Michael Nutter Must Be Condemned

I wondered how long it would take for Philly's mayor to be branded an Uncle Tom.

Ever since hearing Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter read the riot act to the mobs of Black youths who have run wild in his city, I've wondered how long it would take for him to be condemned by the apologists for thuggery and lawlessness, and just what kind of hook they would find on which to hang their disapproval.

It didn't take all that long. In her August 9th column in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Annette John-Hall, in addition to calling his speech from a church pulpit a "30-minute rant -- I mean sermon" and saying that he "channeled his best Bill Cosby (which, "like his "black vernacular," that he "pulls out when he needs to") Ms. John-Hall zeroed in on Nutter telling the rioters "you damage your own race."

There, he said it.

In a way that his white constituents would hear him loud and clear. At that point, he wasn't talking to black people anymore.

Credit to your race.

Nutter expressed in no uncertain terms the sentiment that so often shackles black people - that the unlawful actions of a few smear everyone else. Something whites never have to fear.

Just as they never have to live up to the expectation of being a credit to their race.  Whatever that means.

Y'see, Mayor Nutter was being unfair to Blacks by reminding them that their individual behavior reflects on their entire race.  Especially since, as she points out, that's something that whites don't have to worry about.

Well, I don't know how many other races/ethnicities/tribes/cultures have similar admonitions against individuals disgracing or embarrassing the group, but we Jews certainly have one. It's a shanda für die goyim, and it means "a shame before non-Jews."  We are admonished, from childhood on, that our individual behavior reflects on Jews as a whole, and that has kept many a Jew on the straight and narrow (not that there aren't plenty of exceptions; Elliot Spitzer and Bernie Madoff certainly come to mind).

So I'm not sure that an admonishment to avoid bringing shame upon one's own tribe is such a bad thing. But apparently Ms. John-Hall would disagree. Because there's nothing analogous in the WASP "tribe," her political correctness and hyper-sensitivity dictates that any expectation of such a sense of responsibility or compunction against bad behavior by non-WASPs constitutes unfairness and inequality and thus must be condemned.

It's just another way of calling Mayor Michael Nutter "not authentically Black" because he doesn't buy into the notion that crime, drugs and violence (and the celebration of those "values" in music and fashion) are legitimate, primary constituents of Black American culture (a culture rich enough in positive values and contributions), and because he has the chutzpah to challenge that notion.

It's just another way of calling Mayor Michael Nutter an "Uncle Tom", even though it's clear that anyone who uses that term as a pejorative has never read nor understood Harriet Beecher Stowe's book.

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