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We -- tracking -- debate about race relations and free speech that is unfolding at this moment in the United States.
It started when the Philadelphia magazine published a cover story with the title being -- in Philly.
The story looks at race relations in the city of brotherly love and it has instantaneously sparked an uproar.
The city's mayor firing off accusations of racial stereo -- I mean he goes on an talking about how.
This aggregates disparaging beliefs negative stereotypes ignorant condemnations and -- on.
And now he wants an investigation into the magazine and the writer and believes.
That even speaking the words in this article may have somehow been unconstitutional.
Tom McGrath is editor of that magazine Tom welcome and I should say writing the words in that article because mayor nutter.
Wrote a scathing response.
To the Philadelphia human -- -- human relations commission.
About this piece in your magazine.
That went on to us to talk about.
The abject ignorance reflected in this uninformed ill advised ill considered uninspired and thoroughly unimaginative.
And it actually went so far as to ask the commission.
To to evaluate whether the speech in this essay is not the reckless equivalent quoting here -- shouting fire in a crowded theater.
Well I -- overall I think -- three -- ridiculous I you know I think first of all the mayor -- characterizes the story itself.
The way we did this story was that we -- one of our writers up into a white neighborhood of Philadelphia at that time.
Borders on a largely black neighborhood and had an interview white people there about there experience with with the race.
In that particular neighborhood some of the people -- talked to had some incredibly racist horrible disgusting things to say.
A number of other people -- talked to are incredibly empathetic about the issue of race.
The author can -- the -- the peace with the idea that we all need all people need to engage more on this topic because we're never gonna get past it as an issue.
Lest we actually had start to have a conversation about it.
So I'm not sure how the mayor first of all just.
Describes this as that the way he does and and sort of just this disgusting terms but beyond that that did the idea that he would.
Ask for an official rebuke of the magazine I find fairly chilling as someone who's just an American citizen thinks the First Amendment is pretty important.
He thinks you've gone too far in espousing prejudice that's what he is suggesting that you -- -- prejudiced fact challenged generalizations and an incitement.
Too extreme reaction I can tell you that Eugene Pollack who is the First Amendment.
Guru and he's there's no greater expert as far as I'm concerned this country.
Wrote a piece.
Knocking mayor nutter down a peg on that saying he's just factually incorrect that there's anything.
Inconsistent with what's in this article with the First Amendment they have the right to say -- and indeed usually the Supreme Court says the entrance to speech you don't like is more speech.
Not less speech.
But as mayor nutter have a point.
That this article is 21 sided he says -- went to fifteen white people you deduct any black people and therefore you presented a biased point of view.
Well we were very transparent about what we were doing that that we were only talking to white people and we did that because we thought that would be an interesting way to advance this conversation about race specifically and in Philadelphia.
But again though that the piece quotes white people some of whom are incredibly bigoted but some of whom are incredibly empathetic and not bigoted and in the slightest so the mayor is certainly picking out what cherry picking which once he thinks he wants that that has to pay attention to him.
That the bigger irony here though is that at the same time that he was asking for us to be review for this story.
He asked the Philadelphia human relations commission to conduct its own investigation into race relation -- Philadelphia which was precisely the reason that we did the story in the first place right.
You're gonna wind up was -- good coming out of this because that's now he wants this in depth examination of race relations in Philadelphia.
Which was that the theory of the article read Robert Huber the author.
Which was his theory that that we needed to have an open discussion.
What was really going on of the streets of Philadelphia this is a quote from it from the article he writes.
Are published our public discourse ignores the fact that race particularly in a place like Philadelphia is also an issue for white people the white people never.
Talk about it.
And what he wanted to get started was a discussion in which they said that all the things that they were secretly thinking that may have been holding back.
The race is coming together and then African American people would have the opportunity to do the same.
Don't don't get me wrong I did did the -- is correct that there are some horrible racist views in this story.
But they -- they're they're not something that the magazine describes -- And so I'm just baffled that that that the mayor for some reason wants to shut us down bought the same time having this conversation himself.
He thinks that you have in the article and your magazine portrayed African Americans and I quote.
As an ethnic group that in its entirety is lazy shift lists irresponsible.
And largely criminal.
Well again I think that's just a mischaracterization of what the piece actually sets.
Thinking it's a directory read -- because I don't come away from that from the article thinking at all.
Did he call you off.
Mayor nutter now and actually no he did not actually.
I reached out to his office last week and invited them to a panel discussion we were having last night.
And his office declined to -- with non interest in coming.
You know it I know that you responded publicly by saying it's ironic to have -- the mayor trying to shut down your free speech when his free speech was just drowned out at a public event.
I think it was last week when he was trying to speak and they were literally blowing whistles and and so -- some of the his constituents that he could not be heard and now he does.
Not want you to be heard.
But he does want that this the commission this that the city commission to investigate the state of race relations.
In this city what do you think is really going on here with mayor nutter and his scathing letter in response to your article.
You know -- it's hard for me to say I do know that the mayor feels passionately about issues and he's -- certainly entitled to do that.
I mean a further irony in this is that the mayor himself just a year ago.
Went to a black church in Philadelphia and gave kind of a scolding to young black teenagers and told them -- pull up their pants and told them that they were destroying their own race or damaging their their own race.
So he clearly feels passionate about issues but apparently he's the only one who gets to be allowed to to to say what he thinks about the issue and and no one else is actually a lot to do that -- the -- and by the way -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- The author of the article again -- Hubert talks honestly about how his own experiences.
As a white man living in Philly and talks about how he drives through north Philly to visit his son he writes I continue to feel both profoundly sad.
And the blind desire to escape.
-- I wonder.
Am I allowed to even say that mayor -- answer is no mr.
-- you are not.
We'll see where it goes from here Tom thank you.
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