Gangs and the disintegration of the Hispanic family
It is this reporter's opinion that 50 years ago, as a much younger reporter, I became involved in covering youth gang activities. It was all so simple then in comparison to the international gangs of today.
With the present day technology and communication, modern gangs are involved in robbery, fraud, rape, and murder more than ever.
Many of the police and youth workers blame the increase in gang appeal on the disintegration of the Hispanic family unit . . . and it's worsening by the day — especially for U.S.-born Hispanics.
Fifty years ago, 70 percent of the children of U.S.-born Hispanic parents lived in an intact family. By 1999 that number had dropped to 56 percent. The percentage of Hispanic children living with a single mother rose from 18 percent to 35 percent.
Single parent households constituted 25 percent of all Hispanic households with minor children in the 1970s. By 2005 the proportion had jumped to 37 percent.
Teen parenthood — the marker of underclass behavior — has affected the crime and gang rate. In 2002 there were 83.4 births per 1,000 Hispanic females between ages 15 and 19. Today the figures are out of sight.
Hispanic mothers have higher birth rates, and here in California, most newborns are of Hispanic origin.
Parenthood is all but forgotten with teen youngsters giving birth while they are little more than children. Many of these teenage Hispanic girls are having four, five, and even six babies by their mid-20s. Many of the fathers simply disappear. And 80 percent of teen births to Latinas in 1999 were to unmarried girls.
The crime rates are soaring and these young Spanish offspring drop out of school and resort to gang activities. And, tragically, many of these young Hispanics are unable to communicate in either Spanish or the English language. Impoverished youth become lethargic and obese with little or no drive and end up on the streets, and the easy way out for them is criminality.
Much to our dismay, with teen pregnancies out of control and the crime and gang rate running rampant, we have developed a complete third world underclass America — a ghettoized Hispanic subgroup in terms of welfare use and out-of-wedlock child-rearing.
With the resident population of the U.S. topping 300 million and our population growing by one person every 14 seconds, the 300 millionth is sure to be a Mexican Latino right here in Los Angeles County.
At what point will the Hispanic family instill pride, responsibility and discipline in their children? At what point will the Hispanic household return to true, nurturing parenting? With the disintegration of the Hispanic family, the crime and gang rate will sooner or later overwhelm America and God help us all!
And lawmakers in Congress seem to want to make the Hispanic gang problem even worse:
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