I guess I live under a rock because until last year, I didn’t realize the famous New Year’s Day revelers from Philly were considered racist.
I may have been blinded by my absolute love for any kinda parade, especially if it has a lot of music, and particularly if they’re playing instruments. When we first got a color TV, I couldn’t believe the costumes they were wearing on what always seemed to be a 2 degree New Year’s Day during the Broad Street strut.
I’ll admit that after a while, the banjo music gets a tad boring and I always wished they’d diversify the music, but it’s the costumes, strutting, and comedy that entertained me.
When I lived in Center City, I waited for a warm New Year’s Day and enjoyed my first live Mummers Parade. My only complaint was the crowd. They don’t stand still in their spot; many of them follow their favorite bands down the sidewalk. Damn, why don’t they just get in the street if they want to be in the parade? Us normal (sober) people prefer to watch every band.
Back to my original point – where’s the racist element kick in?
I think a troupe had a comedy skit with someone dressed as President Obama that black folks found offensive last year. But, that’s what they do, not because he’s black but because he’s the president. If teasing presidents bother you, don’t ever go to the Halloween parade in Georgetown (D.C.) They are brutal.
Yesterday, the Philadelphia Daily News helped clear up the racial Mummers issue for me. Hopefully, it will help you, too.
Stu Bycofsky writes:
THE ST. PATRICK’S Day Parade is overwhelmingly white – and Christian. Same for the Columbus Day Parade, the Von Steuben Day Parade, and the Pulaski Day Parade.
The Puerto Rican Day Parade is mostly Hispanic.
The Odunde celebration is mostly black.
I don’t recall complaints that they were not “diverse” enough.
Read the rest on the Mummer’s and diversity on Philly.com