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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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December 4, 2013 - 7:40 am

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter danced around the question of whether the “knockout game,” in which random people are suckerpunched by a group of youths, is really a phenomenon or just a case of “some young people have done some not so smart things that negatively impact someone else’s life and certainly their own as well.”

The attacks in Philly include a 30-year-old chef visiting the city for Thanksgiving who had to undergo surgery to wire his jaw shut, and a 63-year-old man attacked Sunday as the suspects videotaped the crime.

“I’m not exactly sure what’s real or not. What I do know is that, unfortunately, and as the previous person was talking about, spreading across social media are now video of these kinds of random physical attacks or assaults, which is really what they are. If others choose to give it a particular name, so be it. But I think the spread as we’re seeming to experience it through the traditional media of these kinds of incidents in cities all across the United States of America is of great concern. And so I’m less about the name,” Nutter told CNN last night.

The mayor said the attention that the assault are receiving in the media “is part of the challenge of the power of social media, certainly, a 24/7 international news cycle.”

“Things go up, things get posted. Unfortunately, I think some young people have done some not so smart things that negatively impact someone else’s life and certainly their own as well. If you continue to see it, day after day after day, multiple times throughout the course of the 24/7 news cycle, it becomes a thing. It becomes something that people talk about. It starts to become, if you will, a trend,” he said. “And more and more young people who see this, then you will get, unfortunately, some copycat incidents. I laid out last week — we acknowledged that there may be some kind of issue going on across the country, not necessarily a Philadelphia phenomenon.”

“We don’t have any absolute confirmed cases but, unfortunately, people have been assaulted in Philadelphia.”

When asked if the attacks are racially motivated, Nutter replied, “I don’t know what’s in the mind of a person that comes out through the course of an investigation.”

“But I have to tell you, if you are attacked, you really don’t care at that moment, quite frankly, whether it was because of race or gender or sexual preference or orientation or anything else. You’re hurt. You’re injured. Somebody could possibly be killed. We need to cut out. When you look at what Solomon Jones, here in Philadelphia, wrote just last week that these young people, unfortunately, maybe mostly males, they’re young, their testosterone flowing all over the place, they don’t always make the best judgments,” he said.

Jones, a blogger, wrote an open letter to “young brothers” in the City of Brotherly Love, stressing “there’s nothing honorable about terrorizing the very community your warrior instincts should protect” and slamming the attackers for “showing extreme indifference to human life.”

“If you want to knock something out, young brothers, knock out the nonsense. We need you to be warriors in the fight for our community, not warriors in the fight against it. In order for you to do that effectively, you’ll have to move beyond sheer brutality, and learn to fight with your minds,” Jones wrote.

“So what we’re saying, at least here in the city, is parents pay attention to what’s going on with your kids,” Nutter said. “Young people, don’t make a dumb mistake or incorrect choice that could negatively hurt someone and affect your life for the rest of your life. Law enforcement is paying attention. So again, this is not something to play with.”

“I think you have to be proactive on it and walk that fine balance between giving something too much attention versus ignoring it. I think what we’re trying to do at least is play it right down the middle, which is something may be going on. We want to alert the public to it. Pay attention to what’s going on around you. And young people, cut it out before you get yourself in trouble.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
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Someday an attacker will attempt to assault a martial arts or armed intended victim who anticipates and retaliates to the extent it will dominate the national news.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I grew up in Philly long ago, while our neighborhood was "changing" as it was called. Every kid in my neighborhood was a repeat victim of black-on-white crime. I got jumped at my first little league practice. We got jumped coming home from fifth grade football practice. By the time I was in seventh grade, I had been jumped so many times I naturally started fighting back - and got in trouble for it! I got jumped by six guys when I was walking alone on Christmas Eve when I was 15. It's been going on forever, only the videos that show it make this different.
God love us all.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
black on white, not a hate crime

white on black, hate crime

says the black mayor

got it.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I just wonder about the reaction to a bunch of skinheads walking around knocking out old black people. Would these young lads be just filled with testosterone, making mischief and a few bad choices?

Would these young fellows need to use their minds instead?

Would it matter little to the injured, maimed and hospitalized?

Oh, I'm quite sure all the democrats and their media would be showing such thoughtful, pensive restraint.


But..if this game spreads...I also wonder how restrained and pensive these folks might be...at the backlash. If their disingenuous history toward victims retaliating in Israel is any guide...we can expect the response to be...the victims of unprovoked attacks have responded in a way that is "disproportionate"
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
My advice is stay alert and have some pepper spray with you. When you see the young lad approach you at a run nail him with pepper spray and them stomp him good. Then let the punks who watched it all know that you are the king of the knockout game.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
They have black kids in Aswan, Egypt who have computers and they're not copy-catting this. That's because their parents and role models don't fill their heads with nonsense every frickin' day.

This is not copy-catting, this is part and parcel, and the natural result of, a value-system and world view taught to too many black kids by their parents and morons on TV like Al Sharpton and Melissa Harris-Perry and tacitly endorsed by the "look like me" disaster we have for a President.

You are seeing the concrete effects of mainstreaming hate-speech by fringe lunatics who talk about "white privilege." The exact same thing happened in Germany when that nation was whipped into a frenzy by mental cases who seized power. In America it is more slow motion and far less serious but it is there and there is no sign it will get better and every sign it will get worse as more and more people like Perry and bells hooks occupy niches in our institutions as mayors and congressmen and TV personalities and yes, President.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know...it's like the phony scandals, this is a phony crime. No problem.

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
So it's not a hate crime. It's just young rowdy fellows making a bad choice. Whew. I'm really relieved by that . . .
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
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