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)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


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

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In