Joe Watkins did an interview with Alex Friedman on Plum TV in, of all places, Martha’s Vineyard. http://www.plumtv.com/videos/joe-watkins-msnbc-analyst/index.html
Mr. Watkins is a former White House associate director of the Office of Public Liaison for George H.W. Bush. He is a MSNBC contributor and analyst. Mr. Watkins is also a pastor in north Philadelphia. Most of all, he’s disconnected. Joe stated in the interview that it’s a “tough neighborhood”, and calls it “forgotten”, that goes without saying. North Philly has been forgotten in many aspects. An area that has long been passed over in development efforts to bolster the waterfront and downtown areas, that part cannot be refuted. However, he also says there are no ATM’s, no supermarkets, no restaurant chains, and “no businesses of substance”, “within blocks, miles”.
The church Joe serves is at 30th and Diamond. Perhaps, if Mr. Watkins would stick around after the sermons, he’d notice with in five blocks, there is a KFC, a Checkers. There’s even a Save-a-Lot and a Rite Aid. One block south there is a bodega that has an ATM on Norris and Hollywood. There are at least three ATM’s on 29th Street going towards Dauphin and Strawberry Square. These locations may not look like the sights in Martha’s Vineyard, but they are there. One doesn’t have to live in Philadelphia to know about them, one just needs to look. The statement of there being no businesses of substance is insulting. Small shops and grocers are what the American Dream was bought and paid with over and over again.
Later in the interview Mr. Watkins says that he loves Obama’s message of bipartisanship. That, as far as I can tell, hasn’t happened yet, and every effort made from across the aisle on Capitol Hill has been shirked. They are even going after a lone voice in the crowd who called the President out on a blatant lie, mostly because he’s a conservative and using race as the gunpowder. He also espoused his appreciation of the “hope” Obama has given all people. Hope will not get you back to work, hope will not put food on the table, and hope will not clothe your kids. This speaks loudly of a person’s heart, and gives you pause as to his intent.
Joe also speaks of friends that are homeless or addicted to drugs and alcohol. As a pastor, I am certain he has extended help to those people. A true friend would not let a friend go with out help or shelter. I too, have found myself homeless, without a penny to my name. Through the Grace of God, and help from friends, I was able get myself out of that situation. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life.”
There is no doubt that North Philadelphia is a tough neighborhood. But those who live here call it home. Sure, there are no Wal-Marts, Targets, or Macaroni Grills here yet. North Philly doesn’t need them. What we need is more jobs, more industry, more of the abilities to “fish”, to grow our economy, not our government.
I thank Joe for his service and pasturage to the area. For his contributions in the media, trying to be the voice of reason on one of the most left wing, radically socialistic networks, but, open your eyes and see the truth. And please, stop bashing Philadelphia. We do a good enough job of that our selves.
Sgt. Robert Allen Mansfield
Candidate for Lieutenant Governor 2010