Sunday, January 18, 2015

necropolitics: social exclusion backed by the rule of law is the root cause of radicalization


wikipedia |  Substance The documentary discusses the many, unique circumstances of the 1960s that lead to the creation of these violent gangs. Some of the factors that are discussed in the documentary are listed below:

Lack of Organizational Acceptance, Identity

Bird discusses his multiple attempts to join youth organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America or Explorer Scouts of America. He stated that he, like most other young African-American males, was constantly shut out of such predominantly white organized activities or organizations. He felt that it was almost like there was nowhere for young African-American men to turn. Bird accounts a lack of a sense of identity or acceptance and that is when African-American males began forming their own fraternities.

It began with small competition, between neighborhoods and streets, and definitely was not as violent. Groups like the Slausans, Del Vikings, and the Gladiators formed. <http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/03/local/me-businessmen3>. Often, they fought protected against the white gangs of the area terrorizing the African American neighborhoods <http://www.communitywalk.com/location/the_slausons/info/944937>. In these brotherhoods African Americans found acceptance and a sense of identity.

Regulation by Los Angeles Police Department

First and foremost, the media portrayed and the public perceives African-American males as violent criminals. Therefore, the Los Angeles Police Department, especially under Chief Officer William Parker regulated the Los Angeles area "like a military." African Americans were to remain in their neighborhoods at all times. Like Kumasi said, you had to be at the "right neighborhood at the right time. You couldn’t go east of Alameda, for example."

That was a predominantly white neighborhood, where African Americans were not wanted. Kumasi further discusses the invisible barriers that African Americans were not allowed to cross. If one was found simply walking through the “wrong neighborhood,” he was questioned and investigated almost like a criminal. There was in essence no freedom to walk to streets of a free country.
Kumasi described the experience of an African-American male of Los Angeles as a "walking time bomb." They were experiencing so much hatred from the police that sooner or later they would erupt. "The only question was upon whom," said Kumasi.

Watts Riot

The documentary then goes on and demonstrates how these African-American experiences set the stage for the Watts Riot. African-Americans were killed for absolutely trivial crimes. After a police encounter leading to the arrest of an intoxicated male, his brother, and mother, African Americans took to the streets against the Los Angeles Police Department, protesting racial injustices against them. Chief Officer William Parker only fueled the already racialized tension by calling African-Americans "monkeys in a zoo." The documentary discussed how it was all over the news and media. Let alone the Los Angeles Times, newspapers all over the nations were covering the Watts Riots of Los Angeles.

Institutional changes occurred afterwards. The documentary discussed the changes that were led by Black Panther Organization and then the backlash against these organizations. FBI investigations began, claiming that "Black panthers were the biggest threat to internal stability of USA." Its leaders were murdered, jailed, etc. After those leaders disappeared, the new generation started – Crips and Bloods (see background, membership, and history below).

Backdrop – California

California was different from the South. There were no prior bus laws or segregation in public schools. However, there were covenants against black housing. There was neighborhood segregation. Even after outlawing it eventually, neighborhoods stayed that way.

Industrialization hit in Los Angeles in the late 1950s in response to the booming industries of the country. The American economy was changing to an economy with either high end or low end jobs. African-Americans found themselves displaced in the job market. They did not have the prior skills, knowledge, or education to perform the high wage technological jobs, due to the historical discrimination and lack of opportunities.

They also did not feel like they, as U.S. citizens, should have to do the low labor jobs either. After all, they felt that they were above the immigrant low level jobs. In turn, they found themselves totally displaced from the labor market. Eventually, by the latter half of the 1960s, jobs and factories both disappeared from the Los Angeles region. Consequences were enormous. Businesses are empty and there is nowhere to turn. It simply becomes harder and harder to survive as time goes on.

Drugs

After the introduction of crack cocaine, even the African-American families were torn apart. The family institution became dysfunctional as well. There were no male role models in the family any longer. Seventy percent of black children are born to single mothers. Twenty eight percent of all black men will be jailed in their lifetime. There is a disproportionate number of black males in prison, making the possibility of a male figure in an African-American family even less likely.