Recently Glenn Beck went on the air and ripped my hometown of Philadelphia. He referred to the area around Independence Hall as “the killing streets” and the city as a whole as a “place you do not want to be.” He summed up his argument by saying “Philly sucks”, a cry that is usually only heard during Eagles games at Cowboys Stadium.
I’m sure the fact that Mr. Beck’s radio program had been dropped from its lone Philadelphia outlet the day before his rant had nothing to do with his newfound loathing of the City of Brotherly Love.
With his unseemly taunts Beck was acting the part he usually plays, that of a third-grader at recess. If this were a playground I’m sure he would take his ball (if he in fact had one) and go home. Beck’s newfound loathing of all things Philadelphia was particularly surprising since this is the city that launched his syndicated radio career. (Sorry America.) It’s as if his first love has spurned him and he has no other choice but to spurn right back.
I was a little surprised at Beck’s comments since it turns out that I live in the very same “killing streets” that he refers to. We moved here last year after a 25-year period in the surrounding suburbs. The street we live on is one of many quaint streets in the historic section of Philadelphia. The area boasts the largest section of Colonial housing in America and has a true neighborhood feel. Walking past Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell at night, which we do quite often, is an inspirational experience.
A few weeks after we moved in we were invited to a block party, something that had never occurred in the suburbs. We know our neighbors here better than we ever did before. During the recent snowstorms our sidewalk was often shovelled before we even get up as whomever gets out there first will do the neighbor’s sidewalk as well. A 4-year old girl lives in the house across the street. She and her parents seemed oblivious to the dangers of these killing streets as they went sledding down the street today. Should I pass on Beck’s warning to them?
Of course Philadelphia isn’t perfect. After all it is a major US city with over 1.6 million people so it does have its share of problems. But to imply that the area around Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, some of the most sacred ground in American history, has somehow been transformed into a free-fire zone is ridiculous. It just continues the leitmotif of Beck and his Fox News cronies to continually rip America. If this is considered to be patriotism in action I’d hate to see the alternative. But what do I know? I only live here. So I’ll just report, and let you decide.