You can’t understand the pride you feel for a city like Philadelphia unless you are from Philadelphia, you just can’t. It is not something you can put into words, or compare. It’s like the word “jawn”, you know what it means but it’s difficult to describe.
I will be the first to acknowledge that Philadelphia is not a perfect city. There are so many things that make it far too easy for journalists and others on the outside — like Donald Trump — to continually use to slight us. Hence why we embrace our “No one likes us we don’t care” attitude like lantern flies to well, Philadelphia! Heck, there’s a reason Gritty has emerged as the face of Philly!
There are also many things about this city that as a Philadelphian make my soul sad: Philadelphia is the “poorest of the largest cities” in the US, with a poverty rate worse in this city than any of the other 20 major cities in the country, disgusting history of police violence and brutality against Black and brown people, Philadelphia is home to the the worst urban opioid crisis in the country, and we are dealing with not just the coronavirus pandemic, but a gun violence pandemic as well. Then there is the Philadelphia School District, described in The Philadelphia Citizen as a “slow moving asteroid”, riddled with schools that “are toxic, underperforming and mismanaged”, and don’t even get me started on the unions in this city — right now I’m looking at you Philadelphia Police and Fire unions, both of whom endorsed Donald Trump.
In spite of all of the bad things that happen in Philly, and to the residents of this sometimes hard to love city, there is one thing most people and journalists don’t understand, Philadelphians will always stand up for what is right, we will not back down against a fight, and we love a good party (see Eagles parade 2018).
This city was literally founded by people who embody those traits and that ethos runs deep in the wooders of the rivers that run through and around this great city. We were never going to let our country turn into a fascist state — 81% of people who voted in this election voted for Biden (or really against Trump). I am not naive, I know neighbors and Philadelphians who are proud, bat wielding supporters of Trump, but they are in the minority.
See here in Philadelphia, we might boo you, or thrown snowballs at you (seriously though, journalist need to let this go already!), but it’s not because we don’t like you, it’s because we care so deeply, and expect so much more of you, ourselves, our city, and our country — every sports player in this city knows this to be true.
So, it was only fitting that yesterday as the fate of the country was being played out on the news channels around the world, it was Philadelphia whose votes put Joe Biden and Kamala Harris over the top. The city where this country was founded, that has been making bad things happen to tyrants since 1776, did it again in 2020; proving that, amongst all the bad, good things do happen in Philadelphia!