April 6, 2008

It's all relative

Here's the opening of my new VDARE.com column:

Back in 2006, I wrote in VDARE.com:

Sam Quinones' July 28 article—6 + 4 = 1 Tenuous Existence: An illegal immigrant couple with six children were already living in poverty. Then the quadruplets arrived. They're still in a daze—just might be the best in the rather dull history of the Los Angeles Times.”

Now, Quinones has a new article in the L.A. Times—A familial mean street: Networks of relatives have bred crime on once-peaceful Drew Street, police say—that's worthy of comparison. Once again, Quinones demonstrates that you can't understand immigration, crime, poverty, or the world in general without thinking hard about extended family ties. Who is related to whom?

In Southern California, wealthy people live in or near the hills, while poor people live on the endless flat lands. So it was a matter of some surprise to many Angelenos last February 21 when a running gun battle between cops and gangbangers armed in a style worthy of a big budget action movie broke out just north of Downtown LA between Dodger Stadium and the beautiful Forest Lawn cemetery.

Quinones explains the extended family relations that have made Glassell Park, despite its seemingly prime location, one of the smallest but nastiest slums in America. He focuses on "Mama" Leon, the mother of a gang-banger who was killed by cops in February for firing his AK-47 automatic rifle at them:

"An illegal immigrant and mother of 13, [Maria] Leon has a lengthy arrest record and three convictions for drug-related crimes—for which she's served no prison time, according to court documents. …

"Police said Leon, 44, and her extended family were deeply involved in the drug trade that has made Drew Street among L.A.'s most notorious."

As I've long argued, the most overlooked factor in better understanding a host of hot-button issues, such as race, crime, immigration, even the chaos in Iraq, are family ties. Who one's relatives are turns out to have endless ramifications that are mostly ignored by the media.

Those of us who come from law-abiding backgrounds in which nuclear families get together with their extended family relatives mostly just on holidays have a hard time imagining ourselves in situations where we can't call 911, where we've done something so wrong that the only people we can turn to are our mafia of relatives.

Still, people in those situations create most of the news in this world. Quinones is one of the few reporters who gets it:

"The Leons—and members of several other immigrant families on Drew Street whom authorities have charged with criminal acts—hail from the town of Tlalchapa in the state of Guerrero, which has a reputation as one of Mexico's most violent regions. Police estimate that dozens of members of these extended families belong to the Avenues gang."

[More]

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

15 comments:

Brent Lane said...

No, Steve, this part just cannot be true:

The Leons—and members of several other immigrant families on Drew Street whom authorities have charged with criminal acts—hail from the town of Tlalchapa in the state of Guerrero, which has a reputation as one of Mexico's most violent regions. "

I mean, c'mon, they're MEXICANS.. Hard-working, law-abiding, industrious. And they're ALL the same, all 10-million plus of them.

At least that's the rationalization I am hearing from our Presidential candidates. They wouldn't be making that up, would they?

rob said...

Ms. Leon is a great example of the eugenic benefit of sending women, even or especially mothers, to prison. A woman's reproductive career is shorter than a man's.

Nothing would reduce the size of the next generations criminal element like few million babymammas in prison.

testing99 said...

Steve, others have covered this in depth as well, to their credit.

Stanley Kurz here reviews "Culture and Conflict in the Middle East" by Philip Salzman. Salzman's main point is that tribes and tribal orientation are the bedrock of most non-European peoples and certainly the ME. That tribal loyalties and protection trump everything else, and that in a honor society, criminal activity takes the place of warfare when warfare is outlawed.

The danger is part of the attraction.

Which makes sense considering the Leons. The smart gangsters do not engage in gun battles with the police. There's no upside in that.

The same observations that Salzman makes about the ME: no government to speak of, what there is really is just a bigger more powerful tribe capturing a power center, tribe beats being an isolated schmoe, "honor" and aggression and intimidation are used to ward off larger conflicts, your "uber-neocon" attitudes towards pre-emption make sense in such an environment ...

