Patterico's Pontifications

6/25/2009

More on the Arrested “Reformed” Gang Member Alex Sanchez

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:20 am

Yesterday Jack Dunphy noted the arrest of yet another “former” gang member who may not be quite so “former” as advertised:

Alex Sanchez, described by the Los Angeles Times as a “nationally recognized anti-gang leader,” was arrested today by the FBI. Among the charges against him is conspiracy to commit murder.

I’m always very skeptical of anyone who claims to be a “former gang member.” This is just the latest justification for my skepticism.

Along those lines, I thought I would resurrect the words of noted sucker Tom Hayden from 2000, published in (of course) the Los Angeles Times. The title? We Need Peacemakers Like Alex Sanchez:

[I]t appears that the anti-gang war is directed even against former gang members working for peace on the streets.

Last Friday, Rampart CRASH officers arrested Alex Sanchez, 27, as he was getting into his car in the mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles. Sanchez is a respected leader of Homies Unidos, an anti-violence organization formed in L.A. and El Salvador by former gang members who have turned their lives around. . . The U.S. government already pays for illegal aliens to stay in the country when they are undercover informants of use to law enforcement. Why not grant the same to a peacemaker in the hope of reducing gang violence?

You read that right. Hayden wanted to pay Sanchez to stay in this country.

The rumor I hear is that he very nearly got his wish. According to that rumor, Sanchez was on the verge of receiving $100,000 from the City of Los Angeles for gang prevention when he was arrested. (I can’t confirm the rumor, and neither can my very reliable source. Take it for what it’s worth, which isn’t much unless it’s confirmed.) He would hardly be the only such person; this blog has previously discussed how Hector Marroquin was illegally selling guns as he ran a city-funded gang intervention program called “No Guns.” (As I wrote at the time, this story was pushed by the L.A. Weekly, which ate the L.A. Times‘s lunch on the story.)

Back in the days when Marc Cooper liked the L.A. Weekly, it published a naive piece about Sanchez which contained this gem of a quote:

[A]lthough Sanchez remains in INS custody, he also remains in the U.S. while supporters appeal to federal authorities for leniency.

Those supporters, including state Senator Tom Hayden, contend that Sanchez is just the sort of person the community needs — a reformed gang member who turned his life around and has dedicated himself to leading a new generation of street-wise youth away from gang violence.

The current version of the L.A. Weekly that Marc Cooper and James Rainey despise so much reminds us of some of the embarrassing connections Sanchez had with local politicians:

Sanchez has ties to powerful, local politicians who range from L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

“Homies Unidos is exactly the kind of community-based violence prevention and intervention program Los Angeles needs to help eliminate its gang problem,” reads a glowing statement from Garcetti, which has been posted on the Homies Unidos Web site. (Note: The Web site has now been taken down.)

Also on the non-profit’s Web site, a recent “Letter from the Executive Director” thanks Los Angeles City Councilmen Ed Reyes and Tony Cardenas for attending a November, 2008, banquet celebrating the 10th anniversary of Homies Unidos.

Sanchez also commends staff members who work for Reyes, Cardenas, and Villaraigosa. The city of Los Angeles, with the help of the mayor’s office, officially recognized Sanchez’s work with a resolution that was passed by the L.A. City Council.

“Silvia Beltran and George Magallanes from Councilman Ed Reyes office, Michael DelaRocha and Eduardo Hewitt from Councilman Tony Cardenas and Rafael Gonzales from the Mayor’s Office were instrumental in helping Los Angeles City Council pass a resolution for Homies Unidos 10 years of work in the city of Los Angeles,” Sanchez writes.

Nice work by Patrick Range McDonald, as always.

The public needs to wake up to the fact that there is a liberal cabal, consisting of folks like Tom Hayden and Eric Garcetti and the editors of the Los Angeles Times, who think it’s a good idea to give large sums of money to “former” gang members, who use that money to fund criminal activities.

Taxpayers are paying for crime. When will we demand that it stop?

45 Responses to “More on the Arrested “Reformed” Gang Member Alex Sanchez”

  1. “Taxpayers are paying for crime. When will we demand that it stop?”

