Recently, nationwide flash mobs have turned violent and dangerous. Traditionally, flash mobs referred to random and spontaneous gathering of people who would usually engage in a water-gun fight, pillow fight or break out in a choreographed dance number.
However, in recent weeks in cities around the country, in particular Philadelphia, scores of young people have been organizing flash mobs using Twitter and Facebook to rob stores in large groups. Closed circuit videos from stores’ security cameras show scores of mainly black teens going into stores and robbing them of thousands of dollars in merchandise.
National media has been covering these incidents, and it has gotten at least one mayor so irate that he accused the black youth in his city as “making their race look bad.” During a combative speech at the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter blasted young black men, telling them to stop behaving like “sperm donors” and “human ATMs.” He said parents have to do a better job of supervising and training their children.
“If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied and your pants half-down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you?” Nutter told the congregation. “They don’t hire you ’cause you look like you’re crazy. You have damaged your own race.”
“I am a proud black man in this country,” Nutter said in a subsequent interview with the Associated Press. “It was a message that needed to be said. It needed to be said at this time…. People have had enough of this nonsense, black and white.”
Others said Nutter should have cracked down on solving crime problems in the city before and is only being active because the teens have ventured out of their own neighborhoods and have made national attention.
In any event, Nutter is leading the way for finding solutions by imposing a curfew, permitting stop and frisks and authorizing tough police enforcement.
Needless to say, scan any comment section of a story about Nutter’s statements and it will come as no surprise that many agree with Nutter’s sentiments.