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Commentary: ˜People of Color' are All One? Latino Inmates in L.A. Don't Think So

Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2006
By: Gregory Kane, BlackAmericaWeb.com


Black Americans are engaged in a race war, but it's not the one you think it is.

And you can bet our traditional "misleaders" -- the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, the Congressional Black Caucus and Julian Bond and Bruce Gordon of the NAACP -- won't ever talk about this race war.

If you've been reading certain news reports for the past two weeks, you'll know this particular race war is going on in California. And it involves, in the words of Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, "daily ˜brown on black' violence," according to a recent article in The Washington Post.

Yes, the so-called Third World unity, where "people of color" are supposed to have some kind of solidarity simply because they aren't white, is officially dead. And it should be. Who but silly Negroes ever believed this stuff anyway?

In early February, about 170 Latino inmates at the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic -- which is part of the jail system in Los Angeles County -- attacked 35 black inmates. One black inmate, 45-year-old Wayne Tiznor, was beaten to death.

And that wasn't the first incident of "brown on black" violence in the Los Angeles County jail. The Los Angeles Times listed several others.

Six years ago, Latinos attacked black inmates and injured 80, leaving one man in a coma.

Black and Latino inmates clashed on Jan. 13 of this year.

Six inmates required treatment after 62 black and Latino prisoners fought it out on Dec. 27 of last year.

On Dec. 4 of last year, 22 more inmates were injured after a fight between 162 blacks and Latinos. Three days later, 12 more were injured after a fight involving 117 inmates.

See a pattern here? Are you starting to wonder why our misleaders are always talking about the unity of "people of color" or why they always refer to blacks and Hispanics as if we're one and the same race?

Clearly, the Mexican Mafia doesn't think that way.

The Mexican Mafia has been around a while, since the days of George Jackson, the Black Panther prison activist who was killed in 1971 during an escape attempt from San Quentin penitentiary. Jackson was given a one year-to-life sentence in 1960 for robbing a gas station of $70.

In his famous book of prison letters, "Soledad Brother," Jackson said that when blacks and whites clashed in California's prisons, Mexican-Americans regularly sided with the whites. So we shouldn't be surprised by the following line from a Los Angeles Times story of Feb. 10:

"Investigators said they traced (the) riot to Mexican Mafia gang leaders, who they said ˜greenlighted' Latino jail inmates to attack blacks."

Now, you probably know where I'm going to go with this, but it needs to be said. Suppose that news story had read "investigators said they traced the riot to Aryan Brotherhood gang leaders, who they said ˜greenlighted' white jail inmates to attack blacks." Do you think we'd have heard from Jesse, Al, Julian, Bruce and our illustrious CBC then?

Of course we would have. They'd have screamed bloody murder, charged that white racism was rampant and, no doubt, found a way to blame President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, the Supreme Court and Jefferson Davis' mama. But when it comes to "brown on black" violence, we don't get so much as a grunt from our misleaders.

So far, only two prominent blacks have had the backs of the black inmates in the Los Angeles County jail system, who are outnumbered by Latino inmates by two to one. These brothers must be getting that sinking George Armstrong Custer feeling along about now.

One of those blacks is author, columnist and activist Earl Ofari Hutchinson of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable. According to a Feb. 10 edition of the Los Angeles Times, Hutchinson "called upon political leaders, particularly Latino elected officials, to speak out against the jail attacks. ˜We have got to stop the code of violence,' he said. ˜The silence by every major Latino leader in the city is troubling.'"

The other prominent black is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Last year, Thomas voted with a minority of two other justices who said that California could indeed segregate inmates by race for security reasons.

Had the five other justices who ruled on the case voted likewise, Wayne Tiznor might still be alive.
 
 BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
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Am I the only annoyed by the whole "people of color" catchphrase? First, "people of color" are the majority on this plant, so why invent a catch-all term for the majority, why not the minority? Should we start refering to whites as "people lacking color" or "people of paleness"? Roll Eyes Second, it irks me how all "people of color" are grouped together, despite extreme differences in culture, race, ethnicity, and country of origin. A Nigerian may have the same skin tone as a Dravidian, but therein is where the similarities end. Outside of skin tone, they don't even look remotely similar, are from different continents, and have different customs and languages and religions. If the media really must signify that there are talking about several groups of non-European peoples, why not just list which ones, or at least use the term "non-white"?
quote:
Originally posted by memyselfni:
since i have moved to LA. i have seen too many black people picking at mexicans. truth be told. the mexicans here work harder than the black people. and i think some black people are jealous of that.


I bet those Black folk they work harder than don't include you!!

