PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Monday night marked the closing reception for the Philadelphia International Unity Cup. Mayor Jim Kenney used the platform to address recent hate crimes that have taken place in the area and around the country. He also discussed Saturday night’s flash mob incident in Center City. “At a critical moment in our country’s…
“At a critical moment in our country’s history, you all showed the entire city what can be accomplished when we embrace and celebrate the diversity of our communities,” Kenney said of the international gathering of soccer players. “That is a significant accomplishment, but we cannot stop there.”
Kenney expressed that he understands that following the election, some people are feel angry and afraid, while others are feeling “emboldened by hateful rhetoric.”
The mayor referenced some of the instances of intimidation that have taken place in our region, including the racist text messages received by black freshmen at Penn.
“Calling someone by any type of slur, defacing a building, or participating in a flash mob, does nothing to help preserve the values of diversity and inclusion that make Philadelphia strong.” Kenney made it clear that individuals who choose to take place in attacks, or damaging property, will be “caught and charged to the fullest.”
He simply does not want this type of behavior in Philadelphia. “Regardless of whether you are committing these crimes or saying these slurs in support of the President-elect or against him, it is not welcome in Philadelphia,” Kenney said.
Kenney also addressed the protesters who took to the streets by the thousands in the nights following the election win by Donald Trump.
“Don’t just hold up a sign at a protest. Protest is valuable and important and I will always respect your right to do it, but it alone will not strengthen our city in this time of darkness,” the mayor said.
Kenney asked that the city’s residents channel their feelings in to works that will serve to benefit the communities in the city.
The mayor also made a promise. “I pledge to you that I will stand up against hate crimes, violence and anything else that threatens our city’s inclusive and diverse practices, but I cannot do it alone. So please, join me and help Philadelphia truly become the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.”