    We have been demanding it stop for decades. To Nancy Pelosi’s “Culture of Corruption” tax supported crime is a feature, not a bug.

    tyree (21111a)

  2. I’m torn on this.

    On the one hand, it seems like a fundamental principle that people can change, and that people who have done bad things in the past are entitled to make better decisions and improve their lives; and, correspondingly, that the sins of the past should not forever be held against those who have made the choice to change for the better.

    Moreover, we certainly have a public interest in convincing people to do that.

    And yet the presumption in both your post and Jack’s post is that, in the case of gang members, this just doesn’t happen, and any “attempt” to do so is simply a masquerade designed to mislead people like me.

    I trust both of you to know whereof you speak, and yet … it really goes against the grain to say, no, these people don’t get a chance to reform their lives, because we know they’re not going to anyway, and if they say they are, we’re not going to believe them.

    Isn’t there a way to “trust but verify” claims of reform from former gang members?

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  3. On the one hand, it seems like a fundamental principle that people can change, and that people who have done bad things in the past are entitled to make better decisions and improve their lives; and, correspondingly, that the sins of the past should not forever be held against those who have made the choice to change for the better.

    While this may be true, why on earth should taxpayers reward them for this improvement in their lives? The natural expectation is that one will lead a law abiding life as part of the privilege of living in this country. Why wouldn’t the one meeting the expectation be monetarily rewarded (if anyone is to be) rather than the one who freely chose to live otherwise?

    Dana (8d88ef)

  4. I belonged to this gang for two years.

    nk (d78a32)

  5. Our most recent hire, as a sworn officer, for the Village Police Department, was in some piddly-assed teen gang for a while, too.

    nk (d78a32)

  6. The public needs to wake up to the fact that there is a liberal cabal, consisting of folks like Tom Hayden and Eric Garcetti and the editors of the Los Angeles Times,

    The reality of Sanchez and the do-gooders around him? A tough reminder that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And that thoroughfare is traveled on repeatedly by the gullible, foolish and irresponsible. IOW, by a lot of the city’s usual-suspect “progressives.”

    BTW, I notice today’s LA Times has a poll indicating that a larger number (and a fairly substantial one, at that) of whites in Los Angeles call themselves “liberal” compared with the percentage of such people elsewhere. By contrast, a larger number of blacks and Latinos in the city supposedly label themselves “conservative.” But based on the reality of voting records, a more apt description would be certain parts of the city’s populace see themselves as a bit less leftwing than the other.

    With that mix of demographics and politics, it will be surprising if a city like LA doesn’t end mostly haggard and exhausted — interminably mediocre, at best — like a merging of the dysfunction of a Mexico, the stagnation of a Midwestern Rust Belt and the lunacy of a Berkeley/Boston.

    Mark (411533)

  7. Isn’t going along with this kind of nonsense “edgy”, “progressive”, and certainly not identifying with mean-spirited, redneck conservatives.

    How many times have you heard, even about a murder, “It’s the price we have to pay for….”?
    Usually not said by the next of kin.

    Richard Aubrey (a9ba34)

  8. I think this is pols paying off the warlords to keep the peace. I guess it’s Afghanistan=LA.

    Patricia (2183bb)

  9. Aphrael – I do not think anyone is arguing against actual reform. What they are questioning is the wisdom of compensating people to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars for doing so, or not doing so, as the case may be. I have reformed my life significantly, and never once thought the gee, maybe I could tuirn this into a 6-figure contract from the government.

    JD (46cf2b)

  10. If the LAT was not completely subsumed by PC, they would be out there looking to find out how many more Marroquin’s and Sanchez’ are maintaining their criminal activities on the public’s dime.
    I won’t hold my breath.

    AD - RtR/OS! (438904)

  11. This reminds me of the North Carolina program that pays teenage girls $7 for every week they don’t get pregnant. Bribe them now so we don’t have to pay later. Reward a supposedly reformed gang member so it doesn’t cost us even more later. Who’s driving the bus?

    Dana (8d88ef)

  12. JD, Jack Dunphy said straight up that he is skeptical of claims of reform, and there is a tone in Patterico’s post that indicates that he is, as well — that’s how I’m reading the scare quotes around former, at any rate.

    Which is why my question is: how can we verify claims of being a ‘former’ gang member and allow former gang members the ability to create a new life for themselves?

    aphrael (db0b5a)

  13. Re: aphrael

    Remember the Arms treaty from back in ’80s? Trust but verify. I guess the City Council forget the 2nd part and went strictly on faith.

