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How to Lose a City in Ten Steps, Part Seven: Of Street and Boardroom Gangsters

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Gang membership among illegals, specifically those between the ages of ten and thirty, has soared. The gangs themselves are not of the local yokel variety with which police have had experience; they are well funded, well organized, and well connected to national and international crime syndicates. A single member might carry the firepower of a SWAT officer, with the determination to match.

The language barrier is present, as always, but especially damaging now because informants require translators. Even when a translator is present, dialect differences and the inescapable possibility of one misunderstanding another are pushed to the forefront. No matter how hard they try, and they do try, the police never fail to be two steps behind gang members at every corner. The situation is growing increasingly hopeless daily.

The gangs themselves have turned their attention to eliminating nearby factions of organized crime, placing the city’s longtime thugocracy under incessant assault. The latter’s respective crews are used to the old model of business; with each gang knowing its territory and sticking to it. The illegals’ brand of gruelingly brazen urban warfare, which cares not a whit about sneakers hanging from power lines, has left the old guard throughly blindsided.

As all of this is happening, the lion’s share of the city’s productive classes are leaving for good. Some members in moderately safe neighborhoods have their homes on the market, while others closer to the battle zone simply pack their belongings and go. The watch groups are, for the most part, things of the past; what good can a middle aged male carrying a flashlight do against a young street urchin packing a MAC-10? A disturbibg number of harshly depressed blue collar citizens, many of whom are the very folks laid off from the factories, are forced to stay in the midst of the mayhem.

In any case, both they and their contemporaries lucky enough to get away have formed very negative views concerning recent immigrants of any legal standing, as well as all those belonging to said the same ethnic groups. This unique strain of xenophobia is really heartbreaking, because it is not based in folk ignorance or blind racism, but instead is rooted in a series of horrible experiences at the hands of specific groups peopled by detestable individuals. The natives’ wholesale abuse could have been at the hands of anyone of any skin color or ancestral origin, but, in their emotionalist fury, they cannot see this. Unfortunately, many are sure to bring their learned bigotry across the city line and into greener pastures where it will likely ferment for a long while.

In thinking their predicament over, it would be wise to remember the fat cats who initiated the strife; those head men and women of the factories who tried to have their cake and eat it too, and a strong argument can be made that they are more to blame for the city’s problems than the illegals themselves, as they invited the illegals and then tried to cover up the problems while something still could have been done.

We will examine these problems in step seven.

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About Joseph F. Cotto

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Joseph –

    Your intentions are in the right place – I’ll give you that and make no mistake. But I strongly disagree – so far – with your initial premise, with the dots you’ve connected. For (again, so far) it seems that in your eyes, the whole problem began with the illegal immigrants and does not even attempt to take into account the wholesale dismantling and shipping overseas of our factories…which illegals had absolutely nothing to do with.

    Now if you had limited the scope of your articles to those areas and industries where illegals really did dominate – which is pretty much only the fruit-picking business – then your articles would have been much stronger. And to give you your due, such a premise would have worked concerning certain industries and areas in the past when much of our agriculture was not mechanized. For where I grew up, every day there were buses filled with blacks – many of whom I knew personally and went to school with – going out to the cotton fields to chop weeds in the hot Delta sun for less than the minimum wage…and I can easily see this having been done back in the sixties and seventies. But after the economic malaise of the seventies, something happened – the farms (and I mean all the farms) became mechanized, meaning one skilled farmer with a John Deere pulling the right equipment and spraying the right chemicals could do a better job less expensively than a busload of cotton choppers…and so the cotton choppers went away. If you’ll take a trip through mid- and southern California (as I often do), you’d see that it’s not the illegals who are doing the day-to-day care anymore – it’s farmers with equipment. The illegals are mostly there for harvesting time. And yes, anyone who grew up where busloads of friends and neighbors (all black) chopping cotton in the hot Delta sun was a normal daily thing…anyone who knew that life WOULD notice at a glance illegals in the fields doing the same thing – or the lack thereof.

    But you didn’t limit the scope of your article. Instead, your article seemed to apply to Anytown, America, and such a premise simply doesn’t work with the vast majority of America.

    To give you your due, there are small factories – sweatshops, really – where illegals are employed and abused all through America – but such are by far the exception and NOT the rule…and would have even been less noticeable had Big Business not shipped tens of thousands of our factories overseas. THAT, Joseph, is the real problem, the eight-hundred-pound gorilla in the living room. Not the illegals or their exploitation by business owners, but the dismantling and shipping of our factories overseas.

    Again, Joseph, your heart’s in the right place. But by not limiting the scope of your article to those areas and industries where it really did apply (but not so much anymore), you opened yourself up to attacks on your articles and (for which I apologize) your character.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Concerning the article above, you might be able to make a connection between the mechanization of the farms (which did result in significant job losses for the illegals) and how some of those thus-unemployed turned to crime. But the gang problem in America has always been strongly identified with poor ethnic groups – they used to be Irish and Italian, but as those ethnic groups moved up the economic ladder, then came the black gangs, and then the Hispanic and the Asian gangs.

    In Washington state alone, the worst gangs are neither Hispanic or black, but Vietnamese/Hmong/Cambodian and Russian…and illegals among them are uncommon. Instead, the Russians are the most organized with close ties to the Motherland, and the Southeast Asian gangs are the most vicious – but the members were born and raised here in America.

    Blacks and Hispanics in Washington far outnumber either of the above ethnic groups, and both have some gangs, but neither are organized.

    Again, it’s a function not so much of illegal immigration or the exploitation of such, but of the degree of poverty experienced by that ethnic group. Our national history shows much the same since the first great waves of immigration from Europe.

  • http://www.lunch.com/DrJosephSMaresca Dr Joseph S Maresca

    Infrastructure projects are needed as in the time of President Roosevelt and even President Eisenhower.

    Everything from highways to roads, bridges, tunnels and schools needs an upgrade. This new employment would engage millions of people in a gainful activity.

    With regard to street crime, the National Guard and special commando units have the tools and the knowledge needed to clean up the streets because local police simply are not organized for a task this dangerous and extensive.

    A corollary is that we need to get out of foreign entanglements in Iraq and Afghanistan to have the budgetary resources to do these things.