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The Truth About Philadelphia

Thelma Young
Community Activist, Frankford


Question #6 What fears do you have about living I Philadelphia? What is your greatest fear about the future of the city of Philadelphia?

Glenn: What is your greatest fear for the future of the city?

Thelma: Oh my God. If they don't do something quick, we're going down the tube fast. I, I, I don't I really don't see anything positive of Philadelphia. I, I really don't. I think we need to have, we need, we need more stern leadership, more stern laws. I think right now the criminals are running everything. To me, I feel like the criminals are running almost everything. Oh, they go to jail. They got cable. They got air conditioning, you know? And, and to me I think this is ridiculous. Why would you commit a crime and go sit in an air conditioned cell? And if they don't like what they do they want to riot or they want to sue or they want to have a steak for Sunday.

What about the poor people that are out here trying to struggle, that don't have air conditioning, that have not committed a crime? And sometime I wonder is it better to go to jail? At least you have cable. I mean most of us out here don't have cable, but we're hard working people. So you see sometime I w--, I wonder where we're going with our laws, with our.... What, what are our values of people that are putting into society to the people that are taking away from us? I still don't think a prisoner should sit in their cell all day and watch TV or whatever they do. They should be out here washing graffiti off walls. They should be out here, I think, paving...look at the negative. Then, the pos-, the negative will sit there and it'll build up more and more and it won't balance..... If you were to create a film about your life, what would be the story line? Plot? Themes? If you were gonna makeould have, their retirement isn't what they need to have to live off of, but then we're putting money into a pocket of somebody that's they're on drugs. I didn't put them on drugs. They put their own selves on drugs. I mean they should be accountable for what they do. What they do in their life. They have a choice like all of us have a choice. And if they have a choice to go on drugs, and that's what the choice they choose, why should we have to give them a check every month to stand on corners? Why should we give mothers checks that we know are not feeding their children? So you see, our system is so way out of whack.

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