Our cover story about Peanut, a North Philly gangsta puppet ["Getting Real," Cassie Owens, May 10, 2012], sparked outrage in letter-writer Sam Silbiger: "I am an 18-year-old resident of the city, and felt that the article recently published about YouTube character Peanut was an unwarranted, unnecessary and disgraceful excuse for journalism. You are the gatekeepers of information that is absorbed by the community, and to feature such a shameful representation of culture in Philadelphia on the front page of your publication serves only to further bigoted perceptions of the black community, and add to the whirlwind of multimedia refuse that continues to grow larger every day. I am a white student involved in an organization called the Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement, and through it, I have met some of the most talented writers and speakers ever to cross my path. Most are black, and to see your publication push them aside for Internet smut makes me inexpressibly angry. I implore you to consider assigning your writers to stories that matter and not to trash."
Citypaper.net commenter nat turner questioned Peanut's (and, we assume, Peanut's creator's) consumer choices: "This puppet shops at City Blue. ... Watch closely as black dollars leave the hood, never to return. So sad."
STUCK IN THE PAST
Our story about a state law banning people with records from ever working in schools ["Barred for Life," Samantha Melamed, May 10, 2012] ended with a quotation from a man, now a violence-prevention specialist for a nonprofit, with a 20-year-old drug conviction, who said, "You get 20 doors that shut, and you get 20 offers to come back to the corner." Online commenter akelsey wrote, "The last line says it all. Really, really short-sighted legislation." Commenter omseeker added: "Very sad — people who do their time should be given forgiveness and another chance."
A blog post by our anonymous foul- mouthed architecture historian ["Dead-Ass Proposal of the Week: South Bridge," GroJLart, Naked City, May 8, 2012] caused commenter Tanksleyd to write: "Aside from the gratuitous cursing, an interesting piece of local history." Gratuitous? We find GroJLart's cursing to be quite warranted. See for yourself every Tuesday at The Naked City.