    BigFire (71927b)

  14. Which is why my question is: how can we verify claims of being a ‘former’ gang member and allow former gang members the ability to create a new life for themselves?

    Comment by aphrael — 6/25/2009 @ 9:30 am

    By their deeds shall you know them. Time, a long time, and a record. Like me. Like our new cop. And, like Dana said, on their own dime. Not the taxpayers’.

    nk (d78a32)

  15. Excuse me, *(the good looking) Dana*.

    nk (d78a32)

  16. “…allow former gang members the ability to create a new life for themselves?”

    ALLOW? Oh please, there is absolutely nothing stopping any “former of anything” from rebuilding their lives or creating a new life for themselves. This is precisely the mindset that caused the problem in the first place.

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  17. Anybody who thinks an adult who has made his living with criminal activities is going to change because some softheaded liberals give him taxpayers money is a fool.

    glenn (2d382b)

  18. I just had to interject that a former gang member serves as an usher at our church, has no ties to anyone in power (not that there is anyone powerful in our small, Central California town), and lives with his stay-at-home wife and homeschooled children on one small income.

    Of course, he doesn’t go around announcing his former affiliations.

    Suzanne (1ddc7f)

  19. Oh please, there is absolutely nothing stopping any “former of anything” from rebuilding their lives or creating a new life for themselves.

    Kinda hard to do that if nobody believes you’re really rebuilding your life or creating a new one, and reacts suspiciously to you, treating you as though you haven’t changed at all.

    Not impossible, certainly. But difficult.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  20. aphrael, I think that’s the point in Suzanne’s statement. The ex-gang member lives a quiet, under-the-radar life, doing the everyday stuff like ushering in church, providing for a family, and a homeschooling one at that. If someone is going to reform from such a desperate lifestyle, wouldn’t that be the way to do it? No limelight, no need to be an example to anyone (but perhaps one’s children), no need to *prove* anything to anyone, just quietly living it. And certainly not announcing the history.

    A lot of people who reform (whether alcoholics, druggies, etc) wear their previous lifestyle like a mantle they can never part from and make sure others know it. There is some sort of weird glory in drawing others attention to it.

    Dana (8d88ef)

  21. Aphrael – I think the question is whether they should be “reformed” on taxpayer dollars, at least that would be my beef. Nobody is stopping them from getting an education, working a 40-60 hour week like everyone else, and becoming a productive member of society.

    JD (06f82d)

  22. At what point does the reformed person rightfully expect he will no longer be exposed to additional scrutiny and suspicion?
    IMO, a long, long time. The rest of the population hasn’t done the stuff–whatever it is–that the reformed person has done and so the level of suspicion is going to be different.
    Sorry. Some things you do have consequences which can’t be wished away, except by such as aphrael who think if we’re not paying for it, we’re not allowing it.
    You really get the idea that aphrael has not had to experience the results of his ideas. I hate to wish ill on anybody, but it does have an educational result, from time to time.

    Richard Aubrey (a9ba34)

  23. On the other hand, another guy we knew went to prison for a minor offense, got sucked into the white supremacist gang, and reform would be a death sentence – for him and possibly his family.

    In this case, somebody would be stopping them from becoming a productive member of society. I don’t know the solution, but it is much more difficult in some cases than others.

    Suzanne (1ddc7f)

  24. except by such as aphrael who think if we’re not paying for it, we’re not allowing it.

    Excuse me? I don’t believe I have said a single word about the public paying for it. I have completely refrained from engaging in a discussion about public financing of anti-gang activities because I don’t know enough to engage in such a discussion intelligently.

    I have spoken entirely about what I perceive as a presumption on certain people’s part that “former” gang members are not actually “former” members at all, and how I think that that presumption – while possibly warranted – is harmful, in that undermines the ability of people who want to reform to do so.

    Please refrain from asserting that I believe things I have not said.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  25. aphrael.
    There are two issues in the post. One is the public financing of fake reformed people who go on to commit crimes just as if it’s their job. Which, if you look at the payroll, it certainly seems to be. One is the likelihood of reform.
    There is no mechanism by which the concept of “allow” can happen or not happen except the public payroll to this clown.
    You said “allow”. What other mechanism besides the public financing allows or does not allow or prevents clowns like this from reforming?

