From The Grio — Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has come under fire from his predecessor former mayor John Street who questioned the current mayor’s blackness, sentiments Nutter tells theGrio.com are “ignorant and undignified.”

“I was elected as mayor of the city of Philadelphia and all of its constituencies,” Nutter said.

He says that all Philadelphia residents are concerned about the same issues: quality schools, safe streets, and a government, which operates with integrity.

Responding further to Street’s attack on him, Nutter adds that the comments are a distraction and only serve to draw attention away from the current scandal Street himself is facing due to his management of the Philadelphia Housing Authority.

Nutter is in New York to participate in NBC’s Education Nation Summit. He says it’s because he’s focused on his job as mayor.

“I think that education is the most critical issue facing the city of Philadelphia, the state of Pennsylvania, and the nation,” Nutter said.

Despite his work on the tasks in front of him and his efforts to improve the quality of life in Philadelphia some believe Street’s criticism of Mayor Nutter may ring true with members of the African-American community.

Philadelphia columnist Harold Jackson recently wrote that Nutter may want to learn from D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty’s recent electoral defeat after he loss favor within his city’s African-American community.

The debate about whether or not today’s African-American politicians have to make an extra effort to cater to the black community in order to be successful is not new.

Dr. Lester Spence, an assistant professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University says, “African American constituencies are neither viewed nor treated as full citizens, but as ‘special interests’ even though helping this constituency arguably helps others.”

As has been noted Adrian Fenty lost his bid for reelection as D.C. mayor, and Congressman Artur Davis lost hisbid to become the first black Governor of the state of Alabama after failing to win the black vote.

(Continue Reading @ The Grio…)

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