They apply in the same way to Mexico, Columbia, Venezuela, most of Latin America (excepting perhaps Argentina and it's huge European immigrant population that mixed alot).

Tribes, tribes, tribes, it's always tribes. They can be "stable" in that they can persist a long time, but when they run up against superior resource mobilization they generally get wiped out one way or another. Chechens thought they'd have their way, and for a while they did with Russian forces in Grozny. Putin simply leveled Grozny, imposed a blockade/siege against the Chehcens, and used rival tribes to rule and kill. That was when Russia was weaker than today.

I bet this insane lawlessness will continue, until we get another Karen Toshima incident, Mayor Tony is tossed out by business interests afraid of catastrophic losses (who will go to Third Street Promenade, Staples Center, Beverly Center etc if bullets are flying?) Then we will see the LAPD "unleashed" with no pesky PC stuff.

But Steve you are not alone. Kurz has been covering tribes like crazy. I'm looking forward to reading his book on English-Pakistani tribes and how they are reverse Colonialism.

mnuez said...

Interesting stuff Steve. For the record it was actually an article that you'd written relating to relatives that first had me google you quite a while back. I wrote you at the time to thank you for the added insight and that appreciation stands.

Cheers mate,

mnuez



P.S. I'd be delinquent in my role on this blog if I didn't point out the rarely-spoken truth (in these quarters and others) that "It's the discrepancy, Stupid". When there's a really really really big gap between the Haves and the Have-Nots and that gap is shoved in everyone's faces on a very regular basis (intermingling of the groups, pop-culture, etc.) then you'a gonna have you some violence!

It's been true throughout history, it's true in most nations in the world today (well, "all", really - in the more repressive regimes they don't have this problem but neither do they have Have-Nots fully and constantly aware of the splendorous lives of the Haves) and it's true in practically every state in the Union (just look at crime levels relative to income gaps for the top and bottom 20%).

testing99 said...

mnuez that's a load of baloney. The Have-nots don't have Mercedes and Porsches that is true. But the are not starving either. The biggest problem? Obesity! The have-nots have lots of gold jewelry (obtained through criminal activity+welfare), much entertainment (DVDs are so cheap they are sold in supermarkets, as are the players), essentially better than what the Pharoahs, Kings of Europe, and Sultans had.

The only difference between have-nots and haves is the size of living quarters. Everyone has electricity and running water.

No, the have-nots are simply criminal thugs from a deeply tribal background where tribal manliness is proved by shooting someone (like a 14 year old girl or grandmother) at random. Classic tribal behavior btw.

Your warmed over marxist claptrap is just claptrap. The violence is the whole point. They like it.

Steve, the background to Maxine Waters was blaming "Whitey" for South Central's gun violence. The gun shop did not sell to locals, sensibly, since probably none of them can pass the mandatory background checks in California.

The violence that plagues South Central is fueled by young men itching to kill (mostly fellow Blacks or rivals like Latinos) along with a good old dose of ethnic cleansing from Latinos. Without guns it would be simply machetes and knives. The guns don't come from legal purchases but smuggling up from Mexico and elsewhere. Makarovs are preferred because they are cheap and concealable and reliable. Mikhail Markasev killed Ennis Cosby with that gun. Or AK-47s (which are not legal for sale in California or possession for all practical purposes).

Maxine Waters was playing "blame Whitey" again for the failure to confront the costs of Black LA's desire for tribal thuggery and violence. As usual the stupid media eats it up.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

I'm a young criminal defense attorney and here's what I've noticed about crime:

There are three types of defendants:

1) Idiots: These are not bad people. They just did something dumb and got caught. They get a slap on th wrist and never do anything again.

2) Career criminals: They are going to commit crimes no matter what people do. They have a long record so they usually get sent to prison for long stretches.

3) Gang members: These people are not inherently evil. They're products of their environment. They join a gang because otherwise they'll be a target of violence. The gang makes them commit crimes to perpetually prove their commitment. No one ever testifies against them so their jail stays are shorter than they should be. Even if they go to jail, the gang just becomes a more important part of their life.

