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The Anatomy of a ‘Wilding’ Mob” By Jerry Walker


Whoa Black Betty (Bam-Ba-Lam)

Whoa Black Betty (Bam-Ba-Lam)

Black Betty had a Child (Bam-Ba-Lam)

The damn thing’s gone Wild (Bam-Ba-Lam)

– Lyrics to Song “Black Betty” By Ram Jam 1977


This article is more than just pure journalistic reporting. I have taken certain liberties which I shall refer to as “journalistic license” which synergizes the pure journalistic reporting of news events with social commentary. In recent months we have watched in horror as certain districts within the inner-city of numerous American cities have been overrun with wild mobs of black youth. These mobs have appeared in the more pristine areas of such cities as Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Mo., and at the Wisconsin State Fair near Milwaukee. During their “wilding”, the out-of-control young thugs brutally assaulted, robbed and generally wreaked havoc on the patrons, mainly Caucasians, and on the stores, restaurants and entertainment venues of these areas. There was some looting, fortunately, there were no murders, not yet anyway.

I utilize the term “wilding” as opposed to “flash” in describing these all black mobs because of their insidious, invidious and hideous natures and composition. Flash mobs are a recent phenomenon, occurring within the previous seven years. However, the phrase ‘”wilding mob” was incorporated into the modern English lexicon in 1989 as the result of a brutal assault and rape which took place in New York City’s Central Park. In the early evening of April 19, 1989, a 28-year-old investment banker named Trisha Meili, was viciously attacked while jogging in Central Park. The young woman was brutally raped and was nearly beaten to death. According to police reports, there were numerous gangs of black youth entering the park from Harlem that evening resulting in numerous assaults and robberies. However, the assault against Ms. Meili was the most horrid, horrific and horrible. It resulted in an unprecedented public outcry for justice. According to the police reports the suspects were the gangs of black youth who, “would assault strangers as part of an activity which they referred to as “wilding”.   According to New York detectives, the word was used by the suspects themselves to describe their actions.

In contrast, “flash mobs”  are more benign in nature. They are usually utilized to promote popular public interest causes, advertisement, or just for entertainment purposes. One notable “flash mob” occurred on November 13, 2010, at the Welland Seaway Mall located in Niagara Falls, New York.  The members of  a local youth choral group appeared simultaneously in the packed food court of the mall and begin to sing the chorus to The Messiah , by George Friedrich Handel. It was such a moving rendition of the powerful composition that diners spontaneously stood and joined in the singing. The video for the event has received thirty-four million views on YouTube. Another took place in Los Angeles, California, on June 6, 2009. Here, a group of almost 200 youth, including a few older adults, “flash mobbed” an upscale clothing store on Sunset Boulevard and performed a rousing rendition and dance of M.C. Hammer’s You Can’t Touch This. The YouTube video of this event showed that  not one item of clothing on the racks and shelves of the store was touched by the young people on their way out. However, it is important to mention , that most “flash mobs”, as were these, are usually almost one hundred percent Caucasian. Again, they are benign in their composition, purpose and nature unlike  “wilding mobs”, which are invariably one hundred percent black.

Allow me to mention at this time that I am African-American (Negarian). My family moved to Kansas City, Missouri from Texarkana, Arkansas,  when I was very young. I was born in the Ozan Courts Public Housing Projects in Texarkana and was  raised in the Wayne Miner Public Housing Projects, in the historic twelfth and Vine and eighteenth and Vine jazz districts . I am a product of the Kansas City, Missouri Public School District having attended from kindergarten through twelfth grade. I attended the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Business and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Graduate School of Business. I served for ten years as an officer in the United States Air Force (obtaining the rank of Captain).  I attended  both the Air Force Institute of Technology and Air Force University.  In addition, I taught for six years as a long-term substitute teacher and one year as a contract teacher in the Kansas City, Missouri Public School District . The subjects I taught were Algebra, Advanced Algebra, Geometry, Advanced Geometry, Trigonometry and Computer Science.  During my seven-year tenure, I taught in six elementary schools, five middle schools and two high schools, with my last two years in the high schools.

I do not condone racism no matter from where it raises its ugly head.

The actions of these young black “wilding mobs” by their very nature were racist. The targets of the desultory violence, robbery and the actions of general mayhem perpetrated by these mobs were almost exclusively Caucasians. Hate crimes.  Unlike many others, mainly within the black community, who have become apologists and generally downplayed the actions of these young criminals, I do not. The horrendous criminal behavior being manifested by young blacks nationwide is the direct result of  a generational, degenerative socialization process which begins in the homes in which they are raised.  According to recent statistics fifty percent  of the homes from which these youth come are matriarchal. Headed by young mothers who themselves are products of dysfunctional single parent homes.  I refer to this as generational dysfunctional regression. Many of the youth who are products of such a home environment are themselves dysfunctional and devoid of essential humanistic personality characteristics such as respect for authority and the rights of others, ambition, aspirations, and most importantly educational achievement. I base my observations on my experience as a teacher within the Kansas City , Missouri School District during the period 1999 through 2006 and my own experience of having been raised by a caring mother from who I learned the lessons leading to success. I was appalled during my very first day as a substitute teacher at the Chester Anderson  Alternative Middle School located at that time in Independence, Missouri, a predominantly Caucasian suburb, however still considered to be within the Kansas City Missouri School District (another article in and of itself).  Many of the seventh grade students whom I was attempting to teach showed an utter disregard for my authority. They constantly cursed aloud in the classroom and were totally disinterested and inattentive to my math instruction. When I would admonish the disobedient students, I would be immediately involved in intense verbal altercations which in many instances verged on the point of escalating into physical altercations. My initial thoughts were that since this was an alternative school, which was the designation for certain schools for students considered incorrigible and who had been expelled from other schools, things would get better. Was I ever wrong.  In many of the other schools not so designated, it was much worse.

Toward the end of my tenure I felt more like a corrections officer in a juvenile detention facility rather than a teacher.

The physical violence in the schools was palpable. In one instance while teaching Algebra at the Paseo Middle School for the Performing Arts, I happened upon one of the other math teachers, a female, being brutally beaten by a group of four seventh grade female students. I immediately intervened, the police were called and the students were expelled. Within the two high schools, Paseo High School for the Performing Arts where I taught Advanced Algebra, and Northeast High School where I taught Algebra, Geometry, Advanced Geometry and Trigonometry, I was personally involved, on numerous occasions,  in stopping vicious fights between students. Many times I was threatened by students and on two occasions physically assaulted. Once by a female student at Chester Anderson Alternative Middle School and by a senior male student at Northeast. When I was assigned to Northeast High School in 2004 it was nationally known for the academic achievements of its students and, most notably, the fact that there were in excess of sixty immigrant languages and dialects represented within its student body. In the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 academic years, the district started to bus black students in from middle and south Kansas City. The change was immediate.  Chaos, classroom disruptions, violence, verbal and physical attacks on teachers, and most importantly, lower academic, expectations and achievement.  These bussed students adversely impacted the entire student body.  Many of the immigrant students started to emulate the thuggish way and manner in which many of the bussed students conducted themselves.  Therefore, I was appalled, however not surprised, when I read in the Kansas City Star (April 3, 2011), that a student who had been expelled from the prestigious Lincoln College Preparatory Academy for bringing a pocketknife to school, had been “banned” to Northeast High School as “punishment”.  Apparently, Northeast’s descent into decadence was complete to where it had become an “alternative school “.

The finger-pointing by the black apologists for these “wilding mobs” span the spectrum from the existence of overt and covert ( institutional ) Caucasian racism, lack of activities for black youth, to poor quality teachers within the school districts. There is an old adage which says, “when you point a finger, there are three pointing back at you”‘. Despite the current economic stagnation, ample opportunities exist for those who have either prepared themselves educationally or with some type of marketable skill. Given the age group of the “wilding mobs”, and, based on historical economic trends, by the time they reach the age for gainful employment the economic woes will likely have passed. However, the overwhelming majority of these youths will be unprepared to take advantage of the economic opportunities presented. As a result, they will enter young adulthood bereft of the essential attributes which would allow them to become constructive and productive citizens, and to assimilate or blend within the ‘melting pot’ which is the United States of America. Never in the history of the nation has there been such a propitious time for, as Martin Luther King so eloquently alluded , “the matriculation into the University of Human Integration”. In regards to overt and covert (institutional) Caucasian racism, they still exist. However, again in the words of Dr. King quoting what he referred to as an “old Negro spiritual”, “we ain’t where we wanna be, we ain’t where we gonna be, but thank GOD we ain’t where we were”.  As to the lack of activities for black youth. When did it become incumbent upon the areas such as Center City in Philadelphia, and the Plaza in Kansas City to provide  “something to do” for “wilding”, broke, black youth?  These pristine areas are for the entertainment, recreation and shopping for the spending public regardless of skin color. They are not for “wilding mobs to find something to do”.

We know now what that something is. The questions must be asked, “What happened to the billions of dollars poured into the black communities meant to enhance the standard of living and the quality of life for their inhabitants?” “Where is the economic, recreational and entertainment infrastructure for which these monies were intended?” Many of the apologists for these “wilding mobs” are the same individuals and organizations who have received such government funding over the years.  Even before the War on Poverty declared by then President Lyndon Baines Johnson during his State of the Union Address on January 8, 1964, then President Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated such efforts with his New Deal program in 1933.  More recently, what happened to the billions of dollars appropriated under the Faith Based Initiative program and allocated in 2000 by then President George W. Bush whereby these monies were granted to religious organizations within the black communities for the same purposes established by the New Deal and the War on Poverty?  Again, the outcry from these same recipient organizations and individuals was an attempt to rationalize the actions of these “wilding mobs”, and put the onus for their existence on the “white man”.

In regards to blaming the teachers in the school districts. Though there may be a few ineffective and inept teachers I would venture to say that most of the teachers in the predominantly black school districts throughout the nation are dedicated, committed professionals who teach under severe, adverse situations, circumstances and conditions.

The nonpartisan research group Public Agenda conducted and released a study titled “Unruly Pupils Take Toll On Class, Teachers”. This study was released in May 2004. The findings of the study was based on a mail survey of 725 public school teachers in middle and high schools and a telephone survey of 600 parents of public school students in grades five through twelve.  Some of the vital findings of the study were: 1. Most teachers in middle and high schools said misbehavior by some students is such a disruptive, pervasive force that a majority of students suffer for it.  2. The cumulative problem of routine unruly behavior is undermining academic achievement.  3. Approximately one-third of the teachers have considered quitting because of the lack of student discipline.  4. One third of the teachers said they know colleagues who had quit or were forced out as a result of student misbehavior.  5. Schools back down from discipline when parents threaten lawsuits.  6. The major cause of the lack of student discipline is that too many parents fail to teach their children discipline.

I am not the only one within the African-American community who espouses the precept and concept that contemporary blacks are contributorily negligent for their wretched plight and that they should be held accountable for their actions and the actions of their “wild things”.

Numerous other African-Americans have addressed this issue honestly and forthrightly. On the evening of Friday, July 29, 2011, in a district similar to the Plaza in Kansas City called Center City located in Philadelphia, a “wilding mob” descended and brutally assaulted and robbed numerous Caucasian patrons. According to the Washington Times, “the worse injury was a man kicked in the head  so savagely that he was hospitalized with a fractured skull”.  According to the Times, there were four arrests including an eleven-year-old juvenile.  Michael Nutter, an African-American and the Mayor of Philadelphia, was outraged. According to the Associated Press while addressing the congregation of the Mount Carmel Baptist Church one week after the attacks, he stated that he was speaking as a “proud black man”.  He then chided black parents for abrogating their responsibility for “doing a better job raising their children”.  Addressing the young thugs he said, “You’ve damaged yourself, you’ve damaged another person, you’ve damaged your peers and, quite honestly, you’ve damaged your own race”.  He continued, “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.” Later in an interview with the Associated Press Mayor Nutter reiterated the point that he spoke as “a proud black man in this country”.  He went on to say, “It was a message that needed to be said.  It needed to be said at this time;. . . people have had enough of this nonsense, black and white”. “This is about personal responsibility “, he concluded, “We have to be straightforward.” Mayor Nutter had many detractors within the black community disparaging his remarks. These critics, almost without exception, invariably blamed the “white man” for the existence of the “wilding mobs”.  However there were those who supported him. In an interview with the Associated Press J. Whyatt Mondesire, President of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP, stated, “Nutter said things that needed to be said”.  In a separate interview, Philadelphia’s first African-American District Attorney , Seth Williams, also lauded the Mayor for utilizing his elected position as one of the city’s most visible leaders to confront the problem of the “wilding mobs”.  “What he was saying was perfectly accurate. People needed to hear that”, Williams stated.

In recent years other prominent African-Americans have addressed the issues and intervening factors that were the catalyst or impetus resulting in these “wilding mobs”. Bill Cosby, in a 2004 speech addressing the NAACP gathering commemorating the Brown vs Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court decision that ended segregation in education, said, “These people marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education and now we’ve got these knuckleheads walking around. I can’t even talk the way these people talk, ‘Why you ain’t’, ‘Where you is’…and I blamed the kid until I heard the mother.”

Again, generational dysfunctional regression. Regression instead of progression. Devolution not evolution. Degeneration not regeneration.

Then presidential candidate Barak Obama in a 2008 Father’s Day address to the predominantly African-American congregation of the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago stated, “. . . we are reminded today that family is the most important. And we are called to recognize and honor how critical every father is to that foundation. . . But we must be honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that too many fathers also are missing–missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it. . . That children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems. . . or become teenage parents themselves.”  Again, generational dysfunctional regression.

Dr. John McWhorter, an African-American, then an associate professor of linguistics at the University of California-Berkeley, published a book in the summer of 2000 entitled Losing the Race:  Self Sabotage in Black America in which he concluded , “. . . that the lagging academic performance of African-American students isn’t caused by the residual effects of prejudice or poor schools, but by a ‘cult of anti-intellectualism’ that has infected black America”.   Dr. McWhorter based his premise and conclusion on his observation and study of the performance of black students on the Berkeley campus. “The black students were the worse students on campus”, he wrote. “they are held back by three defeatist thought patterns”. These ‘defeatist thought patterns’ according to Dr. McWhorter were:  1. the Cult of Victimology , which leads blacks to blame their problems on white racism. 2. the Cult of Separatism, which makes blacks think that whatever whites do, they should do the opposite; and 3. the Cult of Anti-Intellectualism, which hold that scholastic excellence is a white thing.

While teaching Algebra at Central Middle School, one of my female students approached my desk while I was grading the results of a test which I had just administered. She said to me in a very serious manner, “Mr. Walker, a lot of the students know Algebra but they did not want other students to know that they know.” In my naiveté and ignorance I asked her why that was.  She replied, “They would be made fun of (ridiculed) or jumped on (beaten).” I was taken aback after it finally dawned on me what she was saying.  In essence, a classic example of the “cult of anti-intellectualism” in middle school.

Kansas City, Philadelphia and many other of the affected cities have instituted curfews in order to stop the “wilding mobs”. This action is more proactive than preemptive.  Law enforcement should identify these mobs as they form and intercept them before they reach certain areas. This is imperative in order to protect the law-abiding, spending public out for a night on the town.

This article is timely even though the last of these events took place seven months ago, in August 2011.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, it is not just pure journalistic reporting but also social commentary. Note also that these “wilding mob” incidents in 2010 and 2011 took place during the months April through August, warmer months when school is not in session. Be assured if a more direct, confrontational and preemptive approach is not taken by law enforcement, we will witness these violent, horrendous events again during Spring and Summer of 2012, only on a wider more destructive scale.

UPDATE The following quotes were taken from a blog titled Second City Cop.  The contributors to this blog are sworn police officers of the Chicago Police Department.  Two of the blogs mention Rham Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago and Garry McCarthy, the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.  Please note the date indicated on the first two blogs.   These events took place on the same day, December 26, 2011, that a “wilding mob” composed of hundreds of black youth rioted in the Mall of America, the largest mall in the United States representing billions of investment dollars, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Eyewitness accounts of this riot may be read at Gateway Pundit.com/Mall of America Riot and Powerline.com.   Also note that this date corresponds with Christmas vacation within the public schools  of Chicago and Minneapolis.  The reporting of these events is being blocked by most local and national media outlets.  Why???  However, one Minneapolis television station reported that many in the “wilding mob” there arrived at the mall and left the mall via public transportation!!! “There were male and female black teens literally running around in packs of   50 to well over 200 down Michigan Avenue by and inside the Water Tower Place and John Hancock Building fighting and stealing.  One person shot and   transported to the hospital at Roosevelt and State on the train station in the First District.  Now I realize that this shit goes on all over in the west and   south side districts but on the once Magnificent Mile!?  Shame on you Rham Emanuel and the Police Superintendent, you both know what is going on but you choose to ignore the problem!  Mr. McCarthy, the blood is on your hands if anyone gets hurt or god forbid dies as a result of your’s and Mr. Emanuel’s inactions.” 12/27/11 12:54:00 A.M. “It was crazy down here tonight, hundreds of teens overtook Michigan Avenue,  Chicago Avenue and Rush Street.  They were fighting, stealing,   grabbing females, and intimidating the hell out of tourists and shoppers…” 12/27/11 09:07:00 A.M. “The first step in solving a problem is admitting that you have one…Mr. Emanuel?  TAC teams from 019 and 020 were called to help and the 24 hour McDonald’s at State and Chicago locked its doors due to the potential danger to its patrons.  If McDonald’s can see the problem and act quickly why can’t   Rham Emanuel or Garry McCarthy?” 12/27/11 04:07:00 A.M. Further updates and additional articles on Economics, Politics and Race to follow.

