Black kids in Philadelphia are using social networking sites and text messaging to meet up in public places at designated times and act a damn fool.
It sounds like that same shit that was going on here in St. Louis a couple of years ago where groups of 8-10 future convicts would bogart the sidewalk while I was trying to get a burrito from the Chipotle in the U. City Loop - but with way more kids, and not confined to the sidewalk.
It started innocently enough seven years ago as an act of performance art where people linked through social-networking Web sites and text messaging suddenly gathered on the streets for impromptu pillow fights in New York, group disco routines in London, and even a huge snowball fight in Washington.
But these so-called flash mobs have taken a more aggressive and raucous turn here as hundreds of teenagers have been converging downtown for a ritual that is part bullying, part running of the bulls: sprinting down the block, the teenagers sometimes pause to brawl with one another, assault pedestrians or vandalize property.
A young cracka-ass cracka was trying to deliver a pizza and almost got killed.
“It was like a tsunami of kids,” said Seth Kaufman, 20, a pizza deliveryman at Olympia II Pizza & Restaurant on South Street. He lifted his shirt to show gashes along his back and arm. He also had bruises on his forehead he said were from kicks and punches he suffered while trying to keep a rowdy crowd from entering the shop, where a fight was already under way.
“By the time you could hear them yelling, they were flooding the streets and the stores and the sidewalks,” Mr. Kaufman said.
Of course there's a race element.
The flash mobs have raised questions about race and class.
Most of the teenagers who have taken part in them are black and from poor neighborhoods. Most of the areas hit have been predominantly white business districts.
In the flash mob on Saturday, groups of teenagers were chanting “black boys” and “burn the city,” bystanders said.
Mobs Are Born as Word Grows by Text Message [New York Times]