At Mayor Nutter’s request, the city Human Relations Commission will conduct an “inquiry” into race relations in the city, following Philadelphia magazine’s widely criticized cover story, “Being White in Philly.”
In a letter, Nutter tore into the magazine and the story, which quoted anonymous white Philadelphians about their view on race and has been attacked for promoting negative stereotypes and not including the views of minorities.
“This month Philadelphia Magazine has sunk to a new low even for a publication that has long pretended that its suburban readers were the only citizens civically engaged and socially active in the Philadelphia area,” Nutter wrote. He called the piece “pathetic” and said it didn’t rise “to the level of journalism.”
He also called for a “rebuke” of the magazine and writer, Bob Huber, saying that while he recognizes the 1st Amendement protects “the media from censorship by the government,” free speech is “not an unfettered right.”
“I ask the Commission to evaluate whether the ‘speech’ employed in this essay is not the reckless equivalent of ‘shouting, “fire!” in a crowded theater,’ its prejudiced, fact-challenged generalizations an incitement to extreme reaction,” Nutter wrote.