Anaheim: Digging to the Root of a Problem
The recent police shootings in Anaheim are part of a larger web of circumstances that create a chain of causes and effects.
There is a trend when comparing Anaheim and Santa Ana where Anaheim’s crime is rising, while Santa Ana’s is dropping, but why?
Santa Ana is only now starting to pick itself up and define itself as a majority Latino town, but it crossed the 50% percent mark decades ago. Anaheim has only now crossed it, and that percentage will continue to grow.
Santa Ana during the 90s was terribly challenging for a youth to grow up in because of the many distractions and gang activities occurring here. It was common to hear shootings on almost a nightly basis. Tagging and party crews were at their high point, and both types of groups began acting more and more like traditional gangs.
But in the 90s injunctions were placed on some of the neighborhoods with the most gang activity. The Sixth Street gang was eradicated as was Santa’Nita. Now one is truly hard-pressed to find the types of activities and gang loitering common in years past.
The situation in Anaheim is telling of a state of relations between the city’s barrios and the status quo. Anaheim is in an early process of redefining itself as a majority Latino town, and it is clear that the rest of Anaheim has not caught up to this reality. Why? Because Anaheim barrios seem detached from and neglected by police and city hall.
Proof of this claim is that gangs are apparently allowed to congregate still, and that there are no known gang injunctions in Anaheim that I know of. Injunctions may be a necessary and possible step in Anaheim’s future. Will that eliminate all crime? No, but it will contribute to dropping Anaheim’s crime rate.
No one in their right mind will argue against giving youth alternatives to gangs. Our young men and women need moral support at home and at school. The only fault that many parents have is that they have to work so many hours that it ends up affecting parenting. This then creates a cause and effect where youth becomes apathetic and unmotivated, which begets dropping out of high school.
Once in school they need teachers and counselors that genuinely want to see their students advance. Beyond that, they need to be proactive and take initiative when it comes to motivating kids. That can make a tremendous positive impact on a kid. But there are cases of apathetic and indifferent teachers that only want to collect their buck and I have to wonder if that is an attitude that is contributing to the alarming Latino high school dropout rate.
I’m not here to defend the actions of a cop. The incident on Saturday in Anaheim was a murder, by a trained killer.
But I don’t want to give a trigger happy trained killer any reason to attempt or commit murder. I don’t want that kid to be running drugs or to be in the wrong place at the wrong time to begin with. I don’t want an angered young man with a gun ready to get payback on a cop to get killed, and this is precisely what happened on Sunday night in Anaheim. That shouldn’t happen to begin with.
Don’t give them a reason to attack.
And as far as you go, Anaheim City Council, you need the political will to force gang injunctions on affected neighborhoods. You’re so damn busy trying to keep Mickey and Minnie happy that you’re out of touch with reality.