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The Truth About Philadelphia

Francis Wheaton (Weidon)
Volunteer for Homeless, West Philadelphia


Question #4 In what ways is the city of Philadelphia hurting the most? What are the physical places in the city that are hurting the most? What needs to happen so that healing can take place?

Glenn: In what ways do you think that the City is hurting the most?

Francis: I think the City is hurting the most because they're frightened. Umm, I think, as I said, umm, you know, we've got the Septa strike right now. Uh, you hear about companies closing, you hear about the, the constant crime and the guns, and the, and you hear ab. I mean every night on the news a child's killed, or, or a school child's been shot, or umm, uh, you know, someone, someone in the neighborhood has, you know. I, I just heard this this morning, uh, a neighbor, uh, shot another neighbor because their children made too much noise.
We've got to get back to taking care of each other. We've got to stop thinking of each other as islands. I remember when I was seven (PHONE RINGING)... Um hmmm. I remember when I was seven or eight years old, if you were outside and you were doing something that you weren't supposed to, somebody would say, at the time they called me Francie, "Francie, now you know you're not supposed to be doing that and I'm telling your mother."

I mean the mother's looked out for other kid's and the, you and, you know, there were neighborhoods. And I'm not saying they don't exist. But people are afraid to reach out. And the reason they're afraid to reach out is because, oh my goodness I might get involved. Oh my goodness, I might have to stick my neck out a little bit. Oh my goodness, I might lose my job. All real fears, all real fears, but if we live by fear, we're gonna die by fear and we're dying, we're dying.

And, umm, I think corporate business has lost it's loyalty to employees. And because of that, employees has lost their loyalty cor, to corporate business. If corporate business would treat their employees with dignity, you wouldn't have a Septa strike. If you, if they would st, if they would. The bottom line is, we got to get rid of the greed, because the reason we're running out of things is because greedy people are hoarding them.
I don't belie. Look at all the abandoned homes that you see boarded up and there are people that need work. What would be wrong with putting those people that are out of work to fixing up them ho, those homes and giving them a living wage? Putting some of these people that we call lazy, and oh they just want to collect welfare. That's not true. And putting them to work to fixin? is come equal for a change. And it's amazing how you just see people just walk. Some people alk to you, some people just walk...they are gonna be the ones that are destroyed.

You know, there's a phrase, if, the word, in the word ego is spelled E G O. And I have heard that as Easing God Out. And until the politicians realize that God made them and not the other way around, we're going to be, we're going to destroy ourselves. And they will do, cause I'm telling you there's ga, there are gangs and these gangs are treated, I mean, they're militarily trained. And sooner or later, they're gonna get angry enough. And these men and women in their posh offices are one day going to have to confront these people. People are not going to put up with this forever. They just aren't.

And it's not that Philadelphia is a violent City. It's the City of Brotherly Love, supposedly but, in some areas, it's the City of Brotherly Shove. And, unfortunately, our politicians have been blinded, because they lost, they have lost the concept of serving the people and telling the truth.

You know, I'm not a religious fanatic, I'm really not. I believe in God, umm, very much, because if I didn't, I wouldn't be talking to you right now. I wouldn't be alive. And politicians have got to get rid of the Messiah complex, and realize that they are merely men. They put their pants on one leg at a time, just like everybody else. They can get sick, they can get, you know, and, and, and it's really hard, because their eyes have been blinded by power, by greed, by umm, umm, by lies that they've told themselves and that they've been told.

And I think it's up. And not just around election time. I think it's up to our City leaders to tell the truth; T R U T H, tell the truth. And take your job seriously, as a public servant. And we, as citizens, have to make ourselves more educated as to whom we're putting in office. It's, it's a two-way street.

And if they're not doing their job, take and active role and make sure that we get them out of office, because they're not taking care of our City. And they don't belong there.

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