Poverty Isn't the Cause
John Reagan wrote July 9 as a Caucasian member of NAACP. He referred to a standing ovation after a panel presentation of a report at the League of Women Voters' luncheon.
I want to assure him I do not need to read a study about poverty or gangs to educate myself. I have firsthand experience on both subjects.
In her July 11 letter, Barbara Farr wrongly assumed that the gang problem in Los Angeles is worse even with past strong law enforcement measures and lengthy prison sentences for gang members.
She wrote that young men join gangs looking for a family that is missing in their lives, and that children who live in impoverished homes, where parents must work two or three jobs to maintain a basic standard of living, develop an attitude of hopelessness.
The truth is that in Los Angeles the gang problem got out of hand when police officers were handcuffed by liberal politicians.
Those same politicians instituted a number of programs that have cost an inordinate amount and have done nothing to combat gangs.
Young men join gangs for the power and the status they feel can be acquired by doing so. They thrive on a high of guns, drugs and crime, and boast about them. These young men -- they are not children -- are just a bunch of thugs running around causing mayhem and destruction with total disregard for the rest of society. Poverty is not a prelude to crime or gangs. Do not use it as an excuse.
Maybe the public and the NAACP should address out-of-wedlock births I mentioned in an earlier letter. The last time I checked, they were 30 percent for whites, 50 percent for Hispanics, and 70 percent for blacks. Now that's a problem!
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