If There Had Never Been a Philadelphia . . .

To Any NJ Philly-Haters:

If There Had Never Been a Philadelphia

New Jersey Would be New York’s Toilet


   I posted the following on the WPVI message board. We were discussing the tragic murder of the two little girls in NJ. It got nasty, it got racist (as it usually does). Then maribello777 pointed out that the event happened in NJ. This triggered all kinds of old thoughts that have accumulated and swirled in my head since 1965. Read on.

   . . . Yeah, it happened in one of those bastions of intellect, Deptford NJ, which ranks right up there with Clementon, Mt. Ephraim, Blackwood etc. (I live in “Joisey”, or “Jurzeee”). All of the aforementioned places as well as many others here, are provincial little satraps (and speed traps) peopled by territorial racists (latent , closet and crypto). Another “citadel of enlightenment” is Atlantic City. Once upon a time it was a sleepy, quaint resort where my grandparents spent their last days. My family would go to my grandparents’ house in Ventnor at the end of the school year, remove the storm windows and put in the screens, spend the summer, put the storms back in and leave after Labor Day. Then the casino pigs moved in and everybody, white and black, got greedy, and angry when they didn’t cash in. Those blacks that had lived their whole lives in AC were marginalized by the crypto-racist rich carpetbaggers who moved in from NY and elsewhere to exploit the coming casino boom. Some of the greedy whites who owned “mom-and-pop” rooming houses and boardwalk-fronted shops got even greedier and tried to hold out for a bigger slice of the pie. One of these that stands out in my memory was an old crone and her avaricious and aquisitive lawyer who, in holding out for more money, forced one of the casino developers (Trump, I think) to build his ugly glass palace around her beat-up old building.

   But there’s plenty of bad actors in AC, so I’m not going to let the “brothers” off the hook, either. The children and grandchildren of those aforementioned indigenous blacks, already marginalized with black skin, copped REALLY bad attitudes when they saw all the prosperity around them literally rubbed in their faces. This group, combined with newly arrived poor and homeless blacks and others (poor and homeless hispanics and, to a lesser extent, whites) got REALLY violent (I mean in that “Badlands, Kill Whitey” kind o’ way). One night, at NoCar and the ‘walk (the boardwalk at North Carolina Av.) one of these animals, unprovoked and in cold blood, simply pulled a piece and shot a woman to death in the middle of hundreds of strollers. He then just melted into the crowd. I have no word if he was ever caught.

   Then there’s the AC Police Department. Despite all the “warm fuzzy” in the air regarding Officer Cassidy, I AIN’T lettin’ them off the hook, either. (Nor would I let ANY bad or lazy or racist or fascist “blue club” member and storm-trooper off the hook). Now, let’s see; how many of the “perjorative types” mentioned inside the preceeding parenthetical group did I encounter in the three years, ’97-’99, that I lived there? Um, could it be ALL OF THEM? Yes. While working in the “food service industry” (sounds better than busboy) at a certain Hibernian “cop bar” on St. James that shall remain nameless, I ran into them ALL. Of course I can only speak about the white blue-clubbers because at the time I was there (and probably still today) there was a great big schism between the black and white cops. I’m sure there were/are black cops with the same shortcomings but I never saw one in the pub (uh, I mean nameless cop bar). I’m sure they have their own watering-hole. And of course there are good cops there, I even met a few. But the proportion of good-to-bad is frightening. Furthermore, their policies and protocols regarding treatment of those less fortunate are also frighteningly draconian. An excellent example of this is their annual periodic roust of the homeless living beneath the boards. The goons thoroughly enjoy sending very nasty Shepherds in to chase the riff-raff out to be busted by the friendly, warm-hearted officers waiting there for them. Of course some of the homeless have, shall we say, shortcomings, but most of them were just frightened, hungry derelicts. Many of them would be shuttled back and forth between AC and other cities that, when the tourist period was approaching in their resort, would provide bus tickets to AC to get rid of them. Then when Atlantic City would get cold they would somehow find their way back or to some other, warmer, place. Commuting homeless! What a concept.

   I was dragged here, kicking and screaming from Philly 38 years ago and was unable to escape the “New Jersey Plantation”. I have always loved, and miss Philadelphia. I hate NJ. I’ve spent 42 years hating it. Unlike some of you, I want to escape the plantation and come home.

“With my old beat-up guitar, I will finally find my way, to the town that rocked the nation –


-Written by Rick Bazilian and Robbie Hyman (The Hooters)

(And people, there ARE tears in my eyes as I type that!)

America began here. You got that?

Let’s see; did I miss anything? Sure. Probably. If I remember any more I’ll get back to you.




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