For seven wonderful minutes on Thursday afternoon, T. Milton Street Sr. – the former state politician, perennial candidate and widely known provocateur – held court about the recent buzz that has returned his name to the Philadelphia political conversation.
He prefaced the discussion by confirming that he had, in fact, gone "incognito to rest up" in previous months, emerging with a two-fold mission.
- RELATED STORIES
- That feeling when you realize your Uber driver is Milton Street
- Oral history: Ten years ago today, Milton Street sang over a coffin at City Hall
- Milton Street: Drivers need to fight back against uberPool's 'slave wages'
It started last month when somebody apparently hacked his Facebook page and continued this week when the media picked up on his intention to again seek state office, this time as a Republican candidate for the 181st Legislative District in North Philadelphia.
What a time to be alive.
Yes, there's a cavalcade of Democratic candidates seeking to fill the seat that state Rep. Curtis Thomas is leaving. They are, per City and State PA, community organizer Malcolm Kenyatta, pastor Lewis C. Nash, alleged "con man" Lewis Thomas III, nonprofit worker Ken Walker Jr. and "executive on loan" Alex Deering.
Milton is the lone Republican. Should he survive the inevitable petition challenges in a district that Republicans are far from favored to carry, he'll lay in wait for his foe to emerge from the primary.
Insofar as his wavering party affiliation, Milton echoed statements from a July 2016 press conference during which he not only lent support to a Republican U.S. House candidate but said he would soon launch a Kung Fu-trained crime-fighting group that, regrettably, never took to the streets of Philadelphia.
"I'm just sick of watching black people in a (statehouse political) minority who can't do a damn thing," he said of Democrats in Harrisburg. "You have to be part of a majority to advance a cause.
"I'm just harassing some people, having some fun with these idiots." – T. Milton Street Sr.
"We're looking at a projected $700 million deficit in the schools. We have black people sending their children out to the burbs so they can go to school where their aunts or other family members live. Someone needs to come up with an innovative way to raise money. Raising taxes won't do it anymore."
He was on the phone from a T-Mobile store where he was seeking help deleting a GIF that he said a woman posted on his Facebook page before blocking him. That action, he said, prevented him from responding to comments from supporters and haters alike.
In regards to those haters, Milton said that he is not angry, that he is actually laughing at them. (Point of order: He was literally laughing as he shared these sentiments.)
"You have people out there saying I forged signatures, how they're going to go to court to knock me out of the race," he said. "I was laughing so hard at that. If I can't get 300 signatures, I can't get 300 votes. These people are responding to a name, not to the issues."
I've covered Milton's political, and legal, activities diligently for more than a decade now. Never before had he openly stated that he didn't really expect to win, as he did on Thursday. It seems that the post-incognito-mode Milton is more insightful.
"I'm just harassing some people, having some fun with these idiots," he said. "They say I can't win? What's the problem with me? We have a whole lot of people filing petitions who can't win, too.
"It's funny. It's comical. But, maybe I'll get the black elected officials concerned enough to start listening. I don't have any primary opposition, so I'll just be out there harassing people."
And with that, he had to get back to figuring out just how to delete a GIF posted on his Facebook page.