UPDATE On Tuesday, January 3, 2012, the Kansas City, Missouri Public School District lost its state accreditation.  Currently, there is  legal litigation originating out of St. Louis County  Missouri regarding a recently enacted state statute which gives students of inner city public school districts who have lost their state accreditation the right to transfer into suburban school districts.  In this case students within the St. Louis, Missouri Public School District and the Kansas City, Missouri Public School District which have also lost their accreditation, can now transfer to suburban districts.  It is my sincere opinion that inner city public school districts lose their accreditation because of the quality, or rather the lack there of,  of the students and the seeming indifference of parents,  not because of inadequate curriculum or inept teachers.  This statue, which is being challenged by suburban public school districts in St. Louis and Kansas City, exports the problem and does not offer a workable, viable solution.

UPDATE On Saturday, January 14, 2012, on a unseasonably warm evening in the Kansas City, Missouri metropolitan area, two high school aged black males had a verbal altercation with a young Caucasian couple. The altercation took place at the Independence Center, a huge ultra modern shopping mall located in the suburban city of Independence, Missouri, thirty miles east of downtown Kansas City.  The altercation was initiated by one of the young blacks after he made a sexually vulgar remark about the young lady, to which her companion, and rightly so, took offense.  In a mall concourse packed with thousands of innocent people, the overwhelming majority of them Caucasians, the young male who had started the altercation pulled a pistol and began shooting. The young Caucasian male was shot in the stomach and his young lady was shot in her left foot.  According to police reports, a third bullet narrowly missed the head of the young man shot in the stomach and somehow missed the throng of shoppers who at that point were understandably running for their lives.  Two days subsequent to the shooting the two young black males were apprehended and charged for the heinous crime. Within the past twenty years numerous malls within the Kansas City metropolitan area have had to close their doors because of “white flight” brought on by the violence perpetrated by “wilding mobs” of young blacks looking for “something to do”.  This has been and continues to be a pervasive problem.   Only, now in recent years has their focus become the more pristine areas of the inner city as well as their continuing “wilding” in the malls.

 UPDATE The following excerpts are taken from a discussion regarding the issue of classroom “wilding” which I conducted with Hilary Conners, a young, highly intelligent, highly educated, and dedicated teacher in the Detroit Metropolitan Area.  This discussion was conducted via Linkedin within the Public School Education Foundation organization.  I would like to mention that she is Caucasian and that  her comments relate a poignant story of her experiences in the schools and classrooms with black administrators and students: ” Jerry,  In your article, “The Anatomy of a Wilding Mob”, you express sentiments I cannot easily express due to my skin color and background.  It is precisely because you are African-American that your words are so potent.  In fact, my experiences of confusion within the urban teaching environment were not justified openly by my fellow teachers, black or white, due to the way with which such comments would be interpreted.  In my case, I continually had to check my own thoughts for traces of racism because I have refused to promote negative stereotypes of African-Americans within and without the urban environment.  I consider it a particularly grave “sin” to be racist and work very hard not to form my opinions based on faulty and prejudiced theories/stereotypes.  That being said, I don’t know how to begin to speak about the humiliation I faced while trying to be an effective and caring educator to black youth in the urban high schools in and around Detroit.  Mostly, I am perplexed by the behavior I never experienced growing up, but which most of my former students considered “normal”.  My own self-preservation (mentally and physically) meant I had to study and understand these students’ behavior in order to predict any potential harm in the classroom.  I pride myself in learning how to interpret foreign behaviors in class that often make teaching nearly impossible.  I learned, for example, that speaking out of turn was simply the students’ way of showing interest, not to be overtly disrespectful.  Getting up and walking out of the room, cussing at me or threatening me was, in fact, supposed to be disrespectful.  I also noticed that my success as a teacher in this environment related directly to a few factors: disciplinary policy and it’s consistency at a school and the critical mass of students who deep-down, wanted to learn.  When the bullies were at a critical mass, (say 10 or more out of a class of 35), they owned the classroom.  But when the critical mass of good-hearted students was at least half of the class, I felt a sense of security among them and could often lead great discussions and address their lack of skills in a productive and non-threatening way.  Ultimately, it was the harassment of African-American administrators who told me and other teachers that we couldn’t “understand or care about their kids” and subsequently didn’t receive any back up support in classroom management.  Students suffered asthma attacks and the office wouldn’t answer the phone when I called for help.  Students would fight and I couldn’t send them out of the classroom without performing and documenting 3 interventions including contacting a parent.  Security would “write up” teachers that banished fighting or verbally abusive students from their classrooms.  We were told to confiscate their cell phones but when we did and violence erupted, no one supported us.  I hope you and other members of the educational community who are African-American can be successful in bringing awareness to this issue because I wouldn’t be afforded the status of a neutral or caring educator.  I deeply worry about our younger generation of African-Americans and the schools they will encounter when there are no more qualified, caring teachers willing to risk their health and mental stability. ”   – Posted by Hilary Connors

“Hilary,  I must honestly say that your comments brought tears to my eyes.  You are honest, open, sincere and exceedingly intelligent.  I am aware of a situation in one of the high schools in which I taught, Northeast High School in Kansas City, Missouri,  where the black female vice-principal literally hated Caucasian women. This vice-principal made every effort to undermine and usurp the classroom authority of the Caucasian women teachers and she even went so far as to write them unwarranted below average efficiency reports even though they were some of the most proficient teachers on the academic staff.  They confided in me and when a Caucasian woman was appointed principal the following year, I immediately informed her of the situation. I beseech you to not become disillusioned regarding your opinion of yourself as a dedicated, caring and talented educator.  You are, as I refer to myself, a racialist, not a racist.  As racialists we understand the intricacies, the nuances, the implications and ramifications of skin color.  For too long many Caucasians, in all professions, have hesitated to speak as you have so bravely and forthrightly spoken regarding the social and human degradation, regression and dysfunction of contemporary American blacks.  This refusal to speak out among knowing and well-meaning Caucasians is rooted in their fear of being labeled racists, or worse.  However, we must speak.  Just out of self-defense, self-protection, self-preservation and self-actualization.  We must speak in order to insure our continued evolution as a nation of people and as human beings.  We must speak for the generations to come. I have initiated a network of individuals who are like-minded regarding this matter.This  network  consists of teachers, school superintendents, police officers, chiefs of police, deputy chiefs of police and others across the spectrum of career fields.  Please join us. Also, I am asking your permission to include your comments in my posts and publications.  The article, “The Anatomy of A Wilding Mob” is going viral and your comments will make an excellent addendum.  Please let me know.”         -Posted by Jerry Walker

“Jerry, Yes, you may include any comment I made about your article.  It would be an honor.  Regarding the comment you made about the mobbing of suburban schools: one can actually witness it here in the greater Detroit area as well.  Pontiac used to be a suburb and now is as bad as Detroit, maybe worse.  Kids from Pontiac are now going to East Bloomfield Hills, South Lyon and other suburbs further out.  These towns are now grappling with an onslaught of outrageous student behavior and are ill-equipped to handle it.  It’s like a fight between a person with a weapon and one without. Suburban school districts are  used to a certain level of mutual respect and courtesy which many of the new students and parents do not show.  When conflict arises it is difficult because of the racial factor which can be used to throw the focus off of acceptable behavior in school.  It’s really a sad truth.  I hope you find enough fodder for your next article, but if you need more info, just let me know and I’ll do my best to supplement related contexts here in Michigan.”  – Posted by Hilary Connors

“Hilary, your comments, as usual, are timely and pertinent.  You voice concerns which I have perceived over the years, however had not articulated.  Your comments have really been incisive particularly as they relate to the future of the teaching profession, our schools and a society where students have matured into young adults bereft of the essential attributes and qualities which would allow them to become productive and constructive citizens; and  to, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently alluded, “Matriculate into the University of Human Integration”.  We are already starting to see the results of devolution, regression and degeneracy among contemporary urban students who, by the way, are now  mobbing suburban school districts (another article which I should have completed soon). The tragedy is that politicians and administrators are tacitly and implicitly contributing to this madness by their policies and their lack of effective policies.  Particularly those policies extending beyond the classroom.  Such as Section 8 in the suburbs.  Missouri recently enacted a state statue whereby if an inner city school district loses its accreditation, then its students are given the right to matriculate into suburban districts located in the same county or adjacent counties.  The statue provides for the district losing its accreditation to pay tuition to the suburban district and in addition, to pay all transportation costs.  Subsequent to the passage of this statue, both the St. Louis, Missouri and the Kansas City, Missouri school districts have lost their accreditation.  Suburban districts in St. Louis County and Jackson County are resisting such matriculation within the courts.  They are aware that it is primarily students and parents which cause a district to lose it accreditation, not the teachers or the curriculum.  I have consulted with the suburban districts of  Jackson County  to this effect. This statue, along with the political efforts that have caused a mass exodus from the inner city to the suburbs with Section 8 vouchers, only export the fundamental problems, not solve them.”  -Posted by Jerry Walker

“Jerry,  You are doing a great job of keeping the focus of the conversation on the broader picture.  I notice that many folks from the educational community relate personally to the problems of student conduct by sharing what worked for them.  Unfortunately, what they may not understand is that many other teachers are alienated by comments that put the responsibility for classroom chaos in the teachers’ lap, rather than seeing it as a larger problem.  I share your views and also continue to worry about the larger picture:  what will become of the profession of teaching, the quality and very existence of our schools in urban environments, and the students as neighbors, friends and family.  If educators do not realize that not every teacher has the necessary personality (drill sergeant) to be successfully “in control” of such classrooms, and that many who have the adequate educational background, desire to nurture, and civic-mindedness to teach in these environments are unable to do so because of the lack of discipline and support, as a country we will not be able to supply enough teachers to these regions.  Who, then, will teach these kids???  We have to find a solution for this, beginning with supporting other teachers and acknowledging that their talents need to be supported, rather than telling each other “I did it so why you can’t is beyond me…” in effect.”   – Posted by Hilary Connors

UPDATE MARCH 8, 2012 While conducting extensive research I came across this interesting article regarding “wilding mobs”.   The article was published on April 10, 2010, by the Gothamist a New York City alternative newspaper.  The striking thing about this article is that Mayor Bloomberg is, to my knowledge, the first, and only, nationally known politician to speak out regarding these “wilding mobs”. Bloomberg Calls Midtown Violence “Wilding”

2010_04_tsriot.jpgThe multiple brawls, shootings and more that spread in Midtown on Easter night into Monday morning were dubbed “wilding” by Mayor Bloomberg, “The mayhem in Midtown appears to be a bunch of gang members wilding. There’s a bunch of people that think it’s cute to go out and to run around and to cause chaos, and we loaded the area up with police, but they can’t be everywhere.” Know what else some of these people may think is cute? To give the bird to a Daily News photographer after being arrested! Bloomberg also said, “This is just a bunch of people who shouldn’t be on the streets if they behave this way, and we’re not going to stand for it.” Four people were shot—three by guns and one by a BB gun—and suffered non-life-threatening injuries. One of the victims, Keanu Griffin, who was shot in the thigh when she was heading to a subway, said, “It came out of nowhere. I just saw people running and I got hit.” Thirty-three people were arrested for offenses like gang assault and disorderly conduct; another 23 received summonses. Police say that Easter night violence has become an unwelcome tradition of sorts, but Griffin’s father said, “If it’s a regular routine on Easter, they should have had enough cops up there to stop whatever it is going on…She just got hurt from going to have a good time. On 42nd St. On Easter!” A business owner on West 40th Street told the Post, “I was shocked. I’ve been here 25 years and I can’t believe anything like this can happen in Times Square. I don’t like to use the word scared, but this is very unhealthy for the city.” On the other hand, Angus McIndoe, owner of Angus McIndoe’s restaurant, said, “You know it’s the cost of doing business. It’s not the first time there has been nutty activity in Times Square.” The NY Times offered some history of Easter night violence:

Police officials say they first noticed the unruly crowds in 2003, believing it to be an outgrowth of revelers spilling out from the International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center at 11th Avenue and 34th Street. Its first weekend, and one of its busiest, typically falls at Easter.The next year, the police added extra patrols, including antigang units, to Times Square and the area around the convention center. Arrests usually numbered in the high teens or low 20s. In 2006, a teenager was stabbed; the next year, a teenager was slashed in the arm. Last year, there were 27 arrests, the most until this year. This year, the participants seemed to have mostly skipped the auto show. Chris Sams, a spokesman for the show who has worked there the last 12 years, said that while the police had said there were gang colors at the show in the past, that was not the case on Sunday. “Our crowd was very family oriented,” he said. “Lots of strollers.”

The Times also noted that the violence “was enough that when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg sought a word to describe the chaos, he chose ‘wilding,’ a term that first became popular in 1989 in connection with the infamous Central Park jogger rape case, a time when crime in the city was at its highest.” The Post says the term is “loaded” and “strikes fear into New Yorkers who remember the bad old days when packs of marauding youths roamed the streets.” Bloomberg and the NYPD are dealing with a spike in crime based on numbers from 2010 relative to last year. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said yesterday, “New Yorkers are on edge, and for good reason: with shootings up 19 percent over the same time last year and murders up 22 percent, everyone should be on heightened alert. One thing is becoming increasingly clear – the city cannot withstand the draconian cuts proposed by the state to our budget. If there was ever a prime example that we need more resources to combat crime, this is it. We need Albany to do the right thing and pass a budget that won’t place New Yorkers in harm’s way. ”

Contact the author of this article or email tips@gothamist.com with further questions, comments or tips.
 According to the site manager, Second City Cop was down temporarily because of a medical emergency.  It is currently back up and running.
UPDATE:  APRIL 9, 2012
This article was taken from the April 9, 2012, edition of the Black Agenda Report.

