Thursday, May 17, 2007
Nutter For Mayor
With the selection of democrat Michael Nutter the City of Philadelphia made history in Tuesday’s mayoral primary. No it’s not the first time an African-American was selected to represent the democrats. Both W. Wilson Goode and John Street won their respective primaries and went onto win the general election. If history holds true the same will be said of Michael Nutter. What made Nutter’s victory so significant is the percentage of the vote he got from both blacks and whites. He appears to have gotten a significant percentage of the white vote in a city that has all too often voted along racial lines in most of our past mayoral primaries. Yet, his acceptance by many whites didn’t stop him from garnering a fair percentage of black votes. But that’s not the only thing that made this particular primary noteworthy. Of the five major democratic candidates three were black and two were white. Despite that the two white candidates received about 25% of the votes cast in majority black wards.
Does this hail a new day in race relations for the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection? Maybe, maybe not. But it was refreshing to have a campaign in which the black candidates didn’t blame the city’s problems on an indifferent and distant wealthy center city (code for ‘it’s white folks fault) and the white candidates didn’t cast the cites woes on broken down dysfunctional neighborhoods (code for ‘it’s black folks fault). While I certainly don’t expect the residents of the wealthy and mainly white Chestnut Hill neighborhood to walk hand in hand with the poor and mainly black Nicetown neighborhood I do hope that all the residents of our city will continue to see our common need to work together for the good of all our neighborhoods.