Silly Negro men and women like Gregory Kane seeks to measure racism by way of violence. We see this same dynamic undertaken by white folk as well when they point out high Black criminality against white folk as a means of saying we are racist but like the white folk aformentioned Gregory Kane ignores the racism that put young Black men on the fast track to prison and criminal behavior. The sad part is nine out of ten of those Black and Latino men in prison are in there for crimes committed agaisnt one of their own, but now this gang unity they have inside makes them see the importance of race unity. Most of them probably could not see its importance until they got behind the wall. Furthermore, the need for a unified front on the outside is not determined or measured by the acts of men in Prison. While I don't buy into the whole people of color idea, I see a need for unity with latino men and women where there exist a shared problem in America beyond that unity amongst ourselves is far more important.
quote:
Originally posted by memyselfni:
since i have moved to LA. i have seen too many black people picking at mexicans. truth be told. the mexicans here work harder than the black people. and i think some black people are jealous of that.


Blacks picking at Mexicans?????? yeah right,they love us soooo well they make cartoons about us(Blacks)........May 2005 and Vincente Fox does that ring a bell????
quote:
Originally posted by Faheem:
quote:
Originally posted by memyselfni:
since i have moved to LA. i have seen too many black people picking at mexicans. truth be told. the mexicans here work harder than the black people. and i think some black people are jealous of that.


I bet those Black folk they work harder than don't include you!!

Silly Negro men and women like Gregory Kane seeks to measure racism by way of violence. We see this same dynamic undertaken by white folk as well when they point out high Black criminality against white folk as a means of saying we are racist but like the white folk aformentioned Gregory Kane ignores the racism that put young Black men on the fast track to prison and criminal behavior. The sad part is nine out of ten of those Black and Latino men in prison are in there for crimes committed agaisnt one of their own, but now this gang unity they have inside makes them see the importance of race unity. Most of them probably could not see its importance until they got behind the wall. Furthermore, the need for a unified front on the outside is not determined or measured by the acts of men in Prison. While I don't buy into the whole people of color idea, I see a need for unity with latino men and women where there exist a shared problem in America beyond that unity amongst ourselves is far more important.



hello no they don't work harder than me. but they have the big houses and many cars and trucks in the drive way while i see black folks standing around trying to hustle or going to the welfare office to get GR. they give welfare to everybody here that eligible men and women. so some black people would rather settle for GR which is only $250 monthly. and they brag about that mess. i'm not saying that no blacks work. its just disappointing to see so many that don't work here in LA.
quote:
Originally posted by 4YAINFO:
quote:
Originally posted by memyselfni:
since i have moved to LA. i have seen too many black people picking at mexicans. truth be told. the mexicans here work harder than the black people. and i think some black people are jealous of that.


Blacks picking at Mexicans?????? yeah right,they love us soooo well they make cartoons about us(Blacks)........May 2005 and Vincente Fox does that ring a bell????



we all know about the cartoon, but you have to be here to see how bad some blacks pick at them. they harass them on buses, call them names and do all kinds of uncalled for stuff. we are all minorities. none if us is better than the next race.
quote:
Originally posted by Dissident:
quote:
Originally posted by memyselfni:

but you have to be here to see how bad some blacks pick at them. they harass them on buses, call them names and do all kinds of uncalled for stuff. we are all minorities. none if us is better than the next race.[/i]


I'am here in California and I must say you have your facts misconstrued...or purposely exaggerated. The only name calling and "uncalled for stuff" I witness on a regular basis is the constant terrorizing of Blacks by Mexicans in the workforce, on the streets, in the mall and just about any other public environment that there is. Not to mention what my cousin tells me who works as a RN in the State Correctional system.

Do you not recall the innocent Black youth who was gun downed in front of his family in the Riverside Mall by a group of Mexicans? Do you not recall that? Do you not recall the innocent Ethiopian teenager who was gun downed in his car by a group of Mexicans in Los Angeles? Do you not recall that? Perhaps you recall the Black family that was burned out of their new home in Azusa because they moved in a predominately mexican neighborhood? Do you not recall that? I can provide you numerous other examples where Blacks have been the victims of racist and terrorist acts perpetrated by Mexicans but unfortunately I don't have that much time.

I'll be waiting for your reply.
quote:
Originally posted by memyselfni:


hello no they don't work harder than me. but they have the big houses and many cars and trucks in the drive way while i see black folks standing around trying to hustle or going to the welfare office to get GR. they give welfare to everybody here that eligible men and women. so some black people would rather settle for GR which is only $250 monthly. and they brag about that mess. i'm not saying that no blacks work. its just disappointing to see so many that don't work here in LA.


