Great article by Inga Saffron at the Inquirer this week titled “Black Lives Matter. Do Buildings?”

She’s the Inky’s architecture critic and writes a ‘two things can be true’ column about the damage in Philadelphia as part of the spin-off rioting and looting taking place in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

Writes Saffron:

“You can be appalled and heartbroken by our country’s deadly racism, and yet still quake at what the damage to downtown portends for Philadelphia. Racism is built on strong foundations. The momentary satisfaction of destroying a few buildings does nothing to remove those structures. All it does is weaken our city.”

Agree 100%. The looting and vandalism distracts from the purpose (racial inequality and police brutality), negatively impacts black business owners, and also gives opponents something to latch on to.

Problem here is that the story was apparently published with a different headline, which is causing some grief on social media and resulted in the Executive Editor and Senior Vice President responding:

Buildings Matter, Too,” it says.

That’s not written by Saffron, but I assume an Inquirer editor, which is a luxury these days. Most media outlets gutted their copy desks years ago, but the Inky still has proofreaders who double as headline writers. Smaller outlets typically just have writers doing their own headlines.

A lot of Inquirer employees are on social media right now apologizing on behalf of the company, calling the headline embarrassing and appalling. Doesn’t seem like anything malicious to me, just a case of missing the mark from the person responsible. Hopefully they don’t get canceled or fired, which would be a bit much unless this poor soul is a repeat offender.

Either way, it’s a good read from Saffron, so regardless of what the headline says, I’d recommend giving it a look. 


Here’s an official statement from the Inquirer: