A series of violent flash mob incidents involving inner-city Philadelphia youth is paralyzing the city and garnering national attention.
The New York Times noticed what many in the local media are too timid to report: That the mobs are made up predominantly of black youth, and that the areas in which they suddenly converge to create violent and destructive mayhem are predominantly white.
It’s not as if the mobs are trying to hide the racial motivation behind their attacks, either. They chant about it as they rampage.
The flash mobs have raised questions about race and class.
Most of the teenagers who have taken part in them are black and from poor neighborhoods. Most of the areas hit have been predominantly white business districts.
In the flash mob on Saturday, groups of teenagers were chanting “black boys” and “burn the city,” bystanders said.
All this is happening while they’re throwing the book at a kid who said something offensive over the intercom system a couple of times at a Wal-Mart store.
The 16-year-old Atlantic County boy, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was charged last week with harassment and bias intimidation in the March 14 incident.
Imagine what would be said if the Tea Party participants who marched on Washington, DC last weekend did so while chanting “burn the city” and beating the crap out of anyone who got in their way. I’m pretty sure that half the article written about it in the New York Times wouldn’t be devoted to justifying their anger and explaining away their rage.
Imagine the media outrage if mobs of suburban youth were destroying North Philadelphia chanting “white boys.” I wonder if harassment and bias intimidation charges will be filed against the flash mob participants who battered and bashed the face of pizza deliveryman Seth Kaufman.
“It was like a tsunami of kids,” said Seth Kaufman, 20, a pizza deliveryman at Olympia II Pizza & Restaurant on South Street. He lifted his shirt to show gashes along his back and arm. He also had bruises on his forehead he said were from kicks and punches he suffered while trying to keep a rowdy crowd from entering the shop, where a fight was already under way.
“By the time you could hear them yelling, they were flooding the streets and the stores and the sidewalks,” Mr. Kaufman said.
It’s OK, though. Following Saturday’s “flood” of people on the streets, police managed to arrest three.
Things will never get better while you ignore racial overtones in incidents because they don’t fit the template of the story you want to tell. I thought we were all about having an honest discussion on race in this country nowadays.
Apparently, it’s all because society doesn’t give kids enough to do or something. I remember being intensely bored sometimes as a teen. Never remember bashing a pizza deliveryman in the face, though.
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TaggedCrime, Philadelphia, Race Relations
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