A story emerged out of Los Angeles that is profoundly disturbing.
Authorities arrested more than 60 Latino gang members in the Varrio Hawaiian Gardens gang, also nicknamed the "Hate Gang," in a massive sweep Thursday.
The indictment against 147 gang members alleges "VHG gang members have expressed a desire to rid the city of Hawaiian Gardens of all African-Americans and have engaged in a systematic effort to achieve that result by perpetrating crimes against African-Americans." The charges against the gang members include murder, kidnapping, racketeering and trafficking narcotics.
Usually gang members target their own kind and as a society we don't pay much attention to this form of genocide. Often it's glorified in movies about the Italian mob, black gangs in South Central Los Angeles or Latino gangs in prison.
But now that Latino gangs are targeting blacks it calls more attention to gang violence.
What's so troubling is that these Latino gangs are repeating the kind of hateful acts we'd expect from the Ku Klux Klan.
What happened to our civil rights movement? Today we see one minority or ethnic group attacking another.
has happened throughout world history. But we also must remember we
have a shared history of discrimination, including lynchings and
Around 600 Mexicans were lynched in Texas, California and throughout the Southwest from 1848 through the 1920s, according to a book by William D. Carrigan and Clive Webb. Around 3,500 African-Americans were lynched between 1882 and 1951, according to Tuskegee Institute figures.
Jim Crow law
segregated the schools, public transportation and other public places.
Those laws also impacted many Mexican-Americans. My father tells me of
restaurants he couldn't eat at in Texas. They had signs that read, "No
Dogs or Mexicans allowed." My mother was forbidden from speaking
Spanish at her elementary school, and was once locked in closet for
Knowing this history, I don't understand how
Mexican-American gang members in Los Angeles today could carry so much
hate in their hearts.