    Richard Aubrey (a9ba34)

  26. Richard:
    There is no mechanism by which the concept of “allow” can happen or not happen except the public payroll to this clown.

    I think that’s clearly an overstatement, in that making something criminal is a way of disallowing something via a mechanism other than the public payroll.

    That said, it’s clearly true that nobody is advocating making trying to get out of a gang a criminal act; my point is hypothetically correct but practically useless. :)

    However, I think that retaining suspicion – refusing to believe that someone is reforming – makes it more difficult for that person to reform. If nobody other than him believes in him, then it’s going to be a much, much tougher road to march down. In the case of most people, I think it will turn out to be impossible to succeed in a world where nobody except you believes that you are honestly trying, let alone that you can succeed.

    So my point in comment #12, like my point in comment #2, was that, unless we – both as individuals and as a community – have some mechanism in which to extend trust to these people, they will fail; and that, to the extent that our unwillingness to extend trust causes them to fail, we have not allowed them to succeed.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  27. Richard Aubrey,

    Maybe you should read the words as written instead of reading into them. There are plenty of things besides money that can factor into the difficulty of reforming oneself.

    Pressure from the old gang.
    Pressure from other gangs that still consider you a banger.
    Fear from the community that you’re not sincere.
    Employers unwilling to hire ex-cons or ex-gangbangers.
    Neighbors who assume you’re still involved in shady dealings.
    I’m sure you can think of others that don’t involve public financing.

    You made a mistake attacking aphrael’s perfectly reasonable statement and implied that he might learn something if bad things were to happen to him. You should really walk both of those back immediately. We’re going to have issues if you don’t.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  28. I have spoken entirely about what I perceive as a presumption on certain people’s part that “former” gang members are not actually “former” members at all, and how I think that that presumption – while possibly warranted – is harmful, in that undermines the ability of people who want to reform to do so.

    Aphrael, that would hold true of any criminal. You wouldn’t trust a “former” embezzler with your banking information, you wouldn’t trust a “former” child molestor with the care of your children…etc.

    A former gang member isn’t trusted until he proves himself, and for many people that takes a long time. But that’s the fault of the former gang member, not of the people around him.

    Those that really want to reform will do so, and not blame other people if they fail.

    Steverino (69d941)

  29. Stash.
    In reverse order: People who’ve had issues with me have decided the issues aren’t all that important, after all. Good for them.
    afrael referred to “we”. “we” is not gangbangers. I’m not. I presume you’re not. And afrael’s concern about gangbangers not allowing somebody to reform is going to affect gangbangers how?
    Most of the financial services industry will not hire a convicted felon at all, time passed notwithstanding. If you think it’s a good idea, you can find a convicted felon and make him YOUR investment professional if you wish. The rest of us may decide you should go first.
    And why should the community not be concerned about sincerity? (see Sanchez, et al).
    And what about the community’s fears stops a reforming person from reforming? He did the crime, he ought to be aware that he’s going to be watched carefully for a long time. The rest of the community has too much to lose. Not like it’s tax money run through the prosecutor’s office or something. It’s my house. My car. My kids. If the reforming person doesn’t get that, he has no idea of reform. He INJURED people. Other people…try to stay with me here…don’t want to be similarly injured. If he doesn’t get that–and if he does, he’ll give some other supposedly reforming person the same scrutiny–he’s not going to be smart enough or insightful enough to reform.
    Instead of NIMBY, let’s try HAYBY (How about your back yard) You hire him. You arrange for him to move in next door and make sure you never, ever give it another thought.
    The criminal brought all this on himself. It’s not going to be wished away. Nor should it be. See Sanchez.
    And afrael is thinking “we” are not going to “allow” the convicted felon to reform. Nonsense. However, the only mechanism that society can provide or withhold is paying for guys like Sanchez to commit crimes while civil servants. Which, you’ll note, didn’t help.

    Richard Aubrey (a9ba34)

  30. Richard Aubrey (same one from Ace’s?),

    So, you agree there are other factors that make reform difficult besides finances. Good. Why put words in aphrael’s mouth then?

