I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I went to grade school, high school, and university in the City of Brotherly love. When I look back, I think about the wonderful childhood I had growing in the Roxborough section of the city where a kid had so many things to do, you could never be bored. My neighborhood had a lot of kids, which meant a lot of friends and a lot of games we could play.
Besides street football and frisbee baseball, wiffle ball, and street tag, we lived just a couple blocks from the biggest city playground I’d ever seen. The Kendrick Recreation Center had the equivalent of two football fields and two baseball fields on the grass. There were the usual swings and sliding boards, etc., but there was also a basketball court, and two tennis courts. On top of that, there was a public swimming pool. And, during the summer, the recreation center building hosted neighborhood kids as a summer camp.
On the Fourth of July every year there was a huge parade, and the kids got to be in it. My dad would wrap red, white, and blue streamers around the handlebars of our bikes, attach little American flags, and we were off and riding tricycles in the big parade right behind the giant floats.
At Christmas, Santa Claus was available in a green and red shack on Ridge Avenue, along the main business section of the town.
In winter, kids and their parents flocked to the Walnut Lane Golf Course for some great sledding. There were two main hills: Angel Hill and Devil’s hill, the latter being a little more difficult to conquer.
It was the kind of town where you saw street cleaning trucks that came your street once every two weeks. Violent crime, though it existed in some sections of the city, was something we never saw growing up.
If you were bored growing up in my neighborhood, you weren’t trying.
Yet, I moved out of the city in my late twenties, mostly because of the high taxes that you never felt went to any good use. I look fondly back at the memories of my youth in that town, but I will never go back and I avoid going into the city like the plague, because it is now infested with crime that kills like the plague.
The year 2021 was a rotten year for the city of Philadelphia, actually the worst year in its history by a pretty large gap. There were 562 murders in the city in 2021. It was a record, albeit not something you would be proud of. You have to go back to 1990 to learn about the previous record of homicides, which stood at 500.
In 2019, the city experienced 356 murders and the next year saw a jump to 499 in 2020. Unfortunately, the trend of rising murder rates increased again in 2021.
Sadly, the first few hours of 2022 may serve as a precursor of more bad things to come with respect to the murder rate in the city. Before 2022 was through its first twenty-four-hour day, 14 people were already shot in the City of Brotherly Love and two of them died, according to 6 ABC News.
Imagine hearing of a shooting in your town, the anxiety that could bring, the sadness, and all the other emotions that go with it. Now, imagine 14 shootings on the first day of a new year with two people dead.
This horrible news after a year of high gun violence and having to deal with a pandemic that let’s face it was used as a political weapon against American citizens, is enough to traumatize the residents. Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia, Emily DeCarlo said as much when she told NBC 10 WCAU-TV, “The whole city of Philadelphia, I would say, is likely to be traumatized from this year, the pandemic, the gun violence, all of it.”
The pathetic Democrat mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, like all Democrats without a clue, blamed the city violence on inanimate objects instead of the death culture that exists among the criminal class of people in the city. Kenney blames the guns and wants the city to be able to create their own gun laws. This is a man who does not understand the Second Amendment. He wants to restrict law-abiding gun owners that will do nothing to stop criminals who don’t obey laws in the first place. It’s why they are called criminals.
Kenney is the same man who cowered in the face of the “Defund the Police” mob by cutting a $19 million increase proposal from the Philadelphia Police Department’s budget because he feared reprisals from the woke mobs.
Kenney was also in a video that went viral showing him celebrating in his office that he achieved getting Philadelphia, where our country was born, listed as a “sanctuary city” that would protect illegal aliens from being arrested and deported, many of them criminals who harmed Americans. They would also take many of the jobs that minority Philadelphians worked to feed their families. Kenney was just another example of Democrat politicians crapping all over their own people for their own political gain.
At least a dozen major American cities set homicide records in 2021. This was after violent crime rates were already on a downward trend for several years. But then, in 2020 and 2021, we saw unparalleled increases in violent crime. Leftists will blame it on the COVID pandemic, but in reality it was because of very poor leadership by Democrat politicians who run those cities. Many of those cities allowed nightly riots go on night after night for the entire summer of 2020. The anger and rage witnessed during the Summer of Love riots were spawned by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police, a city run by Democrats. But a lot of the anger came from the conditions of their cities rotting in decay, poverty, and crime and that was definitely because of progressive Democrat policies that breed environments of poverty, crime, and hopelessness and we see it in every major city run by Democrats for decades.
Philadelphia, in particular, has a very serious heroin problem that city leadership cannot get a handle on.
The homicide problem is not going to go away so long as people keep electing Democrats who have screwed up priorities that affect the innocent people who live in their cities. One message I learned from political activist and SiriusXM Patriot host Sonnie Johnson applies to cities like Philadelphia: “You can’t keep calling it oppression if you keep voting for it, and you keep voting for it.”