From the Editor: Giving Philly the floor

Last week, I voiced my opinion on the removal of Kate Smith’s “God Bless America” from Flyers games and her statue from outside the Wells Fargo Center following the discovery that she also moonlighted as a singer of racially charged lyrics.

Many of you wrote in to voice your opinion. This week, I’m giving some of your opines the floor. Keep the conversations coming.

Quickly, a message to lovers of technology and freedom: I really hope you enjoy this week’s packed edition, produced alongside the folks at (the Skynet to our T-1000) ahead of Philly Tech Week, which kicks off this Friday.

Pick up a copy of our issue and bring it to your event for a host of great surprises. The official map for this year’s PTW19 Scavenger Hunt is our centerspread, so all the more reason to keep this copy of PW hand. It’s your go-to guide if you’re going out and about to the over 100 different events scheduled to go down during this year’s celebration of all things tech in the Greater Philadelphia Region.

Thanks for reading. Catch you all next week.

Missing the mark

Dude, what’s confusing is your reaction. This old hag sang some racist shit and she’s been canceled. It’s a perfectly rational response to this. Amerikkka was founded on slavery. Nearly all presidents past and present have a record of being extremely and egregiously racist. We have a long way to go. Maybe now we can start focusing on tearing down monuments to Coolidge and Civil War generals. But it shouldn’t be surprising that you get push back.

These “fans” are neither aware of or care about what happened before they were born. “Jim crow and slavery were so long ago, so get over it.” Meanwhile, they’re completely unaware these Amerikkkan institutions are alive and well today; they’re just rebranded and shrouded in layers of bureaucracy. You say “symbols and idols should make us remember a time and place that we never want to go back to.” But more often than not, these symbols and idols are used as heroes in the stories we tell. We should understand them as humans first and foremost and humans make terrible, awful decisions sometimes. Not erecting statues and monuments in their name. This is my hope for the future.

– Pete, South Philadelphia

The personal connection

I’m writing in response to your column in the April 25-May 2 edition of the Philadelphia Weekly. Before I share my thoughts on the Kate Smith issue, I would like to tell you that I enjoy reading your column and actively seek out the Philadelphia Weekly.  I don’t always agree with you, but I always like to hear what you say.

It is sad and disappointing about what the politically correct have done to the legacy of Kate Smith.  I don’t know what bothers me more—the judgment of a person whom the judge and jury really probably never knew or the swiftness with which she was judged. No one is as one dimensional as the “PC” police would like society to believe.  Yet, such condemnation undercuts the dignity of every person, not only the accused, since it fails to consider that people are more than a single act. That philosophy is as outrageous as the alleged outrageous act.

Kate Smith was much beloved in my house.  My grandmother, who was about 10 years older than Kate, was a great fan.  She made certain her grandkids knew Kate and all of the songs she made famous. (I might be among the few people under 80  who know the words to “When the Moon comes over the Mountain”) My grandma would be very upset by this business.

– Carol, Philadelphia

Stop whining, Philly

People need to stop looking up the past trying to find things in those days a lot of folks did to survive. Kate Smith didn’t look like Ava Gardner. What about Paul Robeson? He sang it, so what does this all mean?  All this, as usual, is nothing more than people stirring up drama.

– Keith, Northeast Philadelphia

You’re too kind, Crystal

I really like what you wrote. You have a different perspective on the entire situation and after reading it, it made me think. I hope it made others who read it do the same. I want to thank you and I will have a discussion with my children about this. I need them to read this! I look forward to your pieces. They are my reality in a world of fabrication.

– Crystal, Philadelphia

  • Kerith Gabriel's Headshot

    Kerith Gabriel is the former editor-in-chief at Philadelphia Weekly but somehow hasn’t figured out that means he doesn’t have to write nearly as much. As a routine contributor, journalism has been in his blood since his beginnings as a sports writer over a decade ago for the Philadelphia Daily News.

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