August 13, 2011

Excuse us while we laugh at you

The last two days have seen two consecutive ridiculous editorials at Philly.com that make preposterous comparisons and ludicrous excuses for the epidemic of flash mobs the city has seen of late. The first one, yesterday's, was written (remarkably) by a not-yet-in-the-real world intern. He spews:

Police blame the mobs' swiftness on their use of social media - a medium as accessible as it is uncensored. But social media deserve our thanks yet again.

Haven't we heralded them before? Think of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt. There, social media grew so essential to rebels that dictators blocked access to the websites.

Twitter didn't win those revolutions, but it helped illuminate huge social problems that had been ignored for way too long. Finally, a new voice for the voiceless, right?

Perhaps Philadelphia's flash mobs are no different.

Ah yes. The thuggery in the City of Brotherly Love are akin to those who've lived under Islamist dictatorship for decades. What a terrific analogy. Right. Intern Drew Singer, obviously very short in the common sense department, is nevertheless in perfect suck-up mode to his ivory tower elitist a-holes who opine at the Inquirer and Daily News.

Then today we're treated to the "wisdom" of the Rev. Kevin Johnson -- an Ed.D., which explains a lot right there -- who espouses the usual "root causes" argument:

Observing the unrest of his day, Malcolm X said, "We are today seeing a global rebellion of the oppressed against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiter."

From the streets of Philadelphia, to the streets of London, to Cairo's Tahrir Square, Hama in Syria, and Sidi Bouzid in Tunisia, there is a revolution erupting that is being led by the children of the digital age. Their outcry ranges from concern for political clout to governance, jobs, education, economic freedom, and simply being acknowledged as a valued human beings.

What are the young people in Great Britain, Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, and, yes, Philadelphia, saying that we are not hearing? Young people don't just magically appear en masse. What pain are they experiencing that we cannot see or feel?

"A riot is the language of the unheard," said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hence, when we see young people rioting or in flash mobs, it is because they feel powerless and want to be heard. Those with a clear sense of hope and a bright future don't cause havoc simply because they have nothing better to do.

Indeed! What can the mobs in the UK and US do but take advantage of their free education, free breakfasts and lunches, free or subsidized housing in many instances, get a job and work to better themselves!? (Notice I excluded Egypt, Syria and Tunisia since, again, any comparison to what the population experiences -- and has experienced -- there is way beyond laughable.)

We can no longer ignore the cries of our children. They need more than tough talk, a few recreation centers, and inevitable profiling by the police. They need involved, loving parents, quality education, jobs, and mentors. They need community-focused churches, mosques, and synagogues. They need us.

Hey Rev -- see that bold text above? That is of paramount importance and deserves to addressed by itself ... because that is the single greatest problem facing the majority of those who make these flash mobs. Once this problem is resolved, the rest either become moot (no need for mentors) or take care of themselves (quality schools/education).

Thankfully, Philly.com temporarily overcame its PC instincts and allowed reader comments on both of these op-eds. As of this moment, these comments are trending about 99% against the Rev and intern Singer. Which is what you might expect from people who live outside the comfortable womb of a big city newspaper office.


Posted by Hube at August 13, 2011 12:54 PM | TrackBack

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