A week ago, in the midst of this, the summer of the flash mob — groups of mostly black teens who have attacked non-blacks at random in public places — Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter angrily lectured his city’s young black thugs:

If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you? They don’t hire you “cause you look like you’re crazy,” the mayor said. “You have damaged your own race.”

Of course, Nutter’s admonishment was necessary and overdue. But let’s face it. While in no way exonerating the criminals involved in this summer’s mayhem, you have to be blind in one eye and not be able to see out of the other not to recognize and admit that policies which black civil rights “leaders,” most big-city mayors of all races, and liberals in general have favored for decades have contributed mightily to today’s devolved black youth culture. In a supreme and bitter irony, America’s first African-American president (well, not really, but work with me here) and his party in Washington have sharply accelerated the damage during the past three years.

In difficult economic times, entry-level, less-skilled, and less-senior workers suffer the most. Sadly, blacks are overrepresented in these groups. Getting these workers into or back to productively contributing to society is why turning around an economy as quickly as possible after a serious downturn is so critical. It has been over three years since the beginning of the recession as normal people define it, roughly coinciding with the inception of the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) economy, also known as the fear-based economy. It’s been over two years since the recession officially ended. The degree of turnaround needed to employ these workers is not happening. Indeed, the situation is getting worse.

The latest available census information, bumped up by a bit, tells us that there are about 2.8 million African-Americans in the 16-19 age group. As of July, according to not seasonally adjusted data at the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

 •  433,000, or 15%, had jobs. By contrast, in July 2006, over 700,000 African-American teens were working. In July 1998, among a smaller population, over 900,000 were.

•  306,000, or 11%, were unemployed.

• 740,000, or 26%, were working or looking for work. In July 2006, that number was over 1.1 million. In July 1998, it was over 1.3 million.

• The remaining 2.06 million, an astonishing 74%, during the peak month of teen summer employment, were not in the workforce.

The equivalent July 2011 percentages for whites, over which there is no cause to jump for joy, were 35% employed, 11% unemployed, and 54% not in the workforce. While there is a clearly a teen workplace disengagement epidemic among whites, in the black community it’s a full-blown plague.