Friday, April 22, 2005

No Child Left Unsearched

From CBC news:

MONTREAL - Police in Montreal are raising concerns about the involvement of young children in gang activity. They say children as young as nine or 10 years old are being recruited into street gangs. A 14-year-old was sentenced on Tuesday for the brutal stabbing of 65-year-old Martha Taylor Gregory last January. The teen was only 13 when the incident occurred. Police say he's been known to them since he was 10.

"We do have examples of very young children as young as 10 that have been associated with street gangs," said Yves Riopel, the commander of the anti-gang section of the organized crime division for the Montreal police. Riopel says the recruitment of young children has not reached alarming proportions, yet. Harry Delva, the youth projects co-ordinator at La Maison D'Haiti, says street gangs find younger recruits particularly attractive "because they know that the police and other people won't search the younger ones.

"Mostly what they do is take the kids and put them on the bus and then they become carriers. So they are going to carry drugs and sometimes they are going to carry weapons." Delva believes gang violence is on the upswing in Montreal and that this summer could be a difficult one.

Lesson Number 1 for all you law enforcement out there: search them all. Especially the women and the youngsters. Those gangbangers think you're stupid. They think you're just going to slouch through your whole career and that they can bamboozle you. Don't prove them right. Know their tricks and show 'em who's smarter and more cunning.

There are a number of things we need to consider in thinking about why this happens at all: first of all, too many kids don't have a good dad at home. Over here in the States, over 70% of black kids are born out of wedlock. That's an incredible figure. And when we talk about crime being more prevalent in the minority community, it's more like crime is prevalent in the fatherless community. What is frustrating is that no one can really do anything about this. Until we issue a license to breed, people are going to do what they do without thought of social consequences.

It also doesn't help that hip-hop/gangster/thug culture is the new chic style today. Even suburban white kids are listening to hardcore gangsta rap. It's everywhere and the culture permeates all races and groups. Unfortunately, it is one of the most despicable cultures we've seen in awhile. It glorifies crime, mayhem, and violence and it venerates pimps and thugs. Hip-hop culture idolizes victimizers if you want to get right down to it. So we see that the dominant cultural climate is that is pro-crime, anti-woman, and (last but not least) anti-cop. And we wonder how 10 year olds end up as gang mules.

Those are two problems that really can't be solved by the ingenuity of men. As to what actions we CAN take, I have no idea. I think about it a lot. I brainstorm ideas, but at 22 I don't think I have the experience to even scratch the surface. Maybe someday we'll figure it out. If you have any ideas, let's hear em.


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