When I still watched The “Today Show” like it was my job, Ann Curry did a segment about a flash mob she took part in. Some people were singing about loving lunch. It was fun and when I searched You Tube there were examples of anything from Michael Jackson to showtunes.
However the term flash mob now seems to be associated the merry youth of my hometown Philadelphia. Instead of visiting the city and I don’t know acting like they have some good sense, there seems to be quite a few who have decided that they should come to the city and act like pure asses, causing trouble, harassing folks and just doing what I like to call dumb sh*t.
People are running scared. Who wants to visit a city and risk getting mugged or robbed and not just by the PPA (hiyo!)? There has been many a discussion. Michael Nutter, the mayor of our fair city, went all Bill Cosby and let the youth know how he really felt about their actions. There has been national attention for these mobs. What do we do? A curfew has been initiated but is this really the answer? The areas that are at risk, University City and Center City, are being strictly enforced. Playing devil’s advocate I have to wonder if these youth are acting out because they feel disenfranchised. University City and Center City have a bit of an inclusive vibe. The Bee and I have been visiting some of the restaurants in the neighborhood and while we have not been made to feel unwelcome there have been some, “You’re here?” types of vibes. This could be because people always seem to think we are just a bunch of teenagers bumming around but whatever.
Center City has out priced many a resident including yours truly. A night out on the town is met with overpriced parking, tax on alcohol, tax on everything. We have been seeking suburban entertainment because it’s just too darned expensive. It’s no wonder these youth have to find some other entertainment. Kidding. There is no excuse for their behavior.
Listening to NPR I have had heard two very good interviews. On Radio Times guest host Tracey Matisak had a conversation with the chief of police, Charles Ramsey and Drexel University professor Dr. Chuck Williams. There were several good points made during this hour but one thing Dr. Williams said that struck me was the lack of social skills our children are not getting. Dr. Williams laments the loss of basic skills such as waiting one’s turn, learning how to deal with disappointment, learning how to say please and thank you. You know. Stuff to make you a decent person.
On Tell Me More I listened to a conversation Tony Cox had with Mike Males, the senior researcher for the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice and Ike Leggett, the county executive for Montgomery County, Maryland, a jurisdictions that’s debating youth curfews. The thing that stuck out most from this conversation was that while curfews were being imposed on ALL teens most of the one that were enforced were on Black teens.
Why aren’t these flash mobs more like: