OMG Gangs!


Am I the only one who is getting sick of hearing everyone talk about the gang problem and all the ways they are going to fix it, rather than actually fixing it? I mean, how long has LA had a gang problem, and since then how many times have people talked about what a big priority fixing it is?

22 thoughts on “OMG Gangs!”

  1. The solution is simple, there’s just no political will to do it. These kids would almost all rather have respectable jobs, but there just arent the opportunities. Greg Boyle and his Homeboy Industries crew do what they can, but there’s still a lot of ground to cover.

  2. dhosek that is only part of the answer. Education, schools funded so class sizes so teacher can get in and teach and give individual attention to do so is another big part.

    The problem is when politicians get involved its a lot of money spent legislating behavior and only helps those that want to make a change and willing to trust them.

    Homeboy works well because it gets to those who want to change and do something positive.

  3. Lets just catch them all and keep them all in single unit wire coops like we do chickens. Dude, going to prison is glamorous but living your life in a chicken coop is gonna suck.

  4. AV isn’t going to be doing anything soon, so we can all relax. Mr. Couldn’t Pass the Bar talked a good game when he was a community organizer, but he’s had 14 years of elected officaldom to actually put his big talk into action and he hasn’t. My kids will be in their 30 and Villaraigosa will still be talking about Getting Serious on the gang problem in LA.

  5. LA has a gang problem, because LA has a poverty and race problem, since no one wants to touch those two issues, LA will always have gangs.

    Both black and Latino gangs in LA started out as groups of young men coming together to protect themselves from racist white people from kicking their asses. Black gangs came about in the 1930s, if you were black and went to South Gate or Lynwood (which where formerly white neighborhoods) you would get a beat down from the spookhunters, that’s not the only gang, but that’s the gang that actively went out and went after black people, many who had just arrived from the South.

    Chicano gangs had similar origins, but from much earlier. In the 1900s Mexicans who would up being US citizens, because they where already here when California was taken from Mexico were made to feel like 2nd class citizens and discriminated against. They were called foreigners and told to go home. They were denied jobs and opportunity and from that the Chicano gang was born.

    Unfortunately violence begets and violence. Once LA got more established and laws got stricter in regards to who could live where the groups of men that were founded to defend people from racism became violent with each other and that began to hurt the very people they were supposed to be helping.

    Those kinds of things will never, ever get addressed, so the gang problem well, just try not be poor in fact, just try to make as much money as you can, because being middle class isn’t seeming to be helping on that front anymore.


    Those are facts.

    Gang is a symptom of a much larger problem in LA.

  6. Sorry to be hard hearted, but suspending Rule 40 can help a little bit here. If you are in the US illegally, it behooves you to scrupulously obey the laws. Deporting anyone from any country even CANADA (please god, yes) if they are here illegally and breaking the laws–okay not jaywalking, but crimes like stealing, raping, beating, killing, weapons and drugs–would help a bit.

    Then there are the bigger issues: education and jobs, racism, space, survival. The gangs arent going anywhere.

  7. The suspending special order 40 is crapola. It just pisses me off. This has nothing to do with gangs. LA has always had a major gang problem and now we have this BS movement, like that’s going to stop gangs.

    It just sickens me that the right wing has gotten their teeth into the grief of the Shaw family and are using them as tools to pass some stupid racist bs agenda.

    And it is a stupid racist bs agenda.

    Most black people get killed by other black people that sucks, but thats a fact. If you are a young black man if you get shot, chances are 90% that it’s going to be by another young black man, whose family has probably been in the US for generations.


  8. Browne you are amazing. I like that don’t back down stance. You do a decent job of distilling and putting your spin on it.

    Do me one favor. Quit using the term “racist whites”. Not every white man cuts eye holes in sheets and walks around doing the hate stuff OK? Could you give at least a few of us credit for not living that way and busting our asses to have our kids to live by example how to accept a person for who they are, not where their ancestory lies.

    Call racists just that, racists. You don’t have to do the broad sweep of the hate brush and with “white”. OK?

  9. Frazgo,

    A broad generalization in my opinion would be me just saying,

    “protect themselves from white people from kicking their asses”

    me adding an adjective makes that statement not broad.

    “protect themselves from racist white people from kicking their asses”

    It wasn’t just people. It was people who were racist and white who went after Latinos and black people, not because of drugs or gang terrority, but because they didn’t like dark people in their neighborhood.


    I mean come on, I can’t mention US history here.

    I’m not saying all white people are racist, like I never said all white people had slaves, but lets admit some stuff happen. I mean that’s what happened. Are you really saying that you feel offended by me bringing up that jim crow, slavery, the internment program where things that were brought up by racist white people instead of just people, because the reason these things happened was because certain people weren’t white.

    Black people couldn’t live in certain neighborhoods in LA, because they weren’t white. Latinos couldn’t live in certain places because they weren’t white. Asian-Americans were interned because they weren’t white.

    I’m not understading how American history is offensive to you?

    No I’m not just calling racist, racist in regards to the US history.

    US history is important.

    If we pretend that certain things didn’t happen owing to race (and they did) people are not going to understand racism and why it plays out like it does in America.

    If a black person does something racist, feel free to say racist black person, I would have no problem with that.


