I am a native Philadelphian and I have something to say about the way the City of Philadelphia has gone so far from being the great city it once was when I lived there. I was actually born in Delaware County Pennsylvania not more than a mile or two from the Philadelphia border but my parent's first home was on 57th street in West Philadelphia and that’s were we lived until I was about three years old. My Father then moved us to just south of the city to a section of Delaware County called Folcroft. We lived there for about two years and then moved to Broomall, Pennsylvania and that’s where I grew up. My Mother and Father lived there for the rest of their lives. The town is located 14 miles due west of “Billy Penn” which is the statue of William Penn that stands atop Philadelphia’s City Hall. Any time I wanted a look at Philadelphia and Billy Penn all I had to do was walk to the corner of our street and look straight down West Chester Pike and there he was standing there looking over the city.
When I was growing up during the 1960’s there were some tumultuous times going on. There was the assassination of JKF, the Vietnam War, the assassination of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. With all the other cities in the United States on fire Philadelphia was relatively safe and riots just did not happen. This can be attributed to one man and his idea of law and order. That man was Frank L. Rizzo. That name evokes a lot of emotion in segments of Philadelphia even today because of his standards of keeping a tight control on crime and the criminal element. If you were a criminal you hated Frank Rizzo but if you were a law abiding citizen trying to go about your every day business and keeping your neighborhood free of crime you loved Frank Rizzo.
Frank Rizzo was a beat cop, a motorcycle cop, a Police Commissioner and then a two term Mayor. You either loved Frank Rizzo or you hated him depending on what side of the law you decided to be on. This isn’t about how well he preformed his job as an administrator or what kind of personality he had when dealing with the press, Frank Rizzo had his faults but being soft on crime wasn’t one of them. When I went away to the Navy and I met people from other parts of the country I used to brag “I’m from Philly and Frank Rizzo is our mayor. God bless you Frank and may you rest in peace. Frank Rizzo died in 1991 of a heart attack and the city of Philadelphia is in dire need of another Frank Rizzo. Frank’s son is now a City Councilman and he’s a good man but he’s not his Father.
Today in Philadelphia there have been over two hundred murders so far this year. It is heading for a record and the summer is only half over. The current crop of bumbling idiots they call government officials are letting this crime wave become out of hand and have done precious little to come up with any solutions. One ridiculous notion that keeps coming up is; it is the fault of the availabilty of guns that is causing so many young black men to murder each other. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The availability of firearms is the same throughout the state of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia is the only place where they are killing each other at such a tremendous rate. Everyone wants to gloss over the reasons why all of these murders are happening and the politicians dance the political correctness dance but the truth of the matter is as plain as the corrupt dollars hanging out of the Philadelphia politician’s pants pockets.
The root cause of the problem of so many murders can be directly related to the out of wedlock birth rate and the single parent homes that are so prevalent in many neighborhoods in Philadelphia. The statistics back this up and I am not the only one to point this out. It is completely overlooked and no one seems to want to do a damn thing about it because it is a hard problem and a whole culture has to be changed. The politicians think if they come up with phony solutions that are seemingly a quick fix and affect the people’s rights that obey all the laws and are responsible citizens they will be able to muddle through until their term expires or make new promises for the next election.
The next mayor will be former democrat City Councilman Michael Nutter because Republicans have completely abandoned the city of Philadelphia leaving it to one party rule. I say to Mr. Nutter, if he wants to solve his crime problem he needs to hire more police, cut the business and wage taxes to bring businesses back to Philadelphia so the next generation will have jobs. Mr. Nutter also has to make it a priority to bear down to teach the young children and their parents they have to be responsible for their actions and they have to be responsible for their child’s education at the public schools. After all, the ones that are murdering each other haven’t been held responsible for anything in their life and life itself has become so cheap to them. Most of all we will not tolerate you blaming the rest of us for the problems you and your party have created in Philadelphia. It’s not like people are coming into the city and killing the citizens and then leaving.
I for one would like to see a renaissance of the city because I grew up there and still visit there and find Philadelphia can be a wonderful place. I don’t hold much hope though when I hear politicians suggesting solutions of taking my rights away from me instead of them taking control of their own house like Frank L. Rizzo did!
Update: While browsing through the "City Section" of the the Sunday Phildelphia Inquirer I found an article about a fabulous collection of Philadelphia historical photos Phillyhistory.org
THERE is no chance, no destiny, no fate,
Can circumvent or hinder or control
The firm resolve of a determined soul.
Gifts count for nothing; will alone is great;
All things give way before it, soon or late.
What obstacle can stay the mighty force
Of the sea-seeking river in its course,
Or cause the ascending orb of day to wait?
Each well-born soul must win what it deserves.
Let the fool prate of luck. The fortunate
Is he whose earnest purpose never swerves,
Whose slightest action or inaction serves
The one great aim.
Why, even Death stands still,
And waits an hour sometimes for such a will.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox