The Spray-painted Underbelly of Undulating Umbrellas: Bigotry and Complicity underneath the Glitter of the Mummers

Generally, I’m all for the working class and a big fan of folk festivals, but the Philadelphia Mummers get a black eye this year. On one hand, the newly added Philadelphia brigade allowed Latinos and drag queens and others to join the festivities. On the other hand, a few established groups are mocking the trans community and women and otherwise showing their general unenlightenment. The Mummers can do better, and in this WordPress essay Jeff Markovitz explains how.

Jeffrey S. Markovitz

It has been thus far well documented how much an abomination much of the Mummers parade has become for Philadelphia and the United States as a whole.  The abject, unapologetic, and pathetic display of racism, misogyny, and homo/transphobia illustrated by many New Year’s Associations are threatening to the very fabric of our democratic society.  Every year, we—as Philadelphians—have to be embarrassed by the hordes of draconian “tradition” who bum rush the PHL 17 cameras, undulating umbrellas bobbing like the booze in bellies, while their children learn how to hate.

To be clear, I’ve never liked the Mummers.  Maybe that one time I had a friend who lived on Two Street and we watched Penske box trucks blaring “Who Let the Dogs Out” (ten years after that was cool) while face-painted celebrants threw Pabst tallboys to everyone in the crowd (including kids) and the police just stood there smirking.  Maybe, at…

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