Are you Black? I only ask that because if you are that would make you Black people, thus including you in "the Black people" you claim Mexican men and women work harder than. I have no doubt that Black folk are using the welfare system in Los Angeles, but to say this is all you see either means this is all you want to see or you are unfamiliar with statistical data in California in regards to who is getting welfare. Maybe if you took a trip down to the welfare office you would see something different but I can assure you that your observations are flawed. You also want us to believe that Black men and women in LA are bragging about receiving $250 a month that can not pay rent anywhere in Southern California. Lastly, if you don't have a big house and many cars in the drive way, then we must conclude like you have in regards to other Black folk that these Mexican men and women work harder than you.
memyselfni, I'm also curious, are you black? I don't live in LA, but from talking to numerous people, black and non-black, who live do live there, as well as reading numerous articles over the past 10 years regarding black/hispanic relations in LA, I get the distinct impression that this is a conflict primarily being instigated by Mexicans, not blacks.
quote:
Originally posted by by Dissident
The only name calling and "uncalled for stuff" I witness on a regular basis is the constant terrorizing of Blacks by Mexicans in the workforce, on the streets, in the mall and just about any other public environment that there is. Not to mention what my cousin tells me who works as a RN in the State Correctional system.

Dissident, can tell us about some of these things you have wintessed?
I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, in the town of Watts. In regards to the Black/Mestizo situation, I've noticed a few things:

When Mestizos are a very small minority in a predominantly Black area, no one pays them any mind. In fact, many of the middle aged and older Black women will often be very friendly, and be a little sympathetic b/c the Mestizos (in this phase) are usually very poor, have many children, and don't speak English. This is my experience, so I don't want to hear anyone crying about generalizations.

As their numbers continue to increase, Blacks become more aware of them, and both groups are on generally good terms, although they are happy to remain socially isolated even when living right next door. Mestizo children will often adopt to urban culture and befriend Black children.

When their numbers increase to where they are approaching half the population, trouble starts. As more of their fellow countrymen join them, the Mestizos tend to group together and take refuge in their own ethnic enclaves. Schools begin to overcrowd, and the Blacks that remain are getting angry that so many of them are can not (or straight out refuse to) speak English. The two groups clash due to cultural differences such as music, food, habits. Furthermore, the Blacks feel as if they are being overwhelmed by an alien people who don't want to integrate. Even though each group was happy to leave the other to itself before, with more numbers the segregation really starts to get apparent, and angers the Blacks.

After the Mestizos pass the half-way point in numbers, they get more economically established, and then they start getting racist..as do the Blacks. Several individuals (sometimes more than a dozen!) will pool their money and buy a house, then buy other houses and rent them to other Mestizos. They establish stores and businesses. The Korean and Arab store owners, and some big chain stores like Home Depot and Walmart, will hire illegal Mestizos over Blacks because they can pay them for a fraction of the price. Blacks begin to get angry at their success, partly ebcaise they feel it comes at a cost to them (in cases like Home Depot, they ahave valid points). Mestizos will straight out refuse to hire Blacks in their businesses, even if fluent in Spanish. The libertarian part of me almost doesn't care, but they have a tendency to be rude to their Black clientel. I've actually seen them let their fellow Mestizos use their restroom, but then deny the Black customers in the same breath. They also talk shit about Blacks in Spanish. Their attitude changes from just wanting to be left alone and get on with their lives to having a "reconquista".

More billboards and signs go up in Spanish, thus further isolating the Enhlish speaking Blacks. Low-rider gangs form, which clash with the Black gangs. On a side note, I'd be tempted to think this were a good thing if it meant that they'd just exterminate one another, but unfortunately too many innocents are hurt in the process, and too many good but wayward kids are pulled into that mess. Blacks start harrassing the Mestizo store owners for their shaddy treatment. The store owners in turn start treating the Blacks worse. As Mestizo kids now have plenty of classmates of the same ethnic and cultural group, they no longer attempt to integrate into popular urban culture. A divide forms between the Black and Mestizo students.

Once the Mestizo population has reached 2/3 of an area, it gets REALLY bad. As the fastly increasing majority, they begin to reshape neighborhoods. The Blacks feel their communtiy is being stolen away; you can't even walk into the nearest McDonalds and order a meal sometimes b/c the employees don't even speak English. Tempers flare, stereotypes flourish. Both sides begin to see any slight--real or imagined--as being due to racism, even if it isn't the case. The groups are now firmly polarized. The more well-to-do Blacks of the area flee to the suburbs or other Black areas. In South LA, there is a trend to either go to Crenshaw (a strongly middle class Black area), the San Fernando Valley (which is already being overrun with Mestizos) or Atlanta, Georgia.

The influx of Mestizos and their high birth rate, and the fleeing of Blacks, creates a Mestizo majority. At schools, the Black children are harrassed by them, and the Blacks in turn get proactive and start bullying lone Mestizos where they can find them. It all goes to hell from there.

