S: Juvenile Delinquency and Gangs in America
BC: Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
FC: Juvenile Delinquency & Gangs in America | C. Gills
1: Juvenile delinquency has long been a problem in America. Early days of a juvenile delinquency resulting in gang activity go back to the late 1700s with gun-toting trigger men of the Irish and German mobs. Juvenile delinquents today can be identified as the modern day street-runners, drug dealers, and now prostitutes flooding our street with crime and mayhem. Many ask what drives these youths to live these lives they lead? For what reason do they vicariously do the things they do? The finger can be pointed at a few factors though the bottom line is that juvenile delinquency resulting in gang activity is a valid social problem in America. Lack of family support, social disorganization, the spread of gang influence, and corruption in America are all blameworthy, though the true question to be asked is, what are we going to do about it? Young men without families, without guidance, and without care sought out something to be a part of. Minority youth tend to always get the short end of the stick. More and more black and hispanic male youth in America are fatherless, being raised by single mothers struggling to survive on a day to day basis. These young men have to act as their own father figures in most cases, as well as the father figure for younger siblings. Youth raised by single parents tend to grow up in socially disorganized neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are infested with poverty, famine, disease, and violence. Young hustlers are what they call themselves, hustling to live, hustling to survive, 'hustlers out there in the ghetto jungles,' as Malcolm X would say. What does the hustler do when they can no longer hustle? What does a hustler do without motivation, without direction? They sink, they sink into the depths of depravity and despair. The troubled youth becomes the social disorganization around him and the social disorganization becomes him.
2: “Gang Graffiti Covering Door.” Date Unknown. Future Net. © PictureNet/Corbis
3: "We need to get serious about combating gang violence on Long Island, and the entire nation." - Tim Bishop | “Two boys with a knife.” Date unknown. Brian Mitchell. 42-35926564. © Brian Mitchell/Corbis.
4: The jungle is known to be wild. Lions, Tigers and Bears galore; though they are not the worst of one's worries. The deadliest animal in this habitat would be the Recruiter. The Recruiter is the one who preys on the troubled, preys on the weak and seduces them with fanatical falsehoods about honor, loyalty, family, and respect. This is the Recruiter of the alternative family, the family gang. The prey for the family gang would be those who come from broken homes, those who are fatherless, and those who are seeking to survive and coexist. The gang operates most often as an organized hierarchal family. There is an established chain of command. Those who act as the "O.G.s" serve as the heads of the gangs, the 'fathers' per se. Compared to the early 1700's, the gangs of modern day are simply incomparable. Today, there are chapters stretching across the nation. Gangs are becoming 'civilized' so to say. Popular gangs today include the Bloods, Crips, the Latin Kings, and the new kid on the block, the Asian gang Yakuza.
5: “Gang member” Date Unknown. Mark Karrass. GOV054. © Mark Karrass/Corbis. | “Crips Gang Members Flashing Signs.” March 01, 1984. Daniel Lainé. DA001665. © Daniel Lainé/Corbis.
6: “Member of the Boo Yaa T.R.I.B.E.” Date Unknown. Henry Diltz. © Henry Diltz/Corbis. | “Gang Related Shooting in L.A.” May 29, 2012. Ted Soqui. © Ted Soqui/Corbis.
7: The establishment, and influence of these family gangs is slowly but skillfully unweaving the very thread that America has sown. The corruption is now spreading like a wildfire amongst the youth, leading to a consistency in juvenile crime rates. "Almost half of all juvenile arrests involved larceny-theft, simple assault, drug abuse violations, disorderly conduct, or liquor law violations" (Guerrero 353). As a method of initiation, gangs have now been ordering new members to burglarize homes and assault pedestrians, in addition to surviving a massive brawl involving five or more current gang members. Together, gang members tour around town and harass citizens, destroy property and generally cause mayhem, sometimes resulting in unnecessary casualties. As stated previously, juvenile delinquency combined with gang activity is a serious social problem in America today. The youths getting involved are troubled, down-trodden, and alone without any guidance. They believe that they stand with their gang, but they actually stand alone in the jungle they hail from. They take their anger out on the innocent because they know not what they do, though neither do we because we are providing now help and no guidance ourselves so it is possible that we are just as guilty. Without love, understanding, and proper deterrence methodology, we will continue to see our country because a jungle in itself, a jungle that devours the so called weak and builds a false strength within. If we don't stop the growth of this jungle, it will destroy the country we know and love, resulting in the complete and inevitable destruction of our society and the next generation to come.