Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gangs and your community.

There is something that breaks my heart every single day. I work with kids who are criminals, gang bangers, druggies, angry, hopeless, consumed with hate. This may come off as angry, too, and maybe, just maybe, its because I am. We talk about education. We talk about reform. Senators, congress people, governors talk about education being important. It is. But what are we actually DOING about kids like this?  Fatherlessness is on the ride, and has bee since the late seventies.  The youth are angry.  They are joining gangs, fighting a war that is causing higher cases of PTSD in kids in East Los Angeles than kids growing up in war torn Iraq.  I have a problem with that.  America is a land of dreams, agendas, money.  The American dream.  I have a question, though, are we really progressing, when children are actually doing worse than their parents?  We're America.  A recent article states that: Gang membership among Orange County children jumped by nearly 50 percent in 2007, according to an annual county report on conditions for children.
That increase, from 1,205 in 2006 to 1,766 in 2007, continues a rise in gang membership that was first reported in last year's Report On The Conditions of Children in Orange County."

I want to know why our communities continue to talk about changing behaviors and gang activity and trends, and yet turn a blind eye and ignore the issue in New Mexico. In case you were wondering, gang activity is alive and well.  I see it every single day at my job.  These kids CAN be reached, but nobody is stepping up to reach them.  They CAN be taught to leave this lifestyle, but nobody is willing to teach them.  I am sick and quite honestly of the New Mexican attitude "it's not my problem."  Wake up.  IT IS YOUR PROBLEM.  IT IS ALL OF OUR PROBLEM.  It's not a status problem, an income problem, a neighborhood problem, even a crime problem, it's a responsibility issue and quite frankly, we have not been responsible. I would encourage anybody who is interested to watch a documentary called: Crips and Bloods: MADE IN AMERICA.  It is not a happy movie.  It is not a polite movie.  It may even offend you, but it is a real voice from the ghetto and a cry from the generation of people, caught up in gangs, violence and death.Take a look at the website to get more info.  It is raw and not for young children so be aware.  The website is: http://cripsandbloodsmovie.com/  This issue is a cry for help.  I go to work and see how hopeless these kids are.  They don;t care about life, they see no value in their lives and don't pan on living past age 21.  These kids need mentors.  They need hope.  They need to be taught.  They need to be understood as people, not written off as a statistics.  If you would like to further explore this issue, contact a group in El Paso called OPERATION NO GANGS.  They come to churches, organizations and schools and talk about gang lifestyles, how to reach these kids and a lot of the speakers are ex-gang members themselves.  They will let you choose which topics they address.  The website for OPERATION NO GANGS is:
http://operationnogangs.org/  They are awesome.  Thanks for reading this and I urge you to get involved in your community to be part of the bigger solution.  America has resources and they need to not be denied to kids like this.
Here is a clip from an interview from OPERATION NO GANGS.  Ignore the cheezy intro, its worth watching:

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