By Christopher Harper
Philadelphia has managed this past week to create a “woke trifecta” at a country club, a university, and a park.
Just up the street from where I live, two city institutions are battling over the use of a Native American emblem.
For more than 150 years, the Philadelphia Cricket Club and St. Martin’s in the Fields Episcopal Church have been neighbors. Only recently, the church’s rector, the Rev. Jarrett Kerbel, asked the club to retire a logo it uses that is similar to the one used by the Chicago Black Hawks hockey team.
The use of the figure on the club sign that borders church property “represents the white supremacist legacy of our neighborhood.
“For a club founded for white Protestant elites during the height of the genocide against Native peoples to continue with this logo is to deny our horrific past,” Kerbel wrote Cricket Club president F. John White. “We ask you to retire the offensive logo and replace it with something more benign.”
So far, the club has not responded to the condemnation.
It’s unclear to me if the church wants the neighborhood to change the names of many of the streets I can’t leave my house without driving or walking upon, including Huron, Pocono, Seminole, and others. I guess that’s a battle for another day!
As I prepare for this semester’s classes, I received an email from my employer, Temple University, where it announced a plan to make us “anti-racist.” Since Temple is known as Diversity U in many circles because of its diversity in students and faculty, I was a bit nonplussed when I received the email from the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy, and Leadership, or IDEAL.
I was informed that the university is creating a required assessment to “actively evaluate” my role in creating a more diverse and inclusive Temple as well as look for opportunities to develop my skills and literacy related to diversity.
Moreover, it was strongly suggested that I read Ibram Kendi’s “How to be An Anti-Racist” with IDEAL-trained facilitators.
The author, a graduate of Temple’s doctoral program in African-American studies, said: “Racist ideas have defined our society since its beginning and can feel so natural and obvious as to be banal… To be an antiracist is a radical choice in the face of this history, requiring radical reorientation of our consciousness.”
I have no idea what that means and no desire or the time to unpack it.
Meanwhile, the City of Philadelphia wants to remove a 150-year-old marble statue of Christopher Columbus, a gift from Italy.
Fortunately, a sane judge has stopped the city’s actions until a court hearing on the matter.
The critics failed to realize that the statue sits in a park named for Guglielmo Marconi, a pioneer of radio. That would be the same Marconi who was a good friend of Benito Mussolini, the fascist dictator of Italy during World War II.
I guess fascism against Jews, Poles, and other “inferior” white races doesn’t get much traction in the woke culture.