Sometimes I feel that segregation isn't such a bad idea......
Segregation may make sense in that situation, but what happens when mestizos come into the black neighborhoods? I'm starting to see a lot of mestizos working at Kroger late at night cleaning the floors. Whether or not they're illegal, I don't know.

Sooner or later, black folks, collectively speaking, will have to take a stand. We already catch hell already with white people alone. The last thing we need is ANOTHER group of people hating/killing/discriminating us.
quote:
Originally posted by Huey:
Sooner or later, black folks, collectively speaking, will have to take a stand.


I've long maintained that illegal immigration hurts urban, working class Blacks more than any other group. In addition to taking over those living spaces (since they tend to be cheaper), they lower the wages and even eliminate jobs. For example, blue collar factory jobs used to be able to provide enough money to sustain a whole family. It was these factory jobs that lured rural Blacks into the cities, and enabled them to have a better of standard of living, buy houses etc... Now, these jobs pay crap b/c for every availale and qualified Black man, they can find 10 Mexicans do to it for next to nothing, anf often don't have to worry about health care, overtime, etc... Even Blacks in the technical and skilled trades are suffering due to lower wages; less Blacks consider careers as roofers, carpenters and the like b/c instead of providing a good living, these jobs are infested with Mestizos who are paid $3/hour.

The most sensible stance for the Black collective would be to actively oppose illegal immigration, but so many of us are stuck on the notion that "if you're nonWhite, you are a brother in the struggle". Horseshit, I say! The enemy of my enemy is NOT my friend! Like Asians, the Mestizos will identify with the "oppressed people of color" line only long enought to gain numbers, influence and a hekping hand, and then it's THEM doing the discrimination.
quote:
Originally posted by UppityNegress:


The most sensible stance for the Black collective would be to actively oppose illegal immigration, but so many of us are stuck on the notion that "if you're nonWhite, you are a brother in the struggle". Horseshit, I say! The enemy of my enemy is NOT my friend! Like Asians, the Mestizos will identify with the "oppressed people of color" line only long enought to gain numbers, influence and a hekping hand, and then it's THEM doing the discrimination.


UppityNegress, while your argument is logical it does not address the complexities of Black men and women being against immigration illegal or otherwise. We do not have to be anti-illegal or legal immigration if one simple thing happens; the enforcing of the laws that are already on the books that says companies will be fined if found hiring men and women who are not citizens of this country. So if any position should be taken by black men and women it should be that one!

Our problem is not illegal immigration; it is the consequences of illegal immigration that have laws in place to prevent them from happening. One of the ways in which one can look at the immigration issues with Mexican men and women migrating north for jobs is how this very phenomena was our reality some sixty years ago when Black folk were migrating from the south to the North for good factory jobs that paid well but as we moved north the salaries fail for those whites who were already in place because Black folk would work for cheaper wages mostly because of racism, and no company was paying us the same as white folk. Such is the case with Mexican men and women except they are entering the country illegally and the Companies that hire than are breaking the law also. So why go after the poor folk, go after the corporations and companies that are breaking the law. You can not stop people from entering this country illegally, it is impossible, there is not enough police to do so and the military is busy right now. So the only way to stop this problem is to stop them from having a reason to come here and that is by enforcing labor laws. Taking an anti-illegal immigration stand is useless and jingoistic and Black folk have no reason to be jingoistic!
quote:
Originally posted by Faheem:
quote:
Originally posted by UppityNegress:


The most sensible stance for the Black collective would be to actively oppose illegal immigration, but so many of us are stuck on the notion that "if you're nonWhite, you are a brother in the struggle". Horseshit, I say! The enemy of my enemy is NOT my friend! Like Asians, the Mestizos will identify with the "oppressed people of color" line only long enought to gain numbers, influence and a hekping hand, and then it's THEM doing the discrimination.


UppityNegress, while your argument is logical it does not address the complexities of Black men and women being against immigration illegal or otherwise. We do not have to be anti-illegal or legal immigration if one simple thing happens; the enforcing of the laws that are already on the books that says companies will be fined if found hiring men and women who are not citizens of this country. So if any position should be taken by black men and women it should be that one!

I agree. But I do not see how these two positions are mutually exclusive. They should both be done.
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
I agree. But I do not see how these two positions are mutually exclusive. They should both be done.


They are mutually exclusive because one is a jingoistic philosophy while the other (mine) is an economical philosophy that solves the problems we have with immigration that has absolutely nothing to do with people simply coming into this country (coming home) for whatever reason. Further more I take the position I have because America is stolen land from the ancestors of the very people you call illegal. I believe it to be hypocritical for a descendant of those who did not have a choice as to if they wanted to come here to say to the descendants of those who were robbed of their land, you are now an illegal immigrant if you enter the lands once owned and tilled by your ancestors that my ancestors tilled for free as enslaved men and women.

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