Out here in Northern California we have a steadily growing gang problem. I honestly don't know why. I mean, I do know why but I don't see why the cycle of violence needs to continue. See, out here we have a ton of migrant workers due to our agriculutral areas and they come up from Mexico and L.A. to work. In my personal opinion and from having been around tons of Hispanic families, the majority of them are hard working, genuine and friendly people. But there's always some bad apples in every demographic.
Now, the gang problem in L.A. has spawned 2 distinctive groups to do battle over drugs and guns and whatever else gangs dally in. I guess in bigger cities and areas, it's all about making money and providing protection for their neighborhoods. However, if you're going to get out of that area and make a better life for yourself, why bring the gang problem with you? This is especially true in the teeny tiny town where I work, but also true for Petaluma. Both of which are becoming infiltrated with gangs. I think some of the "gangs" are poser kids who are trying to look cool and act the part, but I also think there are lots of relatives within these relocated people that are/were gang members and they bring it with them.
**DISCLAIMER** Yes, I know now all gang members are Hispanic or black. But I also know a good majority of the gang members we're seeing up here are Hispanic. So, there. **End Disclaimer**
Anyway, we've been seeing a steady rise in "gang" activity around here for months (if not years) and the other night on the news, I saw a quick shot of a shopping center in Petaluma and the newscaster mentioned that three people were beaten there. Freaky! This was Bay Area news too, not podunk local news. I somehow missed the story and have been waiting on the local paper to run something on it and today, they did:
Read it here.
If you don't feel like reading it, the basic scoop is, some gang members beat up three Staples employees who were on a break because the Staples employees were wearing red. No, I'm not kidding. Three Staples employees were wearing their red Staples work shirts and got beat up for it.
Like I said, I understand why gangs are around in big cities and I get that alot of times, they become family. But I guarantee "real gangs" in big cities do not beat up Staples or Target employees because they're wearing their work shirts. They might beat up Stples employees who are also gang members, but that's not the point. It just seems really...silly. And wrong too, but mostly silly. If you really want to be in a gang and beat up your sworn enemy gang, that's fine. I hope you all kill each other off and we don't have to worry about you. But c'mon, beating up people who are unlucky enough to have to work at Staples? That's just doing it wrong. Do McDonalds employees get beaten up by the gang that claims red because their uniforms are blue? I guess I just wish gang members could be more considerate in terms of who they beat up. Sometimes, a shirt is just a shirt.