Posted on August 22, 2011

Black Teen Flash Mobs: A Frightening Result of Chronic Political Neglect

Boyce Watkins, Huffington Post, August 19, 2011

Like the rest of the country, I couldn’t help but notice the occurrence of black teen ‘”flash mobs” around the country. {snip}


{snip} Black teen flash mobs have been formed throughout the country, with many of them being designed to break the law in some way.


I can’t help but notice how the creation of flash mobs is probably the first time in recent memory that black teenagers have gotten this much attention from media or public officials. Rather than focusing on the teenagers who are doing great things with their lives, the media loves to put a spotlight on the few scary looking black kids who decide to rob a store on a Saturday night. In spite of the media bias, there are quite a few reasons that the media, Mayor Nutter and the rest of us could have been paying attention to black teenagers in the past.

We could have spent time addressing the 40 percent unemployment rate of black teens all across America. Public officials seem to forget that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop . . . when you combine a hot summer with nothing productive to do, teenagers are going to find their own ways to use that free time.

Mayor Nutter and other critics of these errant teenagers could have also taken note of the fact that Philadelphia has the most racially segregated public school system in the entire United States. Suburban kids are getting all they need to build a great future, while inner city kids are only learning how to join flash mobs.


So, in all of his righteous outrage, I would ask Mayor Nutter this: Who is a greater embarrassment to their race? The teenager who is led astray because adults have neglected him, or the black political figure who silently administers and maintains the most racially segregated school system in the entire country?

{snip} Black teen flash mobs are our society’s creation: if we’d chosen to give these kids something to live for, many of them wouldn’t be out finding ways to self-destruct.