I can’t believe it’s not racism!
Philadelphia Magazine has been universally criticized for their recent cover story "Being White in Philly." But using my finely honed skills as a “creative” writer, I’ve imagined how author Robert Huber might explain his thinking and demonstrate how, if you really think about it, the article doesn’t seem especially not racist at all!
A sample, including a quotation from the original article, and then an imagined clarification from Huber:
Later, driving up Broad Street as I head home to Mount Airy, I stop at a light just north of Lycoming and look over at some rowhouses. One has a padlocked front door. A torn sheet covering the window in that door looks like it might be stained with sewage. I imagine not a crackhouse, but a child, maybe several children, living on the other side of that stained sheet. Plenty of children in Philadelphia live in places like that. Plenty live on Diamond, where my son rents, where there always seem to be a lot of men milling around doing absolutely nothing, where it’s clearly not a safe place to be.
RH: “I can’t emphasize enough: I did not at any point imagine a crackhouse while scrutinizing that sketchy ghetto domicile. At no point did it even cross my mind that crackheads (of indeterminate ethnicity) might be shooting or smoking crack inside, their forearms bulging, their crazed eyes veined with red. I only imagined innocent little brown babies, tragic victims of America’s racial injustice, pooping hard enough to stain that meager sheet with sewage. Just babies poopin’ everywhere.
“Also: note that I did not specify the race of the ‘men milling around doing absolutely nothing.’ There were just a whole lot of suspicious men, of indeterminate ethnicity, loitering. You know how it is. Grown men, drifting. Guys acting all lackadaisy. Bros getting their lollygag on. Fellas skipping with a spring in their step, whistling a merry tune, footloose and fancy free.
“I find that… suspicious.”