At Mayor Nutter’s request, the city Human Relations Commission will conduct an “inquiry” into race relations in the city, following Philadelphia magazine’s widely criticized cover story, “Being White in Philly.”
In a letter, Nutter tore into the magazine and the story, which quoted anonymous white Philadelphians about their view on race and has been attacked for promoting negative stereotypes and not including the views of minorities.
“This month Philadelphia Magazine has sunk to a new low even for a publication that has long pretended that its suburban readers were the only citizens civically engaged and socially active in the Philadelphia area,” Nutter wrote. He called the piece “pathetic” and said it didn’t rise “to the level of journalism.”
He also called for a “rebuke” of the magazine and writer, Bob Huber, saying that while he recognizes the 1st Amendement protects “the media from censorship by the government,” free speech is “not an unfettered right.”
“I ask the Commission to evaluate whether the ‘speech’ employed in this essay is not the reckless equivalent of ‘shouting, “fire!” in a crowded theater,’ its prejudiced, fact-challenged generalizations an incitement to extreme reaction,” Nutter wrote.
Last I checked, Philadelphia was a city in the United States of America. It is not in Canada. We do not use these bulls*it “human rights commissions” to punish speech we find objectionable. Whatever the problems with this story, they are nothing compared to the threat of the top politician in the city inciting a government body to do whatever is within its power to punish a magazine and a writer for a story he didn’t like.
What if there were a white mayor who didn’t like a magazine article by a black writer in which black Philadelphians said unpleasant things about white Philadelphians, and then the mayor urged the Human Rights Commission to investigate the magazine and the writer for offending against racial sensitivity? It would be so outrageous that it’s actually unthinkable. But here we are with Mayor Nutter.
Of course nothing substantive will come of this inquiry. They will find the writer, Bob Huber, and the magazine guilty of thoughtcrime, but that will be as far as it goes. It will be a long time before anybody is stupid enough to write a story about race in Philly that does not come to conclusions that the left agrees with. Which I suppose is Nutter’s ultimate goal. But really, who wants to live in a city in which to publish a magazine article that violates the mayor’s standard of racial correctness brings down the Human Rights Commission on one? Are we to understand that Philadelphia is a place in which the “dialogue” on race that progressives are always clamoring for only goes one way? Who, oh who, would have imagined that?
[H/T: Steve Sailer]