We have to find a way to destroy these gangs? How were the Irish and Italian gangs of the early 20th century destroyed?

I would propose putting GPS collars on the parolees (they're all parolees) just like we do with sex offenders. That way we can keep them from congregating and/or socializing.

Drawbacks said...

The only thing Shmuley's done wrong was to call his book Kosher Sex when The Oy of Sex would have been a far better title.

Peter said...

36-year-old Marcos Salas and his 2-year-old granddaughter

Hmmmmm ....

David Davenport said...

It's been true throughout history, it's true in most nations in the world today (well, "all", really - in the more repressive regimes they don't have this problem but neither do they have Have-Nots fully and constantly aware of the splendorous lives of the Haves) and it's true in practically every state in the Union (just look at crime levels relative to income gaps for the top and bottom 20%)....

So let's solve the problem, and deport all the dusky-hued malcontents.

poor richard said...

Right. People join gangs because they like the "band of brothers" ethic and they like violence.

The age old solution is to enlist these young men in armies to benefit society.

The social block to this in America is the insistence on making everyone sit in classrooms until they are 18. That doesn't work for cultures where people start sex at age 10-12 (blacks) and/or are expected to get married and work to support their family by 15 (hispanics).

Truth said...

"Maxine Waters was playing "blame Whitey" again for the failure to confront the costs of Black LA's desire for tribal thuggery and violence. As usual the stupid media eats it up."

actually, no. This area of Los Angeles is practically 100% Hispanic.

In addition, all this blacks vs. Hispanics stuff is highly overrated. In LA blacks kills blacks (generally speaking) and Hispanics kill Hispanics.
As a matter of fact MS-13 is an acronym that basicly means "immigrant Salvadorian guerillas" It was formed after the re-settlement of El Salvadorians from their civil war in the early 80s. They formed the gang to avoid shakedowns, murders and kidnappings from the Mexican mafia. In LA Salvadorians and Mexicans on the street level get along like the Crips and the Bloods.

The 13 is gang terminology for "born in another country. Us born Hispanic gangs end with 12

Anonymous said...

“Who one's relatives are turns out to have endless ramifications that are mostly ignored by the media…Quinones is one of the few reporters who gets it”

He may be one of the few reporters who gets it, but the average Joe got it, a long time ago. I remember as a kid in the 70’s, watching a Dean Martin “roast”, where two of the guests were Jimmy Walker (of the execrable sit com “Good Times”), and a comedian whom I think was Nipsey Russell. He was doing his monologue, and he made some jokes about Walker. Then he said something like, “I love you, Jimmy, just keep your cousins away from my hubcaps.”

Archimedes said...

What US-based Hispanic gangs use 12?
As far as I know, 13 stands for Sureno (refers to Southern California), which in theory refers to the Mexican Mafia (M being the 13th letter of the alphabet). Sureno gangs are more likely to be dominated by recent immigrants.
Norteno (the name refers to Northern California) gangs, which include more American-born Hispanics than Surenos, use 14 (N as in Norteno or "Nuestra Familia" the prison rival of the Mexican Mafia.)

Anonymous said...

No amigos, the black-hispanic conflict is not overstated. I knew that the day I saw a little 5-foot eemmigrant spit in a 6-foot+ hulking black guy's face and call him a N-word. It was all in the tone of voice, mayne.

By the way, even these "immigrant" gangs are totally American in their culture. Do some YouTube searches for things like "Mara Salvatrucha" or "MS-13" and check out the dumbasses advertising themselves. They are all about American pop culture, complete with Calvin & Hobbes cartoons.

David Davenport said...

I would propose putting GPS collars on the parolees (they're all parolees) just like we do with sex offenders. That way we can keep them from congregating and/or socializing.

Wouldn't it be simpler, more cost effective, and safer for real Americans to deport los paroleestas and keep them out of the US permanently?

Oh, I see, less lawyer business for US attorneys that way.