Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’

Mayor Changes Tune on Black Violence Discussion

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

If blacks can criticize whites, then whites should be able to say the inner city “needs to get its act together.”

That was the bottom line of “Being White in Philly,” a controversial article written by Robert Huber and published in Philadelphia Magazine.

What followed was predictable. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said the article was a “sin” and an “incitement to extreme reaction.” The mayor called upon the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission to “rebuke” the magazine and Huber.

But not long ago, Nutter was calling for a “national conversation” about racial issues: “Black on black crime is not an isolated problem. It affects every member of every community. This is a national problem with national implications, and there needs to be a national conversation.”

Huber told WND that he assumed that when the mayor said “conversation” he meant the ordinary meaning.

“We need to learn to talk to each other honestly, without fear,” Huber said. “That would be a big step toward solving some problems.

Huber and some of the people he interviewed were critical of the crime and social disorganization in the city. Several spoke honestly about the racial aspect of crime and other social problems (See a condensed summary of their statements). On the basis of personal experience, some interviewees spoke about break-ins, assaults, robbery and other antisocial acts.

But what are the actual circumstances of crime in Philadelphia?

Over the last two decades, the city has lost 32 percent of its white population, or 263,254 people.

In the late 1990s, blacks were 43 percent of Philadelphia’s population and 76 percent of the alleged murderers (see chart below). Whites were 52 percent of the population but just 5 percent of alleged murderers.


Today, blacks are 42 percent of Philadelphia’s population and 83 percent of known murder offenders. Whites are now 37 percent of the population and 4 percent of known murder offenders.

The chart comes from a report titled “Murder Is No Mystery: An Analysis of Philadelphia Homicide, 1996-1999,” which was released in 2001 and provocatively asked:

If this went on in your own neighborhood, would you stay? Would you go out at night? Would you consider leaving the neighborhood, or even the city, if you could? Of course you would.

A WND review of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Murder Analysis for 2007-2010 and Murder/Shooting Analysis 2012 reveals startling demographic data that affirm the crime trends found a decade earlier in the “Murder Is No Mystery” report.

Between 2007 and 2012, there were 1,987 murders (an average of 331 murders per year) in Philadelphia. Of those victims, 80 percent were black; 11.2 percent were Hispanic; 6.9 percent were white; and 1.7 percent were Asian.

Only 64 percent of these crimes had known offenders (1,290 of 1,987), with 81 percent of known offenders being black; 7.2 percent white; 10.2 percent Hispanic; and 1.2 percent  Asian.

Because of the “no snitchin’” culture, “defendants charged with murder, rape, robbery and serious assaults were walking free on all charges in nearly two-thirds of all cases” in the city, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. In 2009, Philadelphia had the lowest felony conviction rate of all large cities in America. Soon after taking office, Nutter put in 250 video cameras across the city, in part to compensate for witnesses’ refusal to cooperate with investigations.

According to a WND review of the 2012 Philadelphia Police Murder/Shooting Analysis, of known offenders in 1,083 shootings in the city between 2011 and 2012, 88 percent were by blacks (956). Hispanics represented 102 of the shooting offenders (9 percent), while whites made up 2 percent of offenders in shootings (22) in Philadelphia during that same period.

Historically, racial disparities in crime are not simply products of the 1960s. In 1950, Philadelphia was predominantly white, with blacks comprising roughly 20 percent of the population. Even then, disproportionate levels of criminal offending existed. “Patterns in Criminal Homicide,” written by renowned criminologist Marvin Wolfgang, was hailed as the most thorough study of homicide at the time. Wolfgang studied every homicide in Philadelphia between 1948 and 1952, and concluded that many were caused by trivial insults and petty arguments (162).

Wolfgang showed that the white murder rate in Philadelphia between 1948 and 1952 was 1.8 per 100,000 people, while the black rate was 25.6, or 14 times the white rate. By the mid-1970s, the white murder rate increased to 2.8 per 100,000. The black murder rate, meanwhile, increased to 64.2, 23 times the white rate.

Many of the voices in Huber’s piece can be seen as expressing long-standing concerns, rooted in the statistical reality of crime.

Nutter himself has had to address a subset of the black population involved in violent flash mobs. In an emotional speech, he said of those involved, “You’ve damaged yourself, you’ve damaged another person, you’ve damaged your peers and, quite honestly, you’ve damaged your own race.”

But in response to Huber’s article, the mayor “expressly suggested that the speech in the article was unprotected, and therefore punishable outright,” observed leading First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh.

