Gang warfare in Los Angeles is about as expected each day as the rise and fall of the sun. Lately, it’s become intense among Latinos and African-American kids in middle schools and high schools. There were some near riots at some schools and last week many students stayed home from a Santa Monica high school one day because the rumors were rampant that the “Blacks and Latinos were going to settle the score” that day.
A few weeks ago a Latino gang raided a party near my home, a usually very quiet neighborhood, and guns were blasting as they tried to hunt down an African-American kid on their hit list. A car with its windows shot out sat in the middle of the street.
It’s maddening, really. Not because it came near to me one evening. It’s maddening because there doesn’t seem to be an answer, and kids at younger ages are getting swept up into it.
I know it’s more than this, but a big part of the problem starts in the home and among government leaders and role models. And that brings me to the point of this post. On Friday Mexico’s President Vicente Fox described the Mexican work ethic to that of African-Americans while speaking at the Texas-Mexico Frozen Food Council meeting. Here’s what he said:
“There’s no doubt that the Mexican men and women – full of dignity, willpower and a capacity for work – are doing the work that not even blacks want to do in the United States.”
Unbelievable, don’t you think?