But White People Do Thuggery Like This ...

More

From Michael Nutter:


ADDRESSING the "butthead" youths who've been mobbing Center City and the "sperm donors" who've passed for their fathers, Mayor Nutter thundered from the pulpit of his church yesterday in uncharacteristically fiery remarks. "

You've damaged yourself, you've damaged another person, you've damaged your peers and, quite honestly, you've damaged your own race," he said. "You damaged your own race. "If you want ... anybody else to respect you and not be afraid when they see you walking down the street, then leave the innocent people who are walking down the street minding their own damn business. Leave them alone." 

Nutter's 30-minute sermon in front of a white-robed choir invoked rousing applause from the packed house at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, in West Philadelphia, where he's been a member for 25 years. 

The only problem was that the median age of the congregation appeared about four times that of the 11- to 19-year-olds who have randomly accosted Center City pedestrians this summer in large groups of mostly black youths.

Not a small problem, at all. I never like rhetoric like this, mostly because I never think white people are particularly embarrassed by fools like this. But then you read something like this...

I love to farm and shoot guys and wreck cars. I'm a redneck and proud of it, I like causing mayhem with my siblings....

and you remember that white is a country, and even if most people in that country aren't embarrassed, perhaps those who would ID themselves, or have in the past been ID'd, as "redneck" might be.

Back to Nutter, I think it's also important to remember that Nutter was ultimately in his own church where he'd been a member for 25 years. 


Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In