Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Crips and Bloods, Made in America

When we  think of gang warfare the two names that instantly come to mind are the Crips and the Bloods.   The hostility between these two groups has filled morgues and left citizens living lives of fear.  

Stacy Peralta director of Dogtown, Z-Boys and Riding Giants, posed the following question: "If affluent white teenagers in Beverly Hills were forming neighbourhood gangs, arming themselves with automatic assault rifles and killing other affluent white teenagers who were also living in upscale neighbourhoods and were also arming themselves with AK 47s and shooting to kill, what would the response of our society be? Would society respond or would society ignore it? Would our government respond, if so, how would our government respond?"

I believe that were we to answer this question honestly, such a travesty would never be allowed to continue amongst white communities. Instead of actively fighting to end this terrible war that has claimed so many lives, it has been perpetuated by the ending of after school programs and the refusal to unequivocally legislate gun control.  Blacks are constructed as naturally violent and therefore, the social abdication of responsibility is understood as justified.  The truth is that black lives don’t matter.

Children become what they see and if all they are offered is a culture of violence and drug dealing that it is all they will grow to become.  It saddens me to think of the potential lost.  How many of the fifteen thousand dead could have contributed something wonderful to society?  How many of those currently locked up in industrial prison complex could have been the spark for change had they just been offered the same opportunities that are readily available to the white ruling elite?  Gang violence lives because of racism and poverty and until we tackle these two evils, young black men will continue to arrive in the morgue long before their time.

H/T Leslie via e-mail


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