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<br />L.A.'s Budding Mogadishus

Discussion in 'News' started by Carl Winslow., Dec 23, 2004.

  1. Carl Winslow.

    Carl Winslow. Junior Member

    Joined: Nov 12, 2004 Messages: 247 Likes Received: 0
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commen...omment-opinions

    L.A.'s Budding Mogadishus

    Nearly feral areas need urgent help.

    By Constance L. Rice, Constance L. Rice is a civil rights attorney in
    Los Angeles.

    In Brazil's favelas, murder is the leading cause of death for
    10-year-olds. In these urban hyper-barrios, police patrol in
    helicopter gunships. Any delusion of crime prevention gave way to
    containment and suppression long ago. At night, black children hide
    from both rogue cops and gang members; the rich venture from their
    fortress homes nearby only in armored vehicles or private planes. In
    the midst of Rio de Janeiro's splendor, favelas are at a tipping point
    - on the way to joining Mogadishu as wholly failed "feral" cities,
    engulfed by gangs, black markets, rapacious crime and dysfunction.

    Could Los Angeles be headed down this road? No, not anytime soon, at
    least for the vast majority of the city. But the hot spots of
    underclass Los Angeles are well on the way. If ignored, they will
    metastasize, and eventually pose a real danger to the larger region.

    L.A.'s hot zones are tiny, intensely dangerous areas where nothing
    works, where law has broken down and mainstream institutions simply
    fail. Places where mail carriers and meter readers balk when the
    bullets fly. Where paramedics and firefighters are hesitant to enter
    because of the crossfire. Where police officers go in only heavily
    reinforced or with helicopters; in the LAPD's South Bureau there was
    an 80% increase in sniper fire on police in 2004, according to a
    report by LAPD Chief William Bratton.

    These zones are often found in and near public housing projects,
    although the worst privately owned slums - like the gang-ridden
    apartment complex at 69th and Main that was recently ordered evacuated by the city - mirror the conditions.

    In Jordan Downs, for instance, one of three gang-dominated housing
    projects in Watts, the predominantly African American Grape Street
    Crips routinely beat Latinos (among others), engage in regular
    home-invasion robberies and have been known to murder residents who
    dare report their activities. When the LAPD set up a police kiosk in
    Jordan to quell rising crime, the gangs blew it up; the LAPD left and
    did not return for more than a decade. In the Ramona Gardens housing
    project, the last three black families didn't survive long enough to
    suffer the perpetual abuse that residents of Jordan have endured:
    Latino gangsters firebombed them out of their units.

    Schools near these complexes boast 70% dropout rates, violence-related
    lockdowns and children with post-traumatic stress disorder levels as
    high as those seen in civil wars. The neighborhoods host hundreds of
    prison-brutalized men wed to cults of destruction and the
    hyper-masculinity of the powerless. Ex-cons who try to change must
    defy a dehumanizing dragnet that draws 70% of them back into prison.
    All face relentless search-and-destroy policing. With job prospects
    virtually nonexistent and few other exit ramps from the prison-parole
    hamster wheel, escape is rare.

    Years ago I asked gang members what happened to kids who "just said
    no" to the Bloods or V-18s. They brought me a videotape other gang
    members had made for a 14-year-old boy who had refused to join them.
    The tape showed gang members raping his 13-year-old sister. The boy
    joined the gang so that its members wouldn't return to kill her.

    Is there no one in this city to protect these children? A city that
    leaves its children to predators is on the road to Mogadishu.

    But what is to be done? Though violence and gangs pose a terrible
    menace to residents and cops, it is deadly error to confuse them with
    the root cause. They are merely the toxic byproducts of malignant
    poverty and deprivation that we apparently do not have the will to
    end.

    Until recently, our leaders either ignored this uglier L.A. - the City
    Council, for example, focused last year not on Jordan or Ramona but on
    forcing the LAPD to waste time responding to thousands of false home
    alarms in middle-class neighborhoods - or enacted small and isolated
    test programs. That's the equivalent of flossing when a root canal is
    needed instead.

