Ernest Owens

Porn, lies, & a haunted Philly gay witch-hunt

Black Philadelphians don’t need to watch a horror film this Halloween to feel spooked — just watch a gay porn clip. Many in the community are outraged and stunned after finding out West Philly professional boxerYusaf ‘Mack Attack’ Mack was apart of a highly explicit gay...

Monday, October 15, 2018 - 4:15pm

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 - 2:30pm

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 - 2:30pm

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 - 2:30pm

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 - 2:30pm

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 - 5:00am

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 - 2:30pm

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 - 2:35pm

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 - 9:05pm

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 - 2:30pm

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 - 2:30pm

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 - 2:30pm

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 - 2:30pm

The Ernest Opinion: Primary Day on Tuesday was an interesting day

There were on and off rain showers followed by sunny moments. All of this would conclude with a double rainbow that many Philadelphians noticed before sundown.Who would have thought that the pot of gold at the end of those rainbows would signify the beginning of new political possibilities?A...

Friday, April 29, 2016 - 2:30pm

The Ernest Opinion: What did Jim Kenney renege on in his first 100 days?

If a player “reneges” in a game of spades, he breaks the rules by playing off suit when he should have followed suit. If he gets caught, he has to give up the books he’s already won.Spades is a card game that’s serious business in the black community – the rules are followed religiously. I have...

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 2:30pm

The Ernest Opinion: Please don’t let this Villanova Parade be another display of white privilege

Monday night was total madness.Hundreds of people partook in public intoxication while littering the streets with broken beer bottles and damaged property. Some of them went so far as to remove a bush from a flowerbed and start a huge bonfire. There were five people hospitalized and 25 people who...

Friday, April 8, 2016 - 3:00am

The Ernest Opinion: Taxi drivers threaten to boycott DNC — and nobody cares

The war has finally reared its ugly head.Earlier this week, The Philadelphia Limousine Association and major taxi organizations, the Philadelphia Cab Association and Philadelphia Taxi Association, claim their members voted to boycott the Democratic National Convention in July as a way to call out...

Friday, April 1, 2016 - 2:30pm

The Ernest Opinion: Seeing John Edwards at a Philly airport made me reflect on local scandals

I was recently headed to Raleigh for a business venture when I noticed that former North Carolina Senator John Edwards was awaiting the same flight.Yes, Edwards was at Philadelphia International Airport riding coach on Delta. No, there was no massive security or attention. In fact, nobody actually...

Friday, March 25, 2016 - 2:30pm

The Ernest Opinion: Kenney’s soda tax is tone-deaf to the poor living in food deserts

When I’m not covering news, I run an afterschool multimedia program for public school students at West Philadelphia High. For some time, I wondered where my mentees’ poor eating habits came from – was it from their family or just mass media promoting junk food.As I walked up to 52nd Street Station...

Friday, March 18, 2016 - 2:30pm

The Ernest Opinion: Kenney is all talk, no walk on civilian protections from police misconduct

“If [elected] mayor, stop-and-frisk will end in Philadelphia, no question,” then mayoral candidate Jim Kenney told voters last April as he began to secure a huge victory over his black challenger, Pennsylvania state Sen. Anthony Williams.Flash forward to last month when the newly elected mayor...

Friday, March 11, 2016 - 3:30pm