    You’ll also notice that I didn’t say any of the things I listed were unjustified. Sometimes they are. I just made the point that those factors make it harder to reform if that’s what someone really wants to do and don’t involve money. You said:

    What other mechanism besides the public financing allows or does not allow or prevents clowns like this from reforming?
    Comment by Richard Aubrey — 6/25/2009 @ 11:53 am

    I gave you examples which you have agreed with by arguing they are reasonable. Someone who pretends to reform to cash in on taxpayer-funded programs is not really reformed, is he? aphrael’s point was about someone truly trying to reform and the difficulties they may face. You should acknowledge that you misrepresented his words.

    Also, you said earlier:

    You really get the idea that aphrael has not had to experience the results of his ideas. I hate to wish ill on anybody, but it does have an educational result, from time to time.
    Comment by Richard Aubrey — 6/25/2009 @ 11:34 am

    A reasonable reading of this would be that you think aphrael needs to experience ill (presumably from a gangbanger) in order to be educated. If that wasn’t your point, what was?

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  31. stash.
    The factors you detail, with the exception of gangbangers who aren’t going to be changed by afrael’s words, do not preclude or even make reform more difficult.
    If you can’t get a job because you are a convicted armed robber, then you will think how much you have injured society and that will motivate you to reform. If you are reformed, and you can’t get a job, you will not commit armed robbery, or any other crime. If you are not reformed…then you are not reformed.
    So, whether those issues exist or not, they do not preclude or hinder reform. They are, no doubt, unpleasant. With the exception of gangbangers, of course, whom you can reason with when you get a moment.
    Problem with guys like afrael is that they take a good deal of educating and it needs to be directly connected to their errors. Or they don’t get it.
    If guys like afrael aren’t educated out of their error, and go on to affect public policy, I might be the one to be damaged. I don’t deserve it. Since I didn’t promote such nonsense. Seems only fair that the folks who did promote such nonsense get hit first. Which might have the happy result of educating them.
    Given afrael’s ideas, do you have any guess as to how, other than suffering at the hands of his own ideas, he can be educated? Reality to this point doesn’t seem to have worked.
    To make an analogy, I have some relations who voted dem. They are going to deserve the crappy health care O is going to give them. No sympathy. It was their idea But I’m going to get it, too, and I don’t deserve it. I didn’t vote dem.
    In the same vein, afrael should be the first to enjoy the results of what he promotes. Not me. The alternative is that guys like me whose idea this was not get hurt first while afrael contemplates his moral superiority. I’m not much interested in that one.

    Richard Aubrey (a9ba34)

  32. The factors you detail, with the exception of gangbangers who aren’t going to be changed by afrael’s words, do not preclude or even make reform more difficult.

    Are you honestly arguing that those are not obstacles to reform but public financing is a factor? That they have absolutely no influence on whether someone reforms successfully? Because that is the only way what you wrote before makes sense. Why would public financing have an impact and those other factors not? Besides, as aphrael noted earlier, he didn’t say a word about money.

    I don’t believe I have said a single word about the public paying for it. I have completely refrained from engaging in a discussion about public financing of anti-gang activities because I don’t know enough to engage in such a discussion intelligently.

    Where exactly did aphrael do anything besides ask how we can verify that a former gangmember is in fact, former? Perhaps you should re-read this before painting him as a stereotype and deciding that being hurt is the only way to educate him. That, and putting words in his mouth, are the parts that bothered me and you really should walk them back.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  33. Beyond the matter of a gangbanger, former or otherwise, being paid by the government for whatever reason, the essence of the issue, as far as I’m concerned, is that a person who was in this country illegally not only was not dealt with accordingly, he, in fact, was given as much — if not more — benefit of the doubt than he would have received as a 100% legal US citizen.

    There’s not much about the socio-political quirks of Mexico that I would want the US to emulate. But when it comes to the following issue, I proclaim that if it’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for us.

    vdare.com, By Allan Wall

    How are Central Americans treated in Mexico? Just fine, according to President Vicente Fox,

    “Every year more than 250,000 Central Americans cross the [Mexican] border. They are treated with respect, and are offered a better place to stay and new opportunities.”

    But Jose Luis Soberanes, president of the CNDH (National Commission of Human Rights) doesn’t agree with Fox. Soberanes has reported that Central American and even Mexican migrants in Mexico are subject to abuse at the hands of police and military personnel, and that immigrants are detained in municipal prisons.

    According to Soberanes, “the Mexican government mistreats ‘indocumentados’ that cross its territory, it keeps them in jails, in overcrowded conditions, many times without food, without medical attention and overall, violating their human rights.”

