Skip to comments.Mayor Nutter’s Call: It is a sign of the times that basic decency has grown unusual.
Posted on 08/12/2011 6:07:15 PM PDT by neverdem
Mayor Nutter's Call
It is a sign of the times that basic decency has grown unusual.
Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia was true to his word when he took to the pulpit at Mount Carmel Baptist Church and prefaced his remarks: “I’m going to say some things this morning that I know from time to time many of you think, but may not say. They will not be PC.”
He proceeded to unloose a 25-minute speech that must rank among the most brutally forthright calls for personal responsibility and adult authority that an elected official has ever delivered in these United States.
Philadelphia has been beset by “flash mobs,” roving bands of teenagers who descend on innocent bystanders to beat and rob them in a miniature version of the senseless destruction that has engulfed London. Urban violence always occasions tawdry excuse-making under the guise of a search for “root causes.” With a pungent plainspokenness, Nutter zeroed in on the true root causes — irresponsible parents and their ignorant, slovenly, and undisciplined kids.
“Parents,” Nutter said, “get your act together. Get it together, right now!” On the cusp of officially announcing a new curfew for teenagers that will bring potential sanctions for the parents of violators, Nutter warned neglectful parents: “You’re going to find yourself spending some quality time with your kids in jail, together.”
And that was practically the warm-and-fuzzy portion of his presentation. He had scorching words for absent fathers in a city with an astronomical black illegitimacy rate: “You’re not a father just because you have a kid, or two, or three.” If you’re not providing moral instruction to your children and instead are sending child-support payments, “you’re just a human ATM.” If you’re doing neither, “you’re just a sperm donor.”
“That’s part of the problem in our community,” he continued. “Let me speak plain: That’s part of the problem in the black community.”
“We have too many men, making too many babies that they don’t want to take care of, and then we end up dealing with your children,” he said. “We’re not running a big baby-sitting service. . . . You were around for the sex — now, be around for the parenting.”
Nutter harkened back to his days as a teen in West Philadelphia 40 years ago, when he lived under the “Basil and Catalina code, the code of my parents.” They set out simple rules — respect others, keep your hands to yourself, mind your manners — and made it clear that as long as he “lived in their house, that was it.”
At the end of his talk, he directly addressed today’s teenagers in a volcano of indignation that brought parishioners to their feet. “If you want us to respect you,” he thundered, “take those doggone hoodies down, especially in summer,” “pull your pants up and buy a belt,” “comb your hair,” “learn some manners,” “keep your butt in school,” and “extend your English vocabulary beyond the few curse words that you know.”
“If you go to look for a job,” he continued, “don’t go and blame it on the white folks or anyone else if you walk in to somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and your shoes untied or your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms, on your face, on your neck. And you wonder why somebody won’t hire you? They don’t hire you because you look like you’re crazy!”
The third African-American mayor in Philadelphia’s history, Nutter is a reformer who took over from an incompetent predecessor who blithely presided over murder-plagued “Killadelphia.” He inveighs against vast social trends. The unraveling of the two-parent family and the diminution of adult authority go back decades. Nutter may be able to beat back the flash mobs, but the larger social disaster that is the context of such mayhem will endure.
At least he is willing to speak about the desperate need for a return to basic standards. That Nutter’s speech is refreshing and brave is itself a disturbing sign of the times.
— Rich Lowry is editor of National Review. He can be reached via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2011 by King Features Syndicate
Mayor Michael Nutter doing the right thing ping!
If this is all true, and I can’t see where it’s not, then we need a thousand more like him!
It’s about time that someone tells it like it is to these kids.
Mayor McNutter is a voice in the wilderness.
But I think a lot of folks are hearing the call.
hasn’t the same Mayor also opposed every proposal to do something about this crap?
Dayum!! Is the mayor a DemocRat? Sounds like somebody who finally has had enough of the victim mentality. Go get, em, your Honor.
Goes back to my theory that we screwed up by doing away with public whipping for many crimes. You might not deter the next man but I bet you wouldn't get many repeat offenders.
Being a mayor in Philly sobers you up.
And yet, he’ll deliver the vote for Obama.
“And yet, hell deliver the vote for Obama.”
Exactly right. If any of these people were serious about crime and changing the culture they would convert to conservatism. If Nutter really wants to end the soft on crime attitudes out there he would be opposed to the 0bama-Holder administration.
I like what he says, but hasn’t he been mayor now for 2 or 3 years? What has he done to at least start to fix the problem?
(This is more than a rhetorical question, I’m not at all familiar with Philly’s politics and thus don’t know the answer.)
Good for him.
What’s he whining about? He’s the Mayor of one of Obama’s new “Third World Cities” program cities. Philadelphia got from Obama exactly what it paid Obama for in votes... third world status. Coming to a third world city near you ... real soon I bet!
Kudos to Mayor Nutter. Unfortunately, there are too few prominent Blacks weighing in on this matter. Black youth is accelerating in a downward path culturally, socially, and intellectually. Juan Williams has made the argument that rappers and hip hoppers are a hundred times worse than Amos ‘n Andy, and more degrading than whites in black face or minstrel shows. JFK had Pablo Casals play in the White House, Obama had the scumbag Jay-Z! Go figure.
I like this guy. Finally someone other than Bill Cosby standing up and speaking the truth. Better late than never.
Yep, he had a come to Jesus moment. Those are always good ;)
I never take a liberal's words at face value.
Hate to break it to you, but that "larger social disaster" covers more than just the Black community. One commonality seems to be the pitiful public education system foisted by the 'experts' and their union supporters.
We live 60 miles from Phila, but we are not happy that we sometimes get called to federal jury duty there.
In the past, I would have taken my 3 yr old grandaughter to the Phila zoo, but I avoid the place now.
We always took our own kids to the zoo there back in the day.
“It’s a Dirty, Rotten Shame: We have a Filthy Image”
August 12, 2011 by NATALIE POMPILIO,
“It’s a Dirty, Rotten Shame: We have a Filthy Image”
August 12, 2011 by NATALIE POMPILIO,
Except he didn't. Wish he had. But it'a all just talk, and he continues to support the machinery that has been tearing down everything he's paying lip-service to for decades. Talk, talk, talk, not one thing more.
Dont’cha just hate that :(
"...and I have come to realize my own participation in this appalling state of affairs. I have come to confess this to you. For decades now, I have served a system and a political party that has been bad for the country, and bad for black people. It has encouraged the killing of black babies by encouraging abortion. It has encouraged the destruction of black families by rewarding promiscuity. It has eroded the rule of law. In the 1800s, it embraced slavery. In the 1900s, it turned from that embrace, but replaced it with being owned and subsidized by the government and what is that but slavery, though the chains are less visible? So I tell you today that I am taking the step of resigning my membership in the Democratic Party, and rescinding my support for President Obama. I am unsure what I am going to do, but I am going to start listening, and re-thinking; and if I find the GOP friendlier to responsibility, liberty, and the family, then they will gain themselves one more vote. Thank you."
Wouldn't that have been a powerful end to a powerful speech?
Actions speak louder than words:
Nutter helped destroy his own city!
Yes it would have!!!
I will give credit to Mayor Nutter for allowing the subject to be discussed in public. His speech essentially made it possible for news outlets to discuss the racial aspects of the flash-mob attacks; otherwise they would still be paralyzed by fear.
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