each of these recent cases, those responsible acted legally, were clearly identified, and did not hide behind the illicit screens of anonymity or vandalism.
April 1, 2010
CEI BELL'S op-ed ("Abuse of LGBTQ Children") is heart-wrenching. Foster families should be screened for their understanding and acceptance of all sexual orientations. With respect to the alleged abuse by a DHS worker, this should be investigated immediately, No such behavior can be tolerated. Thanks to Cei Bell for a disturbing but important article. Tim Kearney, Democratic Candidate for State Representative Philadelphia Stickin' up for the mayor Re Mary Ann McMahon's letter criticizing Mayor Nutter: I'm tired of people trashing the mayor.