    Mauricio Farath, another CNDH official, reported that in some Mexican states, Central Americans “go to the municipal jails, where they stay for days and weeks. In some small rooms there are dozens of them and they do not separate the men and the women.”

    Later, Jose Luis Soberanes put it this way

    “We demand that they [Americans] treat us well, and we are incapable of treating Central Americans well.”

    In 2005, Mexico detained 240,269 illegal aliens in its territory. Of that total, 42% were from Guatemala, 33% from Honduras, with most of the rest being from El Salvador.

    I recall some years ago in the state of Quintana Roo in southeastern Mexico. There were quite a few Guatemalans on the bus I was traveling on. At a checkpoint, the Guatemalans were unceremoniously yanked off the bus and their papers rifled through. It seemed like an everyday occurrence.

    Mexico is certainly within its rights to control its own immigration policy. Mexico has the right to detain and deport illegal aliens. (For that matter, Mexico has the right to expel legal aliens if it so desires).

    According to Mexico’s Ley General de Población, Article 123, illegal aliens can be fined and sentenced to up to two years in prison. Usually though, they’re just deported, as Article 125 allows.

    The Mexican immigration agency is the INM—Instituto Nacional de Migracion). But it is not the only agency that enforces immigration law. The Mexican military helps. And so do local Mexican police. In fact, by law, all Mexican police, regardless of unit or level, are required to enforce immigration law.

    In a recent AP piece Mark Stevenson reports that

    “Undocumented Central American migrants complain much more about how they are treated by Mexican officials than about authorities on the U.S. side of the border, where migrants may resent being caught but often praise the professionalism of the agents scouring the desert for their trail.”

    Mark (411533)

  34. Richard Aubrey,

    And afrael’s concern about gangbangers not allowing somebody to reform is going to affect gangbangers how?

    (a) is your consistent misspelling of my username deliberate? while it’s not uncommon for people to misspell my username, this is a somewhat unusual misspelling, and it makes me wonder if it’s actually accidental, or if it’s an attempt to annoy me. either way, i’d appreciate it if you’d make an effort to spell my name correctly. :)

    (b) I don’t believe I’m talking about gangbangers allowing other gangbangers to reform. To be honest, I’m not sure how my words can be interpreted as being about that.

    Yes, there’s almost certainly a problem with gang members not letting other members leave the gang. But that’s a seperate issue from the question of whether society is receptive to gang members who are trying to leave the gang. I’m concerned with the latter question.

    However, the only mechanism that society can provide or withhold is paying for guys like Sanchez to commit crimes

    That strikes me as reflecting an overly simplistic view of society and the powers that society holds.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  35. Steverino: and yet we do, as a general rule, expect released former convicts to reform themselves and become productive members of society. In fact, I’d argue that the entire premise of the three strikes law is that such reform is expected and that the people being thrown in jail for life after their third strike are being punished for failing to meet that expectation.

    On some level there’s a disconnect: we expect reform, but we aren’t going to support people in the act of reform because we don’t trust that they’re serious about it.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  36. aphrael,

    If this Richard Aubrey is the same one from Ace’s, he is usually better than this. I don’t intend to put words in your mouth, so if I’m mistaken in anything I’ve said, let me know. It’s just difficult for me to sit by when someone I respect is being attacked unfairly.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  37. Stashiu3, you have not put word in my mouth, and you are not mistaken, and I greatly appreciate the knowledge that someone I respect has my back. :) Thank you. :)

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  38. Steverino: and yet we do, as a general rule, expect released former convicts to reform themselves and become productive members of society.

    Agreed.

    But I was addressing your concern that society doesn’t believe a former gang member to be really free of his past life. In that sense, the former gang member is no different from any former criminal: people don’t trust him, and sometimes they continue that mistrust for a long time.

    It’s not an attitude reserved for gang members, and it’s also not an unwarranted attitude. Gang members who truly want to reform will accept that they must go to great lengths to reestablish trust with their community, and that the lack of trust is the result of their own actions.

