Flashpoint: False blackface backlash; Jeff Brown & Soda Tax; Socks of Lovei

Flashpoint
January 12, 2019 - 9:30 pm

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- This week on Flashpoint: Host and KYW Community Affairs reporter Cherri Gregg asks the burning questions about the aftermath of false allegations of blackface against the Mummers. It's been over a week since protesters gathered outside of City Hall calling for an end to the centuries old tradition. Their focus was on the Finnegan New Year's Brigade skit depicting a fake Jay-Z walking a Mayor Jim Kenney character on all fours. The group got the skit pre-approved and used a black member of the organization to play Jay-Z. But claims of outrage by black leaders persisted. Why? Opponents point to the Mummers long history and tradition of racism and homophobia. Finnegan, a comic club, has faced backlash in the past with a 2016 controversial skit on Caitlyn Jenner. LGBT leaders called out the performance as transphobic. This week black political leaders met with leaders of the Mummers to discuss how to move forward to make the parade tradition more inclusive. We walk through the flames of this discussion with Charles Gallagher, a LaSalle University sociology professor and expert on race and ethnicity, Mikhel Harrison, State Director of Indivisible who organized a protest against the Mummer's New Year's Day performance and Michael Inemer, longtime Mummer and Captain of the Finnegan NYB. 

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The Flashpoint newsmaker of the week is Jeff Brown, President and CEO of Brown Superstores. He made headlines when he announced he has no choice but to close his Shoprite in Overbrook because of the soda tax. Multiple opinions and discussions have fired off- asking for evidence supporting this claim. Mayor Jim Kenney spoke with KYW Newsradio, slamming Brown for the assessment.  Brown digs in providing details of why he believed the soda tax will put inner city Philadelphia grocers out of business.

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Our changemaker of the week is Footprints to Recovery. Bridgette Vail, executive director of the Wayne Facility provided details about their methods of treating individuals suffering from a variety of substance abuse disorders. The organization uses a variety of treatment to help their clients, including community engagement. One of their initiatives is "Socks of Love," an effort to collect socks for the homeless. Their goal is to collect 10,000 pairs of socks by the end of January. For details on where to mail or drop off new socks for this effort, you can go to  Footprintstorecovery.com.

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Flashpoint airs every Saturday at 9:30 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 a.m.  Subscribe to the Flashpoint Podcast on the Apple Podcast, Radio.com or others apps where you get your podcast by searching "Flashpoint KYW."

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