The mayor’s official condemnation letter claimed that the article presents “negative stereotypes” of blacks.

Nutter simply said the article arose from Huber’s “misguided perception of African-Americans … as an ethnic group that, in its entirety, is lazy, shiftless, irresponsible, and largely criminal.”

In fact, critics contend the mayor stereotyped the article. Philadelphia Magazine’s editor, who describes himself as “center-left,” told WND that the mayor’s description is a “gross distortion of the piece.”

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kevin goudreau white race

Friday, March 8th, 2013

kevin goudreau white race

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Ryan Pins Blame for Republican Ticket’s Loss on ‘Urban’ Voters as It’s Revealed That Romney Did Not Win a Single Vote in 59 Philadelphia Voting Districts

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

In his first post-election interview, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan blamed the loss by the Republican presidential ticket last week on high turnout among ‘urban’ voters.

‘We were surprised at the outcome,’ he told WISC-TV, his home state’s CBS affiliate. ‘We knew this was gonna be a close race. We thought we had a very good chance of winning it.’

‘Losing never feels good,’ he added.

Ryan said he was expecting to get more support from voters in big cities, which generally tend to vote Democratic.

‘I think the surprise was some of the turnout, some of the turnout especially in urban areas, which gave President Obama the big margin to win this race,’ he said. ‘When we watched Virginia and Ohio coming in, and those ones coming in as tight as they were, and looking like we were going to lose them, that’s when it became clear we weren’t going to win.’

Ryan’s liberal critics accused him of suggesting that inner-city minorities were responsible for Obama’s win.

‘FYI, Paul Ryan, the rest of the country has moved on from using “urban” as a euphemism for “black,”‘ wrote Ronan Farrow, an adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on Twitter.

Meanwhile, it was revealed that Mitt Romney did not receive a single vote across 59 voting districts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a state where the Romney campaign had made an expensive last-ditch effort to win just before the election.

The voting divisions, which counted 19,605 votes for Obama and zero votes for Romney, are ‘clustered in almost exclusively black sections of West and North Philadelphia,’ according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Man, 24, clinging to life after double shooting in North Philadelphia

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

A 24-year-old man was clinging to life at Temple University Hospital after police say he was shot several times on a corner in North Philadelphia.

He was one of five people shot in four separate incidents around the city Monday night.

A 44-year-old man was also hospitalized after being hit in the left foot during the same shooting, police said.

Cops responded to Howard and Dauphin streets for the report of two people shot shortly before midnight and found the victims. Chief Inspector Scott Small said the 24-year-old was shot up to nine times throughout his neck, back and upper torso. He was rushed to TUH in extremely critical condition and undergoing surgery around 1 a.m.

The young man’s mother sobbed at the scene, saying that her son was “a good boy” and usually in bed at the hour the shooting occurred.

“They wanted to get someone from the corner and they got him,” she cried.

The older man was also taken to TUH, where he was listed in stable condition.

Police said the shooter is described as a 6-foot-2 man weighing 200 pounds who was wearing a dark mask over his face and last seen running northbound on Howard Street from Dauphin.

Small said police found a surveillance camera on Howard Street and were working on obtaining the footage to see if it captured any of the shooting. One witness to the shooting was taken to speak with detectives in the East Division.

Earlier in the night, around 9:30 p.m., a 38-year-old woman was standing outside her house in the Johnson Homes, on Berks Street near 26th in North Philly, when gunfire erupted in the courtyard. She was hit once in the back of her upper thigh, cops said, and also taken to TUH in stable condition.

Cops said they found 21 shell casings that appeared to be from three different weapons at the scene, and investigators said nobody witnessed the shooting and the victim claimed that she did not see who shot her.

As police investigated the later shooting on Dauphin Street, cops were called for another man shot, this time in Nicetown at 18th and Bristol streets. Small said the 18-year-old victim in that shooting was hit in the ankle and taken to TUH in stable condition.

In Germantown, a 16-year-old boy suffered a graze wound when he was shot during a robbery outside of his house on Abbotsford Avenue near Wayne around 11:30 p.m., police said. The victim’s wallet was stolen, but his injury was minor, cops said.

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Atlantic City’s safety questioned

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

The double murder of two Canadians in Atlantic City is the third deadly attack on tourists there in two years.

And the four killings and one wounding in those three incidents have sparked questions about tourist safety in the resort town.