    Steverino (69d941)

  39. Where did this money come from? Was it part of the bait and switch that the politicians perpetrated after the Malibu fires in 1993 when proposition 172 was sold to the public on the basis the money would go to local agencies such as fire departments to fix problems that hampered their efforts to control the disaster? Then, years after proposition 172 passed it, it was discovered the local agencies still hadn’t gotten the equipment the public thought they had paid for. Because politicians like Hayden had spent the money raised by the increase in sales tax the voters had imposed imposed upon themselves instead on pet projects they pretended had some remote connection to public safety, such as anti-gang initiatives, but were really part of the patronage system that ultimately just benefits them politically.

    Like providing money to illegal aliens. I’d be curious to know if any of LA’s “anti-gang” slush fund comes from revenue raised by prop 172.

    Steve (7d8b00)

  40. There are obstacles to reform. But to use the term “allow” means some person, some institution, some aggregate of public will puts these obstacles out there unfairly, or unfairly refuses to remove them.
    My point is, these obstacles are EARNED by the perpetrator and if he has to face them in perpetuity, that’s his problem. We as a society did nothing out of the ordinary to him.
    To make an analogy; If i get busted for DUI, it would bother me immensely if nobody ever wanted to drive with me again, or let me drive their kids someplace. It would be inconvenient wrt family activities. But I would never think anybody owes me riding with me. Not ever. That I am bothered puts no obligations on anybody else.
    That a thief isn’t allowed around the cash box is, among other things, the merciful thing to do. He won’t be tempted–he is weaker than others–and if something goes wrong with the count, he won’t be the first suspected. But the point is, nobody owes him a job handling money, not as long as he lives.
    He’ll have to reform in some other way.
    If an employer doesn’t want to take a chance that he or his employees will be robbed or assaulted by a convicted thief or assailant, that’s his right, and wrt his employees, his duty.
    So, to end this, I hope, the use of “allow” implies very strongly that there is agency involved unfairly.
    Wrong.
    If you want to say things are tough, that’s fine.
    To use the term “allow” implies the rest of us are required to take chances with our lives and our property.
    If an individual wishes to do so, let him. It is not a social requirement.
    People have reformed IN JAIL. It isn’t necessary for them to be wandering about a garden of the unwary in order to reform.

    Richard Aubrey (aaa8de)

  41. And yet the presumption in both your post and Jack’s post is that, in the case of gang members, this just doesn’t happen . . .

    Can’t speak for Jack, but that is not a presumption of my post. I would imagine Jack would also acknowledge that there are such thing as former gang members.

    And I agree with him that I tend to be skeptical of such claims. Doesn’t mean I would never accept them. But I would be skeptical.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  42. but that is not a presumption of my post

    Fair enough. I retract my overstatement.

    aphrael (4163e2)

  43. The moral of this story is: people of character and common sense must cancel their LA Times subscriptions, must never buy it again, and must never advertise in it…thereby hastening the death it is richly and quickly earning. The LA Times is more than naive; it is a beacon of evil.

    Kevin Stafford (2d1dc6)

  44. The gang problem has become impossible to manage and live with in the inner cities and outer suburbs, particularly in Los Angeles. Many friends moved their families with school age kids out of Culver City a few years ago because the potential for violence was so grave. And Culver City isnt exactly a ghetto. Middle class and caught in crossfire. That’s why so many are just leaving for safer and greener pastures. LA is a lost cause. At least, for the next quarter century.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  45. “former” gang members? You mean the ones who turned to gangs because of deep deep problems in their families, a crippling lack of economic opportunities, a life that had them supplant any decency for allegiance to their gang……and you expect them to “reform” and yet LIVE IN THE SAME area?! would you have a hardcore drunk rehab so he could return to live in a BAR? A narcotic addict return to work in a pharmacy? The point is the “former” gang member seems to be a write-off; lost cause; perhaps a domestic terrorist entitled to a one-way ticket (“rendition”?) to a prison in a country with no extradition treaty with the USA.

    Perhaps the city will be reclaimed one block at a time, by the people who live there…….[What lovely flowers! Why thank you, the secret is in the fertillizer.]
    “What!? What are you implying!? That is wrong! I stand for rules! what you imply is savage and not worth compromising our standards!!!”
    “Oh, so you live in those crime-ravaged communities?”
    “What? Hell, no – I am merely pointing out that the rule of law and due process are so important that I stand ready to sacrifice thousands of poor people in neighborhoods I would never live in to prove my point.”
    ” Wow, you are brave.”

    Californio (6657ce)


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