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chilladelphia_714566.html#The Weekly Standard:


Apr 15, 2013


On March 18, 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama gave a speech on race in America at Philadelphia’s Constitution Center. Though many praised the president for addressing the thorny topic, it’s worth recalling Obama was essentially forced into giving the speech after refusing to distance himself from the indefensible racial comments of his pastor, Jeremiah Wright. One month after Obama’s eventual inauguration, his attorney general, Eric Holder, would call America a “nation of cowards” because “Americans simply do not talk enough with each other about race.” The problem, however, is not that Americans don’t talk enough about race. The wellspring of American liberalism that produced Barack Obama and Eric Holder hasn’t stopped talking about it for decades.


Increasingly, the problem is that institutional liberalism is dedicated to using the force of law to silence anyone who wants to have a politically inconvenient conversation on race​—​or anything else, for that matter. Last month, almost five years to the day since the president’s speech on race, the City of Brotherly Love once again became the locus of our national conversation. Mayor Michael Nutter fired off an angry​—​and lengthy​—​letter taking Philadelphia magazine to task for an article entitled “Being White in Philly.” In the piece, a number of white residents complained that viewing the city through a racial prism made it hard to address civic problems. According to Nutter, the article “aggregates the disparaging beliefs, the negative stereotypes, the ignorant condemnations typically and historically ascribed to African-American citizens into one pathetic, uninformed essay quoting Philadelphia residents.”


Nutter is entitled to his opinion. What the mayor is not entitled to do is go after others for expressing theirs. In February, The Weekly Standard published “The Sensitivity Apparat,” chronicling the chilling growth and activism of state and local “human rights” or “civil rights” commissions around the country, which have been imposing fines and threatening ordinary citizens for such crimes as expressing Christian moral views or publicly making jokes about politicians. With that in mind, here is the conclusion to Nutter’s letter:





There you have it. Philadelphia magazine now faces the threat of fines and other legal sanctions for publishing an article the mayor dislikes. If anyone thought “Being White in Philly” was unconvincing in its claim that you can’t have frank discussions about race in the city, well, we now know how right it was.......(Snip)



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