PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The painful images and graphic stories of repeated violent assaults and vandalism by mobs of black teenagers had gotten to be too much for Mayor Michael Nutter.
As an elected official and a "proud black man" in the nation's fifth-largest city, Nutter felt he had to go a step beyond ordering a law enforcement crackdown.
So he channeled the spirit of another straight-talking Philadelphian: Bill Cosby. Nutter took to the pulpit at his church last weekend and gave an impassioned, old-fashioned talking-to directed at the swarms of teens who have been using social networks to arrange violent sprees downtown, injuring victims and damaging property. Moreover, he called out parents for not doing a better job raising their children.
"You've damaged yourself, you've damaged another person, you've damaged your peers and, quite honestly, you've damaged your own race," Nutter said at Mount Carmel Baptist Church.
The 54-year-old mayor, married with a teenage daughter and a grown son, called out absentee fathers and neglectful parents. He did not mince words, saying they need to be more than just a "sperm donor" or a "human ATM."
"That's part of the problem in our community," Nutter told the congregation. "Let me speak plainer: That's part of the problem in the black community. ... We have too many men making too many babies they don't want to take care of and then we end up dealing with your children."