Monday, April 20, 2009
North Carolina has a serious Gang problem and its time everyone else knew about it.
Lurking among the Majestic Mountains, Research Triangle Park, NCAA Championships and the Light Rail system, lies an ugly problem threatening to eclipse all of the hard earned, positive accomplishments within this once peaceful southeastern region of the United States.
Ruthless Street Gangs! MS-13s, Kings, Crips, Bloods, etc., Gangs, Gangs and more Gangs!
No sprawling, metropolitan city is immune to this criminal disease which promises to destroy the core of successful Urban growth. No socio-economic group can escape its clutches. Its just a natural fact that without swift, direct Anti-Gang laws being readily enforced, Gang problems will continue to spread in a community like a killer virus.
Since it appears as though N.C. Legislators and Police Chiefs of the Tarheel state's two largest cities (Charlotte and Raleigh) has failed to properly address this issue, then it looks as if the U.S. Dept. of Justice may have to intervene. Or better yet the Obama Administration's Homeland Security Department.
(Sidebar: The Police Chiefs appear to be hiding the actual number of Gang-related reported incidents. Perhaps they are being instructed by state and local Politicians in denial, to not frighten away prospective businesses seeking to invest in the state's economy by refusing to allow the nitty gritty Truth about North Carolina's Gang problem to be exposed.)
Now don't get me wrong as it relates to what the "powers that be" have really done to help curb this destructive, growing Urban epidemic.
Former N.C. Governor Mike Easley, a few state lawmakers and a couple of Mayors, did attempt to half-heartedly enact legislation as a band-aid hoping to hide this embarrassing blemish plaguing the residents of North Carolina. They did so by drafting one or two very lame Gang Prevention bills into law.
They also received some funding from the Federal Anti-Gang Initiative program (for Raleigh only).
Surely that was sufficient right? Wrong!
Such efforts were just enough to mask the problem. The result: Failure to reduce North Carolina's Gang Violence statistics.
What then did the "powers that be" suggest?
Throwing Gang members as young as 11 to 12 years of age into Adult populated prisons.
Hello??!! But isn't that akin to throwing gasoline on fire?
Do tell. If you place children in an Adult prison with real hard core criminals, once they are released back into society do you think they will be rehabilitated or worse criminals than ever??
Unless of course.....Crooked Prosecutors find ways to keep these children imprisoned for life on trumped up Federal charges.
The only Elected official who proposed a plan somewhat good enough to help eliminate North Carolina's Street Gang problem was Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory (R).
He was one of the first Politicians and Leaders to alert Legislators how seriously this issue should be considered.
Mayor McCrory lobbied the General Assembly to invest more money into the state's Criminal Justice system, specifically for the purpose of Reform and Gang Prevention.
However as always when it comes to North Carolina Democrats, due to McCrory's Political Party affiliation (Republican) he was wrongly accused of "Grandstanding" by a few offended, Elected Legislators. (This was an example of Partisan Politics at its finest.)
Thus McCrory's Gang proposal was basically placed on the back burner until the problem increased almost beyond control of local Law Enforcement agencies.
The only critical component lacking in McCrory's Gang Prevention proposal was that there didn't seem to be enough emphasis placed on reaching out to At-Risk Adolescents, thus deterring them away from wanting to join Gangs.
That was a component too critical not to include in Successful Gang Prevention legislation.
Why ask many of the victimized, Fearful voters was this component so important?
When drafting any type of Gang legislation it has to include efforts that will attack the cause of Gang problems at the roots.
At the root of all nationwide Gang-related crimes are communities lacking in necessary Constructive Activities or Programs to help keep a large population of Kids (mainly Minority Kids) with little Hope left in their everyday lives, from ruining their futures at the hands of Manipulative Gang Leaders.
Note: The United States Dept. of Justice reports that Most participants in gang crimes tend to be young, male, and either black or Hispanic. C. Maxson, Ph.D., supra. Gang cocaine sales involve more young, black males in transactions that more often include crack rather than powder form. Id. The increased likelihood of black and young gang offenders has also characterized the sales of other drugs by gang members. Id. Hispanics have been more involved in sales of drugs other than cocaine.
Another reason why ruthless gangs are taking over this Southeastern region, is due to state legislators allowing businesses to attract Cheap Labor in the form of Illegal Immigrants.
Most of those companies thought it was more prudent to hire Illegal Immigrants and pay them $6.00 or $7.00 per hour for a $12.00 an hour job, than to hire legal, American citizens to perform the work.
While its true this foolish move motivated by greed earned the CEOs of those companies more profits, the caveat of their decision making in the long run produced more heartache for North Carolina because many of those Illegal Immigrants or their kids were Gang members.
Now as it relates to Mayor McCrory "Grandstanding" before NC Legislators to get their attention about Gang Activity, at least he caused some ears to perk up within the NC State Capitol. More importantly he caused those Elected officials to finally listen to their Constituents.
Which brings us back to the first point....
North Carolina still has a serious Gang problem. Ruthless Gangs such as MS-13s, Kings, Crips and Bloods are taking over.
What are North Carolina's Elected Officials finally going to do about it?
What's the new Governor (Bev Perdue) going to do about it?
What are North Carolina residents going to do about it?
What are the Public Schools going to do about it?
What are the Social Service Agencies going to do about it?
What are the Child Advocates going to do about it?
What are the Police Chiefs going to do about it?
What are the Parents going to do about it?
Sadly enough, we already know what the Youth are doing about it.
Do we as a society want to produce more Stanley "Tookie" Williams' or more President Barack Obamas?
North Carolina Lawmakers the ball is in your court.
MSNBC reports on the most ruthless gang in the nation, the MS-13s. Their now taking over Charlotte, NC.
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Sources: MSNBC, Huffington Post, Washington Post, FBI, U.S. House.gov, Streetgangs.com, Ice.gov, ABC Local, WRAL, Newsobserver, Charlotte Observer, Rhinotimes, Whitehouse.gov, USdoj, NCWanted.com, NC Crime Control, NAACP, mayorpatmccrory.com, NCdp.org, NCGA