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In Philadelphia, the Far Left Bullies the Left

This year’s Philadelphia Fight AIDS Education Month award ceremony at the Independence Visitor Center near Independence Hall was a special event for many reasons. Philadelphia Fight, which offers primary care and research on potential treatments and vaccines, has been in operation since 1990. Philadelphia Fight was there when the AIDS crisis in the city was at its height, and it has weathered -- as Philadelphia Fight CEO Jane Shull commented in her opening remarks -- a number of less-than-friendly United States presidents, from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush. Shull added that Fight will even survive the term(s) of the current U.S. president. While my political opinions are not the same as Jane Shull’s, what she says has some merit.

The message of Philadelphia Fight cannot be lauded enough. This was made evidently clear at the organization’s annual award ceremony, when the Kiyoshi Kuromiya Award for Prevention, Treatment, and Justice went to Elvis Rosado, a case manager for Prevention Point Philadelphia. Rosado shared this year’s award with Lee Carson, the current director of the Philadelphia Area Sexual Health Initiative (PASHI). Rosado, on accepting the award, seemed close to tears and said to him it was like winning the Pulitzer Prize. I had heard Rosado speak about Prevention Point Philadelphia last year at a presentation at a neighborhood library. Rosado’s talk at that time was robust and motivational.

Shull began the proceedings with an account of Kiyoshi Kuromiya’s life. Kuromiya was an activist and founder of Critical Path, which provided free access to the Internet to scores of people living with HIV in Philadelphia. He was also a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front-Philadelphia. GLF-Philadelphia was much more than an organization dedicated to fighting for gay rights; its extended umbrella included outreach to welfare mothers and black civil rights issues. Kuromiya gave the first national speech on gay liberation at the September 1970 Black Panther Convention held in Philadelphia. He was, as they say, a tireless, talented radical progressive.

Philadelphia is a contentious hotbed of left progressive activism. We have a mayor who loves to boast about the city’s sanctuary city status and who takes every opportunity to blur the difference between legal and illegal immigrants. One of the ways that Mayor Kenney does this is by repeatedly stating that Philadelphia has always been “a welcoming city.” In the beginning of June of this year when a federal judge upheld the city’s right to be a sanctuary city, the mayor did everything but break out into a dance in front of City Hall. Philadelphia is not only high on the list as one of the most anti-Trump cities in the nation, but it also scores high on the list of cities where leftist activist progressive organizations influence the character and tone of city life.