The Most Perverse kind of Pride

In a recent post, I talked about the insecurity that many Hispanics feel in relation to African Americans. As I’ve written before, we’re just not as cool.

Apparently, a few Latinos have taken this jealousy to a new low. According to this report, some Hispanic gang members in California “waged a racist campaign to eliminate the city’s black residents through attempted murders.” According to indictments, “Gang members take pride in their racism and… have expressed a desire to rid the city… of all African Americans and have engaged in a systematic effort to achieve that result by perpetrating crimes against African Americans.”

I’ve written before about the tenacity of Latino gangs. The usual factors of poverty, alienation from majority culture, and weak-willed groupthink help explain their popularity. If there is anything unique about Hispanic gangs – in contrast to black gangs – it is their appropriation of ethnicity as a motivating factor for lawlessness.

But I’m don’t know what to make of people who know claim the banner of ethnic pride, then proceed to reinforce every negative stereotype and fear-mongering accusation through sociopathic behavior. If I could excommunicate them from Hispanic culture, I would.

Now, I certainly don’t feel responsible for every idiotic move that a Latino makes. But this warrants a public display of disgust.

At the very least, I don’t want to fall into the trap that ensnared many Muslim Americans. A few years ago, they tried to object to their frequent demonization. But every point they made was effectively silenced with the rebuttal “You didn’t complain this much about Al-Qaeda. Denounce them if you’re so all-American.”

It should be obvious that every civilized person, regardless of race or creed, automatically rejects homicidal behavior. But just so everybody is clear: Let me be among the Hispanics who denounce these thugs.

And now we can return to our regularly scheduled rants.


6 Responses to “The Most Perverse kind of Pride”

  1. July 1, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Thank you for the information, and for your perspective on this. I can see how many would see a sort of group-mind condoning of something that, as you say, no civilized person would ever condone.

  2. 2 xey
    July 1, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Quite a scary thing to think about. Thanks for posting this.

  3. July 2, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    thankyou for the info

  4. 4 Carolina
    July 4, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Great post. I am appalled that there hasn’t been more said about this.

  5. 5 coldspaghetti
    July 19, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Interesting post, thank you for writing about it. I work with Latino and African American community health workers in New Orleans. There is a lot right now about “black and brown” relations — it is the media’s new favorite way to over-essentialize race and race relations for the worse. The tensions definitely are very real. It’s interesting to see how these tensions in other communities are playing out. It reminds me how important it is to continue in community efforts that join the shared experiences of the neglected or marginalized and find ways to make change together…

    I hope the violence in LA is more media hype than reality and that it dissolves soon.

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