    Lately, a few L.A. leaders appear to have recognized that smarter
    solutions are way overdue. Councilman Martin Ludlow has proposed an
    urban affairs department to coordinate and elevate the city's
    scattershot programs into more sophisticated and aggressive gang
    intervention strategies. Bratton and county Sheriff Lee Baca are
    calling for more cops - but they also agree that cops must switch to
    problem-solving policing, and they champion restoration of the $1
    billion a year in prevention funds lost since Proposition 13 passed in
    1978. Equally critical, Rob Reiner led voters to back universal
    preschool, and all-day kindergarten is now on the drawing board.

    On a more controversial track, City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo has stepped
    up the use of collective neighborhood strategies like injunctions and
    mass evictions. Last week, a judge ordered the eviction of all the
    tenants from a complex that gang members had used as a headquarters
    for 20 years.

    Though eviction of the innocent is rarely defensible, the instinct to
    check virulent violence with vigorous remedies is right. Eviction, if
    it is done, must be a last resort, and it must include full
    compensation, including money for relocation to an available apartment
    in the same neighborhood for all evictees.

    But these smarter strategies, however welcome, will not be enough.
    L.A.'s danger zones require radical vision, scaled-up remedies,
    sustained and strategic investment, and a level of leadership and will
    that currently do not exist. In the end, remedies that attack symptoms
    but leave root causes intact do nothing but create future blowback.

    We must build a city where gangs can't get near a single kid under 16
    and where any gang member who wants out can exit la vida loca - and
    live. Then let's get really radical and actually end the malignant
    poverty that drives the violent dysfunction. Choose this road or join
    Rio's trajectory toward Mogadishu.
     
  2. Nekro

    Nekro Elite Member

    Joined: Feb 19, 2003 Messages: 2,568 Likes Received: 1
    Poverty and crime, what else is new?
     
  3. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    They should do a trading spaces episode with south LA and Hollyweird.
     
  4. fatalist

    fatalist Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Mar 10, 2004 Messages: 6,354 Likes Received: 25
  5. dojafx

    dojafx Member

    Joined: Nov 20, 2001 Messages: 831 Likes Received: 0
    what was the sniper fire on police in 2003?
     
  6. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    Yeah that's pretty high.... 80% what the fuck.
    And the leading cause of death for ten year olds in brazil is murder? wtf again.
    i don't understand it.... the richest nation in the world and we have the 3rd world within the first world.
    People need alternatives.
    Speaking of alternatives... what is the viability of establishing an alternative economy within the United States. I know this has been done on a smaller scale.
    I'm talking like networking manufacturers, distributors, and a consumer base that operates outside of the economy. Know what I'm saying? I'm talking about responsible businesses of concerned citizens.... Cause it's like throwing fuel on the fire with so many of the little things we do and take for granted every day. Money talks.
     
  7. High Priest

    High Priest Elite Member

    Joined: Jan 1, 2002 Messages: 4,928 Likes Received: 3
    I live in Los Angeles, and aside from Skid Row i cant really recall ever being in any area's that touch on thrid world .. what area's of Los Angeles are they refereing to? South And East?
     
  8. Ckit

    Ckit Member

    Joined: Mar 10, 2003 Messages: 725 Likes Received: 1
    ^^i agree. only a few places in LA are as bad as they make it seem.
     
  9. Carl Winslow.

    Carl Winslow. Junior Member

    Joined: Nov 12, 2004 Messages: 247 Likes Received: 0
    Skid Row is bad. Matter of fact I was driving through there this afternoon after stopping in Little Tokyo. But Skid Row is not gang territory. Just homeless people, crackheads, and dope peddlers. They're mainly talking about the South East section of L.A. -- that includes parts of Compton, parts of Watts, and parts of southeast South Central L.A.... that whole general southeast sectionl. There are some areas where it seems like law, order, and hope has all but broken down. I agree the majority of L.A. is civilized and bustling -- but there are some areas where you simply would have no interest in going. I live way on the northwest side just east of Beverly Hills and just south of Hollywood. Nice area. But I did originally grow up in South Central L.A. near 56th and Crenshaw and did get a taste of it. But that's west South Central. The further east and further south you go, the worser the neighborhoods get. The further north and further west you go, the nicer. I just noticed that pattern. Peace.
     
