Kensington Philadelphia: A Call for Help Not Clout!

People walking on Somerset Street in Kensington | Source: WHYY
People walking on Somerset Street in Kensington | Source: WHYY

Kensington, Philadelphia, has long since been a place of lost souls—a “Zombie Land.” The Lower Northeast Community is overrun by individuals who have fallen into a life of substance abuse. Kensington started as a clean community with minor substances like Marijuana but soon became a common market for heroin and other opioids. Still, it wasn't close to what it is now.

The situation began to worsen with Tranq or Tranq dope—formally known as Xylazine—a drug used for sedation, anesthesia, muscle relaxation, and analgesia in animals. Once mixed with fentanyl, the drug has become one of the main drugs used on the street, giving people a “zombie-like” appearance. 

As a result, the streets of Kensington are not only lined with needles and trash but with the bodies of those in active addiction. It has become so bad that there have been reported times when police will see people shooting up and not intervene since it's just the norm in this part of the city. 

Today, the Internet is a rich place in knowledge, culture, and comedy on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even YouTube. And they all have their dark side, especially in the live streaming area. 

Focusing specifically on YouTube live streams, I  came across a video depicting a live walk-through of Kensington. I was confused as to why something like that needed to be recorded, and after watching somewhere between 2- 3 minutes of the video, I could only describe what I felt as disgust. After digging deeper, I realized it was not only one livestream. Youtubers walk through Kensington, capitalizing on and making money off the suffering of the people scattered along the streets. Some make comments or jokes about possibly being shot; others make heroic comments like they’re doing something to bring awareness. 

While writing this, one of the live streams ran twenty-four hours and had over six hundred views. I wonder if humanity is doomed. How can someone just walk around streaming that to the world? How can people watch those people suffer? When did people just give up on helping these people?

Stop turning a blind eye to the drug problem in this city, to the people who exploit it, and to the people suffering because of it.


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