One newspaper in Philadelphia — the hometown of the latest alleged killer — ran a headline proclaiming “Tourist death trap” with a story about the two Toronto women who were stabbed to death Monday.

The latest slayings occurred two years to the day after a man from North Bergen, N.J. was killed in a carjacking.

Martin Caballero was abducted in his SUV from the Trump Taj Mahal parking garage on May 21, 2010. The 47-year-old was driven to a rural area and stabbed to death.

Craig Arno and his former girlfriend Jessica Kisby were recently convicted of murder and will be sentenced Thursday.

A couple was carjacked last fall in the parking garage. Sunil Rattu, 28, was shot dead and his girlfriend was wounded in that attack.

Atlantic City had 12 murders last year and the latest homicides are the city’s seventh and eighth of 2012, which doesn’t sound like much until you consider the city has less than 40,000 residents.

By comparison, Toronto has more than 2.5 million citizens and saw just 45 murders in 2011.

Atlantic City officials are quick to point out close to 30 million people visit the resort town annually.

But a recent study found Atlantic City had a higher rate of violent crimes per capita than any other casino city in the U.S.

In 2010 there close to 900 violent crimes — murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults — in Atlantic City.

That’s a violent crime rate of 20.7 crimes per 1,000 people.

Another study concluded Atlantic City’s violent crime rate in 2009 was 388.9% higher than the national average.

The violence-plagued city has been trying to clean up its act in recent years.

With a cash infusion from the state-run Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Atlantic City has increased the number of officers on foot patrol, improved lighting and installed surveillance cameras in its tourist area and along its famous boardwalk.

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$1,000 buttocks enhancement damaged lungs

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

A Philadelphia woman dubbed “the Black Madam” used silicone from Thailand and Krazy Glue to perform at-home cosmetic surgery that left an exotic dancer with a plump derriere _ and potentially deadly complications, the dancer testified Wednesday.

Padge Windslowe charged $1,000 to perform injections on a dining room table at “pumping parties,” 23-year-old Shurkia King testified. But King suffered severe respiratory problems afterward and spent two weeks in the hospital. A doctor testified that he found silicone particles on her lungs that could have killed her.

A judge Wednesday order Windslowe, 42, to stand trial on charges that include aggravated assault, practicing medicine without a license and theft by deception.

Police believe Windslowe also injected 20-year-old London tourist Claudia Aderotimi, who died last year after a pumping party at a Philadelphia airport hotel. Aderotimi complained of chest pain and difficulty breathing following the procedure. No charges have been filed in that case as detectives await extensive autopsy test results.

King heard about the London woman’s death on the news and asked Windslowe about it, King said.

“She said she didn’t kill the girl, (that) she was high,” King said.

Windslowe, who wore a sleek black outfit to court, did not testify at the hearing and showed little outward reaction to the testimony. She remains in jail on $750,000 bail.

Philadelphia police believe she has performed at least 14 cosmetic surgeries, moving locations to avoid detection.

King, slender and modestly dressed, described the defendant’s technique in her hour-long testimony. She said she learned about Windslowe through fellow dancers. She said she thought Windslowe was a nurse.

King first had the procedure done at a friend’s house on New Year‘s Eve. All went well, so she went back for more in February, she said. She and four others waited upstairs, while one-by-one the women went down for the five-minute injections, King testified.

King said the needles looked clean, although she found it odd that the silicone was in a water bottle. As before, she got four injections that added a cup of silicone to her buttocks. But one of the injections seemed to go in wrong, and left her leg shaking, she said.

“She (Windslowe) said, `Just breathe. It’s OK. It’s OK,'” King said.

King’s oxygen level was “dangerously low” when she arrived at a hospital two days later, a doctor testified. She spent about a week in intensive care and used an oxygen tank to breathe until two weeks ago, when she returned to work, the doctor and King both testified.

The silicone particles attached to her lungs are diffuse and too small to remove surgically, Dr. Arka Banerjee of Lankenau Medical Center testified.

On cross-examination, the doctor acknowledged that medical records show King to be a daily smoker and marijuana user.

A prosecutor asked if she could live a normal life.

“It’s possible. If she gets an illness, maybe not,” Banerjee said.