  10. We shouldn’t make excuses for gangs – regardless of history, small classroom sizes, etc etc, part of the allure of being in a gang is that you feel like you belong to a tough group, and that is appealing to an impressionable youth. What is needed is early intervention to make that gang membership unappealing.. there are plenty of poor, minority people who suffer racism who don’t join gangs. It’s not a given that a poor person of color is going to join a gang, and there are solutions. I, for one, applaud Villaraigosa attempt to tackle the problem now, before it becomes as bad as it was in the late 80s.

  11. “Do me one favor. Quit using the term “racist whites”. Not every white man cuts eye holes in sheets and walks around doing the hate stuff OK? Could you give at least a few of us credit for not living that way and busting our asses to have our kids to live by example how to accept a person for who they are, not where their ancestory lies.”

    One need not have much more than an elementary understanding of grammar and reading comprehension to suss that Browne stating “racist whites” is not at all what you so fabulously misconstrued. That she made a point of clarity to avoid the generalisation of implying all whites as racist is rather easily divined in her phrase, “racist whites.” Had she merely stated “whites” or “white people,” then your misconception would not have been.
    Do ME one favour and please consider what you are writing before you make such an embarrassing mistake and I have to take away your crayons.

  12. I agree with Browne on how gangs started, but I hate it when people just they’re sick of hearing about something and not providing solutions. I think Villaraigosa’s plan is a reasonable plan – intervention on high-risk youth aged 10-15, who are the most vulnerable. If you don’t like Connie Rice or Jeff Carr, why don’t you name someone who you think can formulate a better plan, or offer a plan of your own, instead of just saying, “uh, it’s a complicated problem.”

  13. Actually Will, BusTard is a condescending prick, so I’m not sure if that would be possible.

    BusTard is a complete asshole.


  14. I’ve learned to ignore Bustard. I knew full well what I was saying the impact it would have when I wrote it. Bustard is only interested in people who will agree with him. I actually enjoy disagreements as they make me think. Bustard can pretty much say what he wants as I don’t bother with those who walk around with a closed mind.

    The point that everyone is missing is that “white racist” is as offensive to many of us as “illegal immigrant” is to others. The latter is one I never gave much thought to until El Chavo and Browne pointed out their views. I understand their point and thank them for giving me their insights without being rude about it.

    Back to the post. I don’t think more meetings is a solution. I thought it was sad to see the bold headline like it was some sort of news we have gangs and the Big V makes it his #1 target. It reads of politics and pandering. It will only fester until people act and stop meeting about it.

  15. “You know, Bustard, it’s possible to make your points, express your opinions, and disagree without being a condescending prick.” Wil, it is 20 years of publishing that has helped me be astute in my observations Dealing with people who lack the restraint to imply that folk with a far better grasp of the english language (yes, lower-case) are “pricks” only corroborates my being condescension.

    Frazgo, I spend my life arguing. Can you possibly understand that? I sincerely doubt it. Not quarrelling, mind you—although that does occur, just as the infrequent wreck is bound to occur to the frequent motorist—but arguing, which means that I seek out people who disagree with me.

    If “white racist” is offensive to you, then “stupid people” should be offensive to me—but it is not. And for the record, I spent a fair amount of years as a youth in Okinawa, where by the kids whose grandparents and parents had had ring-side seats to one of the worst land battles of WWII I was daily chased, stoned and beaten for being white. After moving stateside, I was implicitly solicited to join the other side until the Montgomery Police Department broke up a fire fight on Wares Ferry Road between one of the last local KKK club houses (and yes, I did see them ride in pick-up trucks, shotguns in hand, past my house) and the neighbours who had tired of that bullshit. I think I understand a bit better than most folk the term “racist,” and as a person whose profession is the printed word I certainly understand context. Browne’s use of the word “white racist” is clearly one that means to determine people who are white and racist as opposed to blanketing all people as racialist. Can you not understand that?

    Perhaps Wil Wheaton can hold your hand and waste hours gently explaining the bleeding obvious. I have wasted more than enough time with such a rudimentary lesson.

    As for your annoyance at the term “white racist,” even if it were conveyed to mean that all whites are racist, well, be thankful that the only pain is to your fragile psyche. I have a book of pictures and postcards that exhibit the pain at the hands of racist whites you could have experienced were one black in America not so many decades ago: “Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America.” They have a Web site too: It were not so long ago that the United States Post Office conveyed picture postcards of black people tortured, humiliated and hanged by crowds of people who had two things in common: being white and being racist. Being white, I take offence that people did that, not that they were white. (I eat bleeding heart liberals for breakfast, no matter the colour of their skin.)

    Too, I understand the gang problem all too well. To be sure, I wish to see it scrubbed from the land. I lived in the midst of 18th Street for many years, and had to deal with the gang from rampart as well during their CRASH heyday. I can assure you that, like organised religion, gangs will not go away. They will continue to grow, split, victimise lone targets as well as fortified ones and fight amongst themselves as well as with other gangs. The american economy—the rest of the world knows we are in a recession, even by the strict definition—is tanking and folk who are hungry tend to seek ways to not be hungry. The plight of the inner city is reaching out to the suburbs and gangs will follow. Politicians have taxpayers’ money to make sure they have their protection via police and private staff, but the rest of us? We have to rely on what we dare to do for ourselves. For many people, the lure—and too often it is a compulsion not safely ignored—of gang membership is what helps to fill the belly and satiate other deep desires. It will take understanding that rather than quibbling over incorrectly understood terms to even think of addressing the problem of gangs.

  16. Having ample scotsman in me to have rendered my hair orange at birth, Burns, allows me to comfortably state seven words when one might suffice.

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