Correspondence

Letter From South Philadelphia

It's mid-May, and Kate and I live in deep trepidation over the possibility that the Philadelphia Flyers will win the ugly looking, but highly coveted, Stanley Cup. Not that the town couldn't use even such a minor honor. Two years ago, the city was lambasted worldwide for fielding its own air force and killing II people in a bombing run over a residential neighborhood. We can use some positive press for a change.

Some weeks back, for example, the legendary basketball star Julius Erving was honored with a parade to show the town's appreciation for Dr. J.'s class and talent. But some of the city's young people skipped the chance to say hello to this role model, instead seizing the moment to riot and loot only seven blocks from the parade.

Except on TV, where it couldn't be helped, the press were forbidden to note that the looters were black. Discussion of the riot was reduced to liberal obfuscations on the poor preparation of the police, or the tendency of young people to get excited and carried away sometimes (never mind that one journalist witnessed a subway conversation which indicated that at least some of the youths were about to engage in premeditated acts of violence). We'll never know why they did it because mere discussion of such a topic these days would be considered a form of racism, while meek acceptance of abnormal and uncivilized behavior is progressivism at its finest.

In...

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