"You've damaged yourself, you've damaged another person, you've damaged your peers and, quite honestly, you've damaged your own race," Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said in a fiery address before his congregation Sunday. "You damaged your own race."
Nutter, who is African American, targeted so-called flash mobs of black youths who've been caught on video attacking people in downtown Philadelphia. "If you want...anybody else to respect you and not be afraid when they see you walking down the street," he said from the pulpit at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, "then leave the innocent people who are walking down the street minding their own damn business. Leave them alone."
Nutter's chastisements—which didn't spare parents, either—included:
- "Take those God darn hoodies down, especially in the summer. Pull your pants up and buy a belt 'cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt. Nobody."
- "If you walk into somebody's office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won't hire you? They don't hire you 'cause you look like you're crazy!"
- "The Immaculate Conception of our Lord Jesus Christ took place a long time ago, and it didn't happen here in Philadelphia. So every one of these kids has two parents who were around and participating at the time. They need to be around now."
- "Parents who neglect their children, who don't know where they are, who don't know what they're doing, who don't know who they're hanging out with, you're going to find yourself spending some quality time with your kids in jail."
- To fathers: "If you're not providing the guidance,and you're not sending any money, you're just a sperm donor."
You can view Nutter's 30-minute address in its entirety here: