The Mummers Parade Approaches!

New and improved with Some Sensitivity Training!

December 26, 2018

2016 was not a good year for the Mummers of Philadelphia.

The Mummers parade, a Philadelphia tradition for eons and an iconic display of what really makes Philadelphians gritty...

(Sorry about that...couldn't resist)

...but one thing it definitely is not is apologetic for its Mummers.  And, it must be admitted, sometimes the Mummers go a bit too far for general public consumption.  Take 2016.  Caitlyn Jenner changed her gender identity, and there was no shortage of mentions of that pop culture phenomenon, one of which was accompanied by a "Froot Loops" image.  Children were featured in brown face with sombreros.  There was some explicit language from some Mummers crew members caught on video, which then went viral.  It was a rough time for the Mummer image.

So then came the sensitivity training in 2016.  Organized by the Philadelphia Human Rights Commission, it intended to deal with the thoughts behind those awkward moments between the Mummers and their audience.  The new goal, explained one, is to, "Punch up, not down."  Put another way, " “You can make fun of groups or people more powerful than you. Not the other way around.”

The 2019 Mummers Parade is merely a week away, and it remains to be seen if there will be any skits or costumes that push the boundaries of acceptability.  However, it is certain they will have been screened to minimize the offensive content while still keeping true to that Mummers' spirit...the Spirit of Philadelphia, the Spirit of its residents, and the Spirit of a city that might be an underdog...but is never forgotten.