Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Being White in Philly: Part Two

Philadelphia Magazine will host a discussion about race at the National Constitution Center.

Being White in Philly: Part Two

Philadelphia Magazine hoped to launch a conversation about race when it published its March cover story, "Being White in Philly."

The conversation turned out to be about how racist the essay was. Everyone from Philly Mag's own writers to Mayor Nutter to yours truly have found the piece contemptible.

On Monday, March 18, Philly Mag will host a discussion called "Can We Talk About Race?" - although I'm sure it will wind up being a discussion about the magazine piece - at the National Constitution Center. The event is free and open to the public, but spots are limited. To attend, click here to register online.

I'll be there. As a former staffer at the mag and current occasional freelancer for it, I feel a strong tie to the publication and to Bob Huber, author of "Being White in Philly." I am pretty heartbroken about the piece. I look forward to hearing what Bob and editor Tom McGrath have to say about it in a public forum.

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.

Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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