Ernest owens

To President Obama, with solidarity

Dear President Obama,Today is your last day as the 44th President of the United States.Tomorrow, you will be replaced by an egomaniac who has an Ivy League degree less than you and never held elective office. While you ran with sensitivity, hope and resilience, your successor ran with fear, bigotry...

Thursday, January 19, 2017, 5:00 AM

The Ernest Opinion: Not a goodbye, but a hello

I was 23 years old when the first Ernest Opinion was published here in Philadelphia. Next month I will turn 25, and the conversation sparked by that first op-ed about racism in the Gayborhood is still happening.My life has transformed in the past two years, and with new opportunities arriving more...

Friday, September 9, 2016, 2:30 PM

The Ernest Opinion: City deserves to know what happened during Bobby Henon’s FBI raid

“No comment.”That’s basically what I was told when I called City Council Majority Leader Bobby Henon representatives as a regular city resident and asked about the FBI’s Aug. 5 raid of his office.The raid on Henon’s office happened the same day the feds descended on the home of John “Johnny Doc”...

Thursday, August 25, 2016, 2:30 PM

Here’s hoping Seth Williams doesn’t seek reelection

This week was a complete hot mess in Philly politics.As the summer heat climbed, the ethics of some of our notable elected officials dropped.Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Kathleen Kane finally resigned after being convicted on perjury charges.City Controller Alan Butkovitz accused former Mayor...

Thursday, August 18, 2016, 2:30 PM

The Ernest Opinion: The company you keep

A new month, another embarrassing federal investigation. It's Philly politics as usual.This time, Local 98 labor boss John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty is back in the headlines after the FBI raided his property last Friday. Councilman Bobby Henon, a former political director for the union, alsohad his...

Thursday, August 11, 2016, 2:30 PM

The Ernest Opinion: Why Philadelphians don't vote

I’ve finally begun to understand why Philadelphianscould care less about voting except in national elections. It’s not that they’re not registered or too lazy to get to the polls – it’s just that the current local political system makes democracy appear meaningless.My boyfriend currently runs voter...

Thursday, August 4, 2016, 2:30 PM

The Ernest Opinion: DNC a missed opportunity

Before this week'sDemocratic National Convention,I had initially hoped for the local protesters to really make a huge statement that would make the nation focus on the big issues impacting our city. Instead, everyone was too busy being distracted by the sore-loser Bernie Sanderssupporters.Being...

Thursday, July 28, 2016, 5:00 AM

The Ernest Opinion: Give Philly hell during DNC

Next week the Democratic National Conventionwill be in full swing in Philadelphia. The lights, cameras and the nation's attention will be on theDemocrats gathering in the birthplace of America'sdemocracy.With all eyes on Philly, I want to see First Amendment rights exercised in their totality,...

Thursday, July 21, 2016, 5:00 AM

The Ernest Opinion: Calling out Philly's black elite

In Philadelphia, many of the major power-brokers are black.They are the politicos, lawyers, consultants,and business owners who live in Center City, the Main Line, and Montgomery County. They’re the folks who have the inner-circle talks at Del Frisco’s for happy hour, throw private parties at the...

Thursday, July 14, 2016, 5:00 AM

The Ernest Opinion: Now is not the time to remain silent

Having a wallet, sleeping, carrying Skittles,blasting loud music, selling loose cigarettes, playing with a toy gun at age 12, shopping at Wal-Mart, failing to signal while driving – and now selling CDs outside a convenience store – can get a black person killed by police in America.The recent death...

Thursday, July 7, 2016, 2:30 PM

The Ernest Opinion: North Philly doesn’t need The Gun Range

Withthe nation still mourning one of the most tragic mass shootings in recent history, Philadelphia has a Trail of Tears of its own. You can’t turn on the news without noticingthe increased level of gun violence that has erupted over the past two months. Whether it is a homicide or self-injury...

Thursday, June 30, 2016, 2:30 PM

My Twitter war with Justin Timberlake

It was supposed to be arelaxed Sunday night.I was watching the BET Awards with my boyfriendand live tweeting all of the big moments of the night. What stood out the most for me was actor Jesse Williams’ remarkable acceptance speech and how conscious he was on the pressing social justice issues...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 2:13 AM

The Ernest Opinion: Fattah is guilty – time to start repenting, elected officials

Guilty.Not just on some levels, but all the way. On Tuesday, Congressman Chaka Fattah was convicted on all 22 counts ofbribery, money laundering, racketeering, and fraud in a corruption trial.It’s a local embarrassment that the once revered black congressman who represents my district in...

Friday, June 24, 2016, 2:30 PM

The Ernest Opinion: Can we now admit the new soda tax is going to bite us in the behind?

City Hall on Thursdayfinally passed the budget and officially granted Mayor James Kenney his wish of taxing sugary drinks. Butif you think that settles it, guess again.It wouldn't be surprising if the city were hit with a lawsuit by the American Beverage Association (ABA) — and by the looks of it,...

Friday, June 17, 2016, 2:35 PM

The Ernest Opinion: Desperation, lies and soda … Philly got bamboozled

I had a crazy dream on Wednesday night.I was wearing a Sixers jersey running across a bridge with a crew of my West Philly neighbors dumping tons of soda down the Schuylkill River. It was like the Boston Tea Party, except we were black. And then I woke up, cursed out loud at how I wish such a...

Thursday, June 9, 2016, 9:05 PM

No shade Kenney, but the papal visit and DNC are two different forms of madness

“It’s really, really important that people stay home, show off Philadelphia, be friendly to the delegates … engage them, go up to them and really sell Philadelphia,” Mayor Jim Kenney said at a press conference earlier this week.Yes, I took that as a jab at former Mayor Michael Nutter’s fear...

Friday, June 3, 2016, 2:30 PM

The Ernest Opinion: Kenney, start planning a plan B for your sugary drink tax

Council President Darrell Clarke laid down the law at City Hall on Wednesday when he dismissed plans to vote on the sugary drink tax proposed by Mayor Jim Kenney to pay for universal pre-K.This would be the part where I would tell many of you who followed this saga “I told you so”... but like our...

Friday, May 27, 2016, 2:30 PM

The Ernest Opinion: Tackling street harassment at the Clothespin can be the first step to Philly seriously addressing it

I normally wear headphones when I get off atthe 15th and Market station – also known as the Clothespin – to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city. This week, I forgot them and was reminded of how much I was missing as a result.Coming up the steps from the SEPTA station underground,I see a crowd...

Friday, May 20, 2016, 2:30 PM

The Ernest Opinion: Commissioner Ross, no need to dumb down the force to improve police diversity

The plan to nix cops having to complete college credits is counterproductive for police relations.Philadelphians tend to only understand things when they’re broken, so let’s imagine if my back was to sustain such an unfortunate physical injury.The doctor in charge of treating it would be expected...

Friday, May 13, 2016, 2:30 PM

The Ernest Opinion: Working-class Philadelphians will not be ignored over this pathetic sugary drink tax

I don’t like to be lied to or lied about. Especially when the lie is coming from the mayor’s office.Wednesday’s rally outside City Hall protesting the sugary drink tax, which is intended to fund Mayor Jim Kenney’s universal pre-kindergarten initiative, was filled with concerned Philadelphians...

Friday, May 6, 2016, 2:30 PM