Philadelphia Metropolis


Memo to Sen. Williams

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By Chris Freind

If you're wondering why race relations in America haven't improved, look no further than the recent comments of state Senator Anthony Hardy Williams' concerning  the current field of Democratic gubernatorial candidates.

While fueling speculation that Williams, a black Democrat from Philadelphia, might join the race for governor, the senator complained that the four Democrats already in the race were ignoring the black community and the issues faced by that constituency.

In other words, since the other candidates were white, they were just catering to Whitey and ignoring everyone else.

And here I thought campaigns were supposed to be color-blind.

Williams is correct that none of the Democrats has workable solutions to the monumental problems we face.  Ironically, it is the Republican platform that holds the key to success for black Pennsylvanians.

But here's the bigger irony: so-called black leaders like Sen. Williams' do more to harm their own people than any white politician ever could.  Despite the majority of black Americans holding Republican, and in many cases conservative, views and values, their black leadership sells them out time and time again by perpetuating policies destined to fail.

A look at Williams' hometown of Philadelphia can serve as an example.

The city has been under Democratic leadership for 60 years --- one-party rule with virtually no competition.  And how has this leadership fared?

Philadelphia has among the nation's highest rates of murder, violence and poverty.  Its educational system is abysmal, devoid of learning. Schools are places where survival is often the first---and only--- order of the day.

Sen. Anthony Use This One.jpgThe business climate continues to decline due to the brain drain of our best and brightest. The tax system is so onerous that it ranks as worst in the nation.  The city's court system has imploded. People and businesses continue to flee to more fertile areas.  Finally, the city's reputation for corruption and pay-to-play is legendary.

So what do people like Sen. Williams do to address these problems in a majority minority city? His actions keep his constituents down and out, ripping hope away from the very people who most need help.

What is Williams' solution to the terrible business climate?  Raise the city portion of the sales tax by 100 percent and make no payments to the pension plan for two years.  Brilliant! Penalize those who can least afford to pay this regressive tax and renege on the promises made to retired workers.

And what about education?  Williams is an advocate for charter schools, but he also favors continuing to throw money at the public schools, appease the powerful teachers' unions, look the other way, and pretend that the results will somehow change.  That system hasn't worked in decades, and it never will.

Until we get serious about providing a quality education in a safe learning environment, our students ---our future--- will continue to be thrown into the world as functional illiterates.  And after the last flame of hope is extinguished for these children, they resort to crime because they have nothing left to lose. 

The cycle simply perpetuates itself.  Over and over again.

It is clear that the Democratic Party doesn't have the answers, because nothing it has tried has worked.  The GOP, on the other hand, has the solutions.  It just needs a powerful and courageous leader to articulate the message.  But leaders in the Republican Party are in short supply.


Who wants and needs school choice more than the black community --- people who, more than anyone else, have no choice in their children's education?

Who advocates tough-on-crime legislation and gun ownership so that neighborhoods can start to thrive again, where children don't have to sleep on the floor to avoid bullets?

Who is hurt the most by ever-increasing taxes, fees and regulations, and who needs a healthy business climate to attract and keep the good jobs necessary to provide opportunities and sustain families?

What ethnic group more than any other opposes gay marriage?

All Pennsylvanians benefit from these common-sense, free-market answers to our toughest problems.  But for those among us who are suffering the most, these Republican-oriented ideas are more than just workable and proven solutions.  They are the difference between hope and despair, between a good life and continued poverty.

So let me shout it to those in the cheap seats one more time (that's you, Sen. Williams): forget  race and stop being part of the problem. If you want to do something for your people, then embrace the solutions that will get the job done.

Chris Freind is a columnist and reporter whose news site, The Artorius News Bureau, is slated to launch in mid-February. He can be reached at
















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