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Internalized Racism’s Association with African American Male Youth’s Propensity for Violence

Saturday, May 12th, 2012


Youth Violence in African American communities is still considered to be at epidemic proportions. The traditional risk factors for youth violence (i.e. delinquent friends, poverty, drug use, carrying a weapon etc.) do not account for the disproportionate overrepresentation of African American males. This study sought to better understand the propensity for violence among African American males ages 14-19 years (N=224) from four different programmatic sites: A Philadelphia high school, an African-centered charter high school, a youth detention facility, and a program that serves youth who are on probation or parole. The findings indicate that internalized racism enhances the variance explained above the variables typically explored in the delinquency and criminology literature. If further research can replicate these findings, this has implications for the content and direction of prevention approaches with African American male youth.

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City’s black residents now top all groups

Monday, April 25th, 2011
Official seal of City of Philadelphia

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Their numbers dropped, but other changes put them first. Population rose for the first time in 50 years.

By Michael Matza, Kia Gregory, and John Duchneskie

Inquirer Staff Writers

African descendants have called Philadelphia home for centuries, with the first U.S. Census, in 1790, listing 2,099 “free” blacks and 373 slaves.

Today, the city’s black population is 644,287, according to the latest census, and for the first time it clearly outnumbers all other racial or ethnic groups.

This evolution happened even though the number of African Americans in the city, excluding Hispanics, declined about 1,800 over the last decade and their share of the population remained about the same.

Key to the new black plurality: the continued steep decline in the city’s white population. In 2000, each group accounted for about 42 percent of city residents, but the white share is now 37 percent, after a loss of 82,000 people.

Meanwhile, an influx of Hispanics, Asians, and other groups – now 21 percent of the city’s 1.5 million people – boosted Philadelphia’s total for the first time in 50 years.

The black plurality coincides with another trend: More and more middle- and working-class African Americans are leaving the city for suburbia. Since 2000, the black population of the city’s Pennsylvania suburbs jumped 26 percent – by 47,000.

“You need to look at it not only from a racial-ethnic point of view, but also the distribution of incomes,” said Mark Mather, senior demographer with the Population Reference Bureau, a nonprofit in Washington that interprets census data.

Are relatively “higher-income blacks moving away from the city, leaving behind a poorer population without a lot of prospects?” he asked. “That wouldn’t bode well.”

In the last decade, average income in white households in Philadelphia rose 4 percent to $65,100, adjusted for inflation. But black household income fell 10 percent to $40,200. Overall, the average income in the city fell 1 percent.

Neighborhoods with the highest concentration of African Americans – West Oak Lane, Kingsessing, and Nicetown, among others – were slammed twice.

Many who could move out did. Many who remained experienced a significant drop in income. In Tioga-Nicetown, which is 94 percent black, average household income fell 35 percent in the last decade – the city’s biggest drop – to $26,800. That’s half of the citywide average.

As gentrification gathered speed in some predominantly black parts of the city, superheating property values, several things happened. Some homeowners cashed in and bought again, either in suburbia or other parts of Philadelphia. Some renters got squeezed out or were left stranded in pockets of poverty.

“Yes, Philadelphia has 42 percent blacks,” said Voffee Jabateh, director of the African Cultural Alliance of North America, a Southwest Philadelphia advocacy group for African immigrants, but by and large “these are not blacks that have a strong economic voice.”

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, a Democrat whose district covers parts of North and West Philadelphia and Montgomery County, said he saw the movement of black residents to better neighborhoods as “identical in many ways to patterns of other demographic groups . . . as people make their way into the middle class.”


Migrating to the suburbs

Across Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester Counties, the proportion of black residents grew in 176 of 238 municipalities, mirroring a national trend, though still fewer than 10 percent of Philadelphia-area suburbanites are black.

In the 1950s, said Norristown municipal administrator David Forrest, mortgages “were more available to whites than blacks,” leading to “primarily white suburbanization.”

Black upward mobility and more available credit, particularly in the last decade, he said, spurred movement to inner-ring suburbs, especially in southeastern Delaware County, where better schools, lower housing density, and public transportation lured people from Southwest Philadelphia, including large numbers of African immigrants.

Sharon Hill and East Lansdowne for the first time became majority-black towns, according to the census. They joined Yeadon, Colwyn, Darby Borough, Chester, and Chester Township – already majority black in 2000 – as new pillars in the inner ring of predominantly African American suburbs.

“It’s the upward mobility of people coming out of the city,” said Mary Bell, manager of demographic and economic analysis for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. “The impact is biggest in Delaware County because the houses there are more affordable.”

Unlike Delaware County, where a fifth of the population is black, Bucks and Chester Counties experienced little change. According to the 2010 census, fewer than 6 percent of residents of those counties are black.

