Woke, Woker, and Wokest

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.

Covid, the campaign, and a conspiracy

By Christopher Harper

Philadelphia is a tough, in-your-face city that doesn’t have much time for nannies.

But Mayor Jim Kenney has become the city’s chief nanny who has determined that he’ll lock the place down until the end of February.

No fans at Phillies or Eagles games. No Thanksgiving Day parade. No Mummers’ Parade, a Philadelphia institution, on New Years Day. No conventions. No music concerts.

The edict comes as the number of Covid-19 cases has fallen dramatically.

He’s banned visitors from other states like California, Texas, and even Idaho, resulting in a huge financial blow to bars, hotels, and restaurants. So far, the city is expected to lose more than $700 million in tax dollars.

Of course, political demonstrations for “social justice” are exempt from the ban!

I’m not much for conspiracy theories, but the mayor’s unnecessary clampdown raises the specter that Philadelphia may be a test case to suppress voter turnout for Donald Trump.

If Philly succeeds in its lockdown, other locales may use the edict as a model for the 2020 presidential election.

That would mean no Trump rallies. A push for an expansion of mail-in ballots. A likelihood that Trump, who carried the key electoral votes in Pennsylvania in 2016, will be hard pressed to do it again.

Trump won Pennsylvania by 44,292 votes out of more than 6,000,000 cast, the narrowest margin in a presidential election for the state in 176 years and the first Republican since George H. W. Bush won the state in 1988.

In Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton won more than 80 percent of the heavily Democrat city. But Trump got more than 100,000 votes here.

Just think about how the mayor and the other Democrat nanny, Gov. Tom Wolf, can suppress Trump voters. Wolf has limited outdoor gatherings to less than 250 people, making political rallies almost impossible. 

It’s disgusting how the Democrats are using the pandemic as a means to tip the balance in the 2020 presidential election.