Kenyatta defends North Philadelphia community that Temple University student’s video called ‘ghetto’

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 12 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today forcefully denounced a video of a Temple University student who expressed disparaging comments against the surrounding North Philly community, according to recent news reports.

“I am a proud product of this North Philly community and I remain proud to be Temple Made, and because I come from both of those worlds, I know firsthand that those comments in that video couldn’t be farther from the truth and are deeply disrespectful,” Kenyatta said, who represents the 181st legislative district where Temple University’s main campus is located. “This vibrant community is comprised of some of our city’s most hardworking people who persevere and thrive despite the many obstacles they face.

“This community and its residents are my family and my neighbors; they nurtured me and instilled in me invaluable life skills that I have carried with me throughout my life. I am honored to continue to call this community my home and it has been an utmost privilege to pay forward everything this community has provided me by representing them in Harrisburg and ensuring their voices are uplifted as we fight together to dismantle the systemic issues that stymies this community from reaching its full potential.

“With that said, I know this student’s views do not align with most Temple students and I applaud the university for swiftly condemning this behavior and removing him from student leadership. I also want to want thank my fellow Owls for also speaking out and proudly asserting that you, too, are residents of this community and the people who were disparaged in this video are also your neighbors.

“To this student and those who sympathize with this sentiment  -- I want you to know that you, too, are now a member of this community and I invite you, or anyone else who shares these hateful views, to take a tour with me and learn about the community which graciously hosts you. I’ll be your guide as we walk the blocks and help you get to know your fellow neighbors. Through your encounters and interactions, you’ll quickly learn what I’ve always known – North Philly is the best place in the world, this community and the people who live here are compassionate, brilliant, and resilient and deserve more than being tagged ‘ghetto,’” he said.