UPDATE 6/15/2012 The following articles were taken from Americanblog and Examiner.com respectivelly. Mobs of young men violently attacking innocent strangers in Chicago By John Aravosis on 6/14/2012 04:01:00 PMReddit | Tumblr | Digg | FARK Mobs of young men are going wilding in Chicago, attacking total strangers apparently for the fun of it. First on the subway: The teens had just stolen the man’s 27-year-old female friend’s iPhone 4S. She had dropped the phone, and a teen had picked it up and taken it for himself. Near downtown, the group of teens got on, and by the time it was over, the man with the group had a broken bone near his eye and broken teeth, and he was bloodied. Then against a doctor and another man: In one attack, a 36-year-old man was attacked by a mob of 10 to 20 teenagers Sunday night as he was walking home from work along Dewitt Place, near the Museum of Contemporary Art. That man suffered a head injury, but was able to walk on his own after the attack. In the other attack, a doctor was assaulted by a group of youths as he was walking outside Prentice Women’s Hospital. I have zero tolerance for thugs.  These kids could have killed these people.  As far as I’m concerned, my liberalism goes out the door when you decide that a fun afternoon is getting together with ten to twenty of your friends and beating the crap out of innocent strangers on the street.  At that point, you deserve whatever comes to you. I remember after I was violent mugged in DC (they tried to strangle me – well, they did, but fortunately I was able to break their grip and scream for help), being asked by the Gun Owners of America, for an article they were writing (they’re to the right of the NRA), if I didn’t wish that I had had a gun at the time I was attacked.  I told them yes, I did.  But the only problem is that had I tried to shoot the kids who attacked me, I might have missed them and hit the couple walking behind them. I remember a few summers ago in Paris having dinner with our friends the Wests.  They’re British, but their kids were born in Paris and are a fascinating mix of the best of England and France.  Anyway, after dinner we were talking and the kids asked me if Washington, DC was really as “dangerous” as people say.  I laughed and said, no, it’s not “dangerous” – at least not where I live – but you do need to watch yourself. What do you mean, they asked. Well, for example, I said, I wouldn’t walk home alone at 3am. They gasped in horror. I started mumbling, not sure how to respond. You see, in Paris you can and do walk home alone at 3am and it’s no big deal – in almost every neighborhood you’re perfectly safe. Life in America, I told them, was different. These wilding kids deserve whatever happens to them with the public or the police, as far as I’m concerned – my only worry is how the public defends itself in a manner that doesn’t end up hurting even more innocents.

Teenagers responsible for multiple attacks in Downtown Chicago

The Sun-Times reported today that Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy would respond aggressively to the recent attacks and muggings by groups of teenagers that took place in Downtown Chicago this past weekend. The most recent attack occurred about 10 p.m. Sunday, when a group of teens punched and kicked a man in the 800 block of North Dewitt.  A short time later an out-of-town couple were attacked and robbed by a mob of youths on the Red Line at State and Lake, officials said. Last year we were treated to the flash mob attacks along Chicago’s Gold Coast.  In response to those attacks additional officers, uniformed and plain clothes were dispatched to the area and the attacks ceased.  Supt. McCarthy, “We will use the same thing we used last year,”  “We’re going to have a high deployment [of officers] on Michigan Avenue.”
The police will have their hands full trying to be everywhere at once so it would be in your best interests to pay more attention to who is nearby and what is going on around you. What can you do to make yourself less of a target? 1) Pay attention to what is going on around you.  Just because you are in a “safe neighborhood” doesn’t mean you can’t be targeted for an attack. 2) Scan the area ahead of you for potentially dangerous people and places where they might hide.  If you see an individual or group whose behavior makes you feel uncomfortable, cross the street and give them a wide berth. 3) If you think you are being followed walk into a store or restaurant and call 911.  If you aren’t sure of their intentions call 311, the Police Departments non-emergency number, and report your concerns. 4) Don’t use headphones or ear buds that can prevent you from hearing someone approaching from behind.  If you insist on wearing them while walking alone set the volume low enough to hear the sounds around you. 5) If you are walking or standing alone don’t text.  If you must respond to a text then practice looking up and around you frequently.  When you have your head down with your attention focused on your phone you are signaling to potential assailants that you are an easy target. Don’t be afraid be aware.  Awareness is the key to your safety.  Pay attention to who and what is around you and have a great summer in city. “Enjoy the article? If you would like to receive email alerts when a new article is available just click the ‘subscribe’ button above.”
Michigan Avenue shoppers will be seeing more police again this summer.
Michigan Avenue shoppers will be seeing more police again this summer.
Photo credit:
Michigan Avenue by kthypryn via creative commons
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