Friday, January 11, 2008

Welcome to Killadelphia. We hope you enjoy your stay.

Here in Philly, the City of Brotherly Love with one of the highest murder rates in the country, local news has been following the gunshot tally as closely as the paparazzi follow Brit Brit during her weekly mental break downs.

With a soaring murder rate last year that flirted with 400, the war on the streets between young African American men has even been referred to as a "black genocide." Indeed, this city truly is at war -- with itself.

We've been calling out Philadelphia for what it is for some time now. Monikers such as "Killadelphia" have been sprayed across the pages of CityPaper and Philadelphia Weekly for the past year or so. And today, ABC news joined in the fray (and they stole our pet name).

Turns out doctors around the world have been coming to the heart of Philly to train at one of the busiest trauma centers in the world for gunshot wounds, the University of Pennsylvania Hospital.

Dr. John Pryor directs the trauma program at UPenn, and compares what he sees there to hospitals in Iraq. He would know. As a Major in the Army Reserves, Pryor spent months working in the trauma program at Abu Ghraib, and encountered a comparable number of incoming gunshot victims as he does at Penn.

WTF?! We've been calling it a war in the streets for years, but this highlights the breathtaking severity of this city's "situation." When a thriving U.S. city has a murder rate that rivals that of a cluster fucked, war torn country in the Middle East, we have a far more catastrophic problem than many people may believe.

As much as this is a raging city-wide and now country-wide issue, it still seems that some people aren't taking it seriously enough. Either that or their not paying attention. Kind of like when B tries to explain the rules of tennis to me. No matter how hard I try, it only takes about 72 seconds before I lose all control, and my mind wanders to all sorts of random ass places while words such as "set," "ace," and "service line" float aimlessly around my head. Uhhhhhh.

Recently people have been paying attention a little bit more, as the gun violence invaded Center City this past fall. Not even the fur-coated biddies are safe now. Because when it was taking place in the streets outside the crumbling row homes of North Philly, the latte sipping population of Rittenhouse Square didn't need to notice. Well take note, people, and hold on to your hipster inspired $300 scarfs. 'Cause ain't nowhere safe now.

And as Mayor Street took the back door out of City Hall, and newly elected Mayor Nutter received standing ovations inside, he promised thousands of desperate Philadelphians a time of change. We're counting on you, brother.

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