Black Movements in the US - Fall 2008 : Gangs
This page last changed on Dec 03, 2007 by dowalker.
In recent history, the reasons for gang membership in urban cities have changed from being popular and glorified to mainly either peer-driven and/or the only choice and means for survival. There are many factors that attribute to this shift such as the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to other countries or even surrounding suburban areas which resulted in a hike in unemployment rates, the heroine and crack epidemics that shattered Black and Latino homes and families and exponentially increased violence in urban cities, to even the overflowing number of low class Latino immigrants who make up the majority of the workforce for menial jobs, causing a racial rift between blacks who have to compete for the same menial work with Latinos, who are willing to do the same work for less money. All of these factors contribute to the socioeconomic difficulties experienced by families which consequently affect the lives of their children. Gang membership presents these children with an outlet away from drug torn or even hard working families who simply cannot afford to support their offspring with their minimum wages. At least with the pseudo-family of a gang, these young men and women gain the respect and fear of their peers, a source of steady income, regardless of its legality, and at the most basic level, gangs make them feel as if they belong to something important and they have someone looking out for their "best" interest.
Impressionable young men can be caught up so much in the live and die mantra of gangs that they are willing to do anything to prove their loyalty to the gang. Many are motivated to turn up terror in order to gain respect in the streets and produce mass killing which becomes another part of their day. This devotion is what causes the senseless violence and disregard for the law that leads to death, hospitalization, and incarceration.
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