Friday, December 10, 2004

Young Hispanic underclass

Heather MacDonald writes about the growing underclass of Hispanics:

Hispanic youths, whether recent arrivals from Latin America or birthright American citizens, are developing an underclass culture.

Hispanic school dropout rates and teen birthrates are now the highest in the nation. Gang crime is exploding nationally - rising 50% from 1999 to 2002 - driven by the march of Hispanic immigration east and north across the country.

Most worrisome, underclass indicators like crime and single parenthood do not improve over successive generations of Hispanics. They worsen.

The pull to a culture of violence among Hispanic children begins early. In Chicago, gangs start recruiting kids at age 9, say criminologists. The Chicago Community Policing Evaluation Consortium concluded that gangs have become fully integrated into Hispanic youth culture; even children not in gangs emulate their attitudes, dress and self-presentation.

Washington, D.C., reports the same "ever younger" phenomenon. "Recruitment is starting early in middle school," said Lori Kaplan, head of D.C.'s Latin American Youth Center.


At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gangs are "organised" much as city governments are, most of the time the leaders do not seek publicity so we don't know that much about individuals (arrest records being the only way to track their activities). This is their culture, the most successful gangs have thousands of members and are multinational!
Labeling them an underclass assumes that they want to be part of our society, they don't. This gang culture is evolving (and becoming more affluent) owning and operating main-street businesses (resturants-lunch trucks) through which they launder the money they make in their illegal activities. Miguel Mena

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