Mar 20, 2013


The issue of race in the City of Bortherly Love has come to the forefront after a recent Philadelphia Magazine cover story called “Being White in Philly.”

The article, written by Bob Huber, a white man, describes the experiences of white people who live in racially mixed neighborhoods in Philadelphia. The story garnered plenty of attention since it appeared at the beginning of March especially since Mayor Michael Nutter got a hold of it.

On Friday, Nutter sent a letter to the city’s Commission on Human Relations in response to the article. In his letter, Nutter claimed the article had a “disgusting tone” and criticized its “collection of disparaging beliefs and negative stereotypes.” He also claimed the story “used isolated negative experiences” and made “generalizations” to portray African Americans as lazy, irresponsible and criminal. Nutter requested that the city’s Commission on Human Relations conduct an “inquiry” into the state of racial issues in Philadelphia.

Rue Landau, the Executive Director on Human Relations, agreed, claiming that the article perpetuated “harmful stereotypes.” He also stated the Commission is currently looking at “relations in the city.”

Huber defended his article in an email, claiming his goal when writing the piece was to simply address the city’s problems in race relations and to “push for a better dialogue.” While he agreed with the Mayor’s decision to ask for an inquiry on the city’s racial issues, he also called Nutter’s description of the article “off the mark to the point of absurdity.”

Tom McGrath, the editor of Philadelphia Magazine, also called Nutter’s statements “sophomoric,” according to McGrath accused Nutter of being “more interested in scoring political points than having a serious conversation about race.”



  1. Any article about race will spark a debate. The title of this article is quite provocative. Unfortunately, alot of people will assume what the content of the article is and dismiss it outright because of the title. I actually thought it was a pretty good article. It talks about the complexities of race and talking about race. We can't get so mad when we want people to talk openly about race and say something seemingly offensive. The author didn't say anything that we don't already know. All he did was talk about his internal conflict and he gave the accounts of what others said to him.

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