Btn_red_77x28 Green website certified by Greenscroll Clip to Evernote

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Kids of color, flash mobs, and scared white folks

Deja vu all over again. A couple months back there were "flash mobs" of urban youth terrorizing people on the streets of downtown Philadelphia. Mainly these kids of color had used facebook, myspace and other social media and texting to gather and get wild. Most of the kids were drunk (not literally) with the freedom of doing as they pleased and running wild, willy-nilly, crazy, or whatever you want to call it. Some got carried away and got violent. They broke windows, pushed pedestrians to the ground and got in fights with each other. They ran through Macy's and did damage to the merchandise. They repeated the game on South Street as well. Police presence and the presence of Mayor Nutter seemed to quell the disturbances. Or perhaps the school district looking into violence at the schools helped lessen agitation. And the police probably were aggressive in finding the social media trail that led to the organizers.

For the last 2 or 3 weekends there has been a similar blow-up of teen activity in Kansas City. Teens descended on The Plaza outdoor dining and shopping area last Saturday night and ran wild in the streets. People have called it a riot, a wilding, a Phily flash mob, hooligans, and of course, black kids out of control. These kids come from different high schools and gathered via notice on social media and through texting. They took to the streets, some got violent, several pedestrians were pushed to the ground or otherwise roughed up, and the police responded with pepper spray. Many comments in KC have revolved around the fact that "our beloved Plaza" has been denigrated by these "urban" kids who are violent and, and, and, well....they are black!!!

Today, however, takes the cake. Yael A. - an editorial writer for the local paper, the KC Star, actually patted himself on the back for daring to state openly that the youth involved are, in fact, black! He then goes on to state authoritatively that the reason these kids chose The Plaza:
That's where the crowd of mostly white adults hangs out.
And the youth know their presence will be disturbing to people who aren't used to seeing so many black kids in one place.

No comments: