Many of you have responded to our recent “contest” to guess the number of murders in Philadelphia by Election Day this fall – including the Philadelphia Delegation of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, which issued a statement calling it “abhorrent” and “unconscionable.”
First, we find the 210 homicides in Philadelphia in 2021 “abhorrent” and “unconscionable.” The 210 homicides represent a 43 percent increase over the same time last year and an annual pace that would more than double 2015’s total of 280. For the record, we have not received 210 statements from the delegation calling the murders “abhorrent” and “unconscionable.” Apparently it takes a silly, patently absurd contest for them to address the matter.
Second, and to be clear, it was not Philadelphia Weekly that made a mockery of the city’s homicide crisis. After all, we aren’t the elected leaders entrusted with solutions. No, in fact, the mockery is Philadelphia’s elected leaders. It is on their watch that the city went from the lowest murder rate in years to the highest, and a low crime rate to an out-of-control environment.
Before our elected leaders have the audacity to again do what they do best – or in fact the only thing they do, which is to pass the buck and assess blame and grievances – perhaps they will take responsibility as the adults in the room who are the ones who presided over this mess and own it. Maybe, just maybe, they will realize they are the mockery. And maybe we will continue to mock them until they get serious about fixing this.
To all of you who objected to our “contest,” it’s reasonable to think it was tasteless, and we’ve heard your outrage.
Now, we hope to see that same outrage directed at elected leaders who are failing miserably at their most basic responsibility – keeping Philadelphians safe.