  10. metallix

    metallix Elite Member

    Joined: Oct 7, 2001 Messages: 2,955 Likes Received: 1
    this is an excellent development. let them fester in their own shit holes.
     
  11. High Priest

    High Priest Elite Member

    Joined: Jan 1, 2002 Messages: 4,928 Likes Received: 3
    Skid Row is bad. Matter of fact I was driving through there this afternoon after stopping in Little Tokyo. But Skid Row is not gang territory. Just homeless people, crackheads, and dope peddlers. They're mainly talking about the South East section of L.A. -- that includes parts of Compton, parts of Watts, and parts of southeast South Central L.A.... that whole general southeast sectionl. There are some areas where it seems like law, order, and hope has all but broken down. I agree the majority of L.A. is civilized and bustling -- but there are some areas where you simply would have no interest in going. I live way on the northwest side just east of Beverly Hills and just south of Hollywood. Nice area. But I did originally grow up in South Central L.A. near 56th and Crenshaw and did get a taste of it. But that's west South Central. The further east and further south you go, the worser the neighborhoods get. The further north and further west you go, the nicer. I just noticed that pattern. Peace.
    [post=3768076]Quoted post[/post]​
    [/b][/quote]

    I think, at least for the most part that L.A. itself really is a city based on misconceptions - The majority of ghetto's here fall far from being anything of an actual ghetto, and more or less are just area's of low financial income - but the real poverty stricken area's seem to be few and far between. I do agree that some area's certaintly do give me a general feeling of discomfort and worry when im alone in there during certain hour's of the day (Part's of Inglewood and Crenshaw mostly) - but over all i feel pretty safe in most area's - infact ive had more trouble with dealing with local's on the westside and heading into the valley (where its mostly been skinhead's) then i have in area's such as Watt's and East L.A. (Keep in mind im a skinny white kid with hair past his shoulder's, so im not very intimidating either) - granted i never have much reason to go further then Arroyo or stray too far from Figueroah.
    I do get what your saying tho, but living on the westside right near the beach i hardly have to deal with the problem you mentioned (which im happy about), although considering the way thingds are handled in this city i wont be suprised if i eventually i will have to.
     
  12. seeking

    seeking Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 25, 2000 Messages: 32,277 Likes Received: 233
    usually i have answers for everything, but this is a subject ive always been pretty stumped on.
    what goes on in areas like this are definitely symptomatic of a larger problem, but there comes a point where the symptoms themselves are sometimes worse than the problem was, and make it impossible to fix without radical measures (that most people are too removed and pompous to be willing to accept). when you have kids raping 13 year old girls just so someone joins your gang...thats not really the kind of thing that you can 'reform' out of someone i dont think. people like that need more than an after school program and midnight basketball.

    i hate to be a dick, but when we find one cow that has madcow disease, we'll kill 200,000 of them 'just to be sure'. i can't really say i value human life any more than animal life, so as far as i'm concerned....you do the math.


    seeks/yes, i'd feel the same way if they were white
     
  13. !@#$%

    !@#$% Moderator Crew

    Joined: Oct 1, 2002 Messages: 18,517 Likes Received: 621
    this woman doesn't have any answers either.
    build what, a new city?
    most cities in the u.s. have a severe crime problem in some area, almost inexorably coupled with a poverty problem.
    when our government is spending billions on a war, and our people reelect the government, i have little hope for the rebuilding of our inner cities.
    survival is the most important thing in life, and no one living in that kind of kill or be killed environment is going to forget it.

    i don't have any answers either.
    i know that hundreds of years of slavery carries a masive karmic debt.
     
  14. seeking

    seeking Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 25, 2000 Messages: 32,277 Likes Received: 233
    what if we got them all puppies?
    it works for old people and children with lukemia.
     
  15. !@#$%

    !@#$% Moderator Crew

    Joined: Oct 1, 2002 Messages: 18,517 Likes Received: 621
    shit man, you are so on point.
     
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