Okay, here’s some real, straightforward talk. The kind of talk about race, immigration and crime in historical, cultural and human contexts that a lot of people don’t feel comfortable with. The kind of discussion that others probably have on the street, or a chill house party with only friends (and probably while drunk or flying high after passing that bowl or bong around), or wherever.
The thing is, all this rhetoric and fear-mongering about how so many Latin American immigrants seem to be more ‘prone to crime’, is horse manure. Evidently what isn’t horse manure, is the ignorance of too many Americans concerning the abject, inter-generational, hopeless poverty and utter institutional corruption of the places these immigrants come from; the ignorance of too many Americans concerning the utterly substandard living conditions many- if not most- of these immigrants had to live in; the ignorance of too many Americans concerning the very real brutality of quasi-military to militaristic law enforcement and harsh military; the ignorance of too many Americans of what it’s really like not to have clean water to drink, to drink and cook with the same water people wash dirty laundry in, or raw sewage empties into, or is filled with garbage, or is used as a public toilet; and the ignorance of too many Americans concerning the widespread crime and violence of the places many of these immigrants come from. Not all Americans are completely blind to these realities, but too many are.
Now, I am going to need you to stay focused after this next reality that I am going to state: Sometimes, and in their own ways, what some immigrants had to do in their native countries in order to survive in those utterly corrupt and impoverished places gets carried with them. But guess what, those are called ‘survival mechanisms’. And no, I am not, nor would I seek to, justify or support crime or criminal behavior; I am merely putting one of the hard, cold realities of the world into word. Anyone who thinks that the state of being literally dirt poor with no hope of being otherwise, and existing in a state of perpetual anxiety and or fear because of perpetual political corruption, rampant violent crime, and fascist violent law enforcement doesn’t bring out basic survival instincts, has got to be living in a fantasy world.
But here’s the kicker: No racial or ethnic group is singularly ‘prone to crime’, and immigrants from Mexico or any other Latin American country aren’t even the only ones who have or had issues because of their life experiences, and they certainly aren’t the only ones who brought them with them. The Sicilians brought theirs over, hence the Mafia (which American culture now rather glorifies) and internal politics.The Irish brought theirs over, hence Irish gangs and internal politics in the 1800’s through the 1900’s. Same with the Chinese, but much later after they started to immigrate. And what drives all these different racial and ethnic groups? 1. Survival instincts; 2. The hostility they face by those already here in a strange new country. That the Irish, Jews, Italians/Sicilians, Chinese and many others were denied employment, used to do the dirty work of corrupt, gangster-like local politicians, forced to live in segregated crowded ghettos (hence the names of sections in MOST major American cities like: Germantown, Little Italy, Chinatown, Korea Town, ect.), and that they were locked out of or used to win Elections for political candidates, is in arguable fact. The thing is, as MUCH as certain people complain about Latin immigrants when it comes to gangs and crime, we modern Americans should count ourselves LUCKY that we didn’t live in 1800 to early 1900 America, where crime and corruption was SO bad at times in some American cities, that hundreds of people in each city were murdered or beaten near to death, and thousands robbed or mugged monthly. Check the history. Oh and by the way, the movie ‘Gangs of New York’ was based on actual events. The Four Corners section of NYC was a God awful hell hole to live for decades before and after federal troops came in and started shelling and shooting people.