In Montgomery County, the number of black residents grew from 55,303 in 2000 to 67,582 in 2010, nudging its percentage of the total population to 8.4 percent.

Suburban diversity also was spurred by the arrival of Latinos, up 105 percent last decade, and Asians, up 72 percent.


A tale of two communities

Two swaths of the city that experienced significant population change during the last decade were parts of North Philadelphia – including Tioga-Nicetown, which lost 1,977 people, 10 percent of its population – and the largely white lower Northeast, which grew in numbers and diversity.

Tacony, for instance, was 9 percent minority in 2000; now it is 39 percent minority, including African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians.

Louis Iatarola, president of the Tacony Civic Association, attributes that change to the mid-decade real estate boom, which created new homeowners and investors, who sometimes carved houses into affordable apartments.

On the loss side of the ledger, Majeedah A. Rashid, executive vice president of the Nicetown Community Development Corp., said she saw why the population in her part of town had fallen: “In the last 20, 30 years, there was really nothing going on here.”

Rashid cited the “flight of industry,” including the closing of the Budd and Tastykake factories.

“Those things make a big impact,” she said. “People are moving away from the neighborhood to find better housing conditions and more valuable employment.”

Her group is working to retain and attract residents by brokering such things as the construction of Nicetown Court, a mix of commercial business and 34 new affordable-housing units, and the installation of lights in one of the community’s two-acre parks. “That’s a big deal in Nicetown,” Rashid said.

Michael Burch, 51, who grew up in the Parkside section of West Philadelphia, is among those African Americans who picked up and moved.

After Burch earned a master\’s degree in science education from Temple University, he left in 1982 for a more affluent city neighborhood – Wynnefield.

“I was slowly making my way out of the city,” he said, jokingly, of his move to near the Montgomery County border. He counts himself as part of a generation whose education and careers afforded it the means to move up and eventually out.

Burch, director of youth programs at the Franklin Institute, later settled in Upper Darby, then in Drexel Hill.

He said his main reason for leaving “was just the congestion of the city.” But after his mother died five years ago, instead of selling his three-story childhood home in Parkside, he moved back in.

“Growing up in that neighborhood as a child,” Burch said, “I had so many good and fond memories of the house and neighborhood and living near Fairmount Park, which was a big part of my life then. I thought I could add something to the neighborhood now.”


In Delaware County

In Collingdale, Pat Reilly of Reilly Real Estate said his business formerly had been based in Southwest Philadelphia, “but the area got pretty much sold out” after West African immigrants, especially from Liberia and Ghana, started snapping up houses a decade ago.

Then some of them, along with African Americans, moved into Collingdale, he said. Census figures show the proportion of black residents jumped from 4 percent in 2000 to 35 percent of the 8,786 residents in 2010.

A typical rowhouse that sold for about $105,000 half a decade ago sells for $80,000 to $85,000 today, Reilly said.

Those buying affordable Collingdale houses, he said, are mostly first-time buyers, often single mothers who work as health-care aides and certified nursing assistants.

Houses come on the market because of estate sales, Reilly said, or when elderly retirees move into nursing homes or to live with family.

The Rev. Michael Fitzpatrick of Collingdale’s Grace Reformed Episcopal Church said the arrivals were helping to resuscitate his congregation.

When he arrived at the parish from Havertown in 2003, he said, the church was down to 27 members, all white except for one Liberian woman. Today, thanks largely to the influx of African Americans and West Africans, there are 160 parishioners, including 30 who are white.

Church members have told Fitzpatrick that they moved to Collingdale for the heightened sense of security, better schools, and backyards.

Jacquelynn Puriefoy-Brinkley, a former president of Yeadon Borough Council, is a retiree in her 70s. She recalled moving to Yeadon with her parents in 1947, along with other “mostly upper-middle-class” black residents who lived in an enclave on one side of town.

Puriefoy-Brinkley’s father owned several businesses and was a salesman for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Yeadon was about 10 percent black, she said. Over time, a larger cross section of African Americans from the city moved in.

Today Yeadon is 88 percent black. NAACP membership forms are available at the circulation desk of the public library. A shopping strip includes the Mohammad Ali Variety Store across the street from the Harlem Cafe.

Going from virtually all white to virtually all black is certainly no triumph of coexistence, Puriefoy-Brinkley acknowledged, but she feels the pattern of movement has been basically positive.

“Maybe the upside,” she said, “is that people who didn’t have opportunities to live in decent housing or walkable communities have those opportunities now.”


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