I was reading a story about a young 16-year old kid who fell victim to a drive-by shooting involving three gang members. This kid, Danny Saavedra, was doing nothing more than simply playing near his house and living life to the fullest.
The story I read was on the sentencing of two of his three killers. The third gangbanger was not in court since he had been killed weeks earlier by a rival gangbanger (resulting in the state of California saving some 50 thousand dollars a year on prison expenses). Anyways, it seemed that there was a strong group of supporters rallying in front of the courthouse holding the sentencing.
I thought how nice it was to see strangers rallying in support of the Saavedra family until I had to go back and re-read a couple of lines. It turned out that these group of supporters were actually at the courthouse in support of the two gangbangers involved in the death of 16-year old Danny. These supporters knew these two losers were involved in the death of young Danny but yet were crying foul to their sentencing....50 years apiece.
Are you kidding me?
As you read this story, the Saavedra family right now is probably looking through old and recent photos of their Danny. The Saavedra family also is refusing to admit the fact that they will never get to see him graduate from high school, attend college, and possibly get married and have children and yet there are a group of idiots out there bending over backwards in hopes of getting Danny's killers out of prison.
And who are these idiots? The Youth Justice Coalition, based in Inglewood.
I decided to visit their website and contact Kim McGill, the lady mentioned in the LA Times article I read and the same individual angered over the sentencings. I asked her to respond to if she would have came to the defense of these two losers had the 16-year victim been her niece or nephew, younger sibling, grandkid, or even her own child. My question was emailed to her on early Sunday morning, January 10th and as of January 14th, the day I sent this story in for online publication, she had yet to respond.
Although I was angered by the support of these pro-criminal rights idiots, I was aware of the such past history of people like these, especially in the Latino communities that I have associated with and had once called my neighborhood. Let's look back at some infamous moments of when many, including Latinos, came out in support of the bad guys, as if they were the real victims.......
FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHTS OF PRISONERS....OR ONLY JUST FOR ONE PRISONER?
One day I was in my car heading home when I accidently came across 90.7, a mostly talk radio station I always considered to be both anti-American and pro-criminal rights. I had to leave it on this station due to an interview that caught my attention. The radio show had a guest by the name of Cassandra Gonzalez. Ms Gonzalez was speaking on behalf of an organization whose job it was to defend three-strikes prisoners the organization felt were being given far too tough sentences even though these prisoners, as California residents, knew what was going to happen once they decided to willingly commit a first, second, and third strike crime. Just like the idiots who defended the killers of 16-year old Danny Saavedra, Ms Gonzalez lashed at the state, saying how millions of tax dollars are wrongfully being wasted each year on prisons.
Now to all you siding with her comment on tax dollars wasted on prisons, answer this....why is it that the same people who complain about the millions of tax dollars spent on prisoners each year are likely the same ones who refuse to admit that the same state is also wasting the same amount of tax dollars on welfare checks, food stamps, and WIC coupons for not only illegal immigrants but for those that even God knows are healthy and able enough to go out and get a job? Don't deny the fact that I am right and don't cry racism either! What people like Ms. Gonzalez and those representing the Youth Justice Coalition are doing is nothing more than giving a lame excuse to why even the worst prisoners should be set free.
So anyways, I contacted Ms Gonzalez and grilled her with one question after another. I told her to think about the fear crime victims must now live in when walking alone in public or when leaving their car or house unattended. I told her to remember the large percentage of those released from prison who quickly end up back in it. I also mentioned how she needed to think about the millions of dollars both the average citizen and victims of crimes have to spend each year on security alarms, higher auto and home insurance costs, replacing damaged items (broken windows, doors, locks, etc.), and possible counseling costs, sometimes resulting in time away from work.
And what about the increased trash fees LA residents have to pay in order to put more cops on the streets thanks in part to the bad guys? Of course, Ms Gonzalez was too much of an idiot where she told me in response that I needed medical help and how she wished me luck. She never responded to any of my questions.
Just a few weeks following our chat, I found a story on her online where she mentioned how the father of her child was some gangbanger doing well-deserved time for armed robbery. Did she really think I would never find this out? Funny how she didn't mention this to both me and the host of the radio talk show. Is it me or do most criminal rights supporters consist of those whose loved ones are currently doing well deserved time in prison?
Note.....Ms Gonzalez' support of criminals got her featured in a past issue of Tu Ciudad, a magazine which had catered to Latinos in Los Angeles before getting the ax last year. This same pro-criminal rights magazine was the same magazine that featured stories that glamorized the poetic talents of a gangbanger involved in the murder of a university-bound Cathedral High School student trying to break up a house party fight the gangbanger crashed, as well as a story that sympathized an individual responsible for the murder of an LAPD officer.
THE NEAR RIOT ON EASTLAKE AVENUE.
Around 1994 or 1995, a incident took place in the Lincoln Heights area where many witnessing it thought it would be a Latino version of the Rodney King aftermath. It seemed that a lady had dialed 911, claiming she saw a young 14 or 15 year old showing off a gun to his buddies. Right now, someone reading this is going to come to the defense of this punk, claiming that maybe he came from a broken home or that his buddies were his only family. So anyways, the cops show up to the scene and when approaching the punk and his friends, the punk makes the biggest mistake of his life by reaching in for his gun.
As a result, one of the cops shoots the punk in self-defense, killing him instantly. Now it doesn't take a genius to realize that if a punk is reaching in for a gun while a cop is approaching him, it is likely the punk is intending on gunning down the cop. Though I do feel that there are still both bad and arrogant cops within the LAPD, this cop deserves support. Let's remember two things....1) this cop has a family he or she hopes to see at the end of each working day and 2) WHAT THE HELL WAS THIS PUNK DOING WITH A GUN IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Now to all you dummies out there who believe that maybe the punk came from a broken home, guess who spoke out at the press conference the next day? His parents, uncle, and sibling. They all claimed he was a good kid who NEVER did anything wrong. Of course, you can't have a press conference like this without the money-hungry, conscience-free, civil-rights lawyer who demanded the cop be charged with murder. Unfortunately for the lawyer, since both the cop and punk were Latinos, the race card couldn't work.
Did I mention that tests later revealed that cocaine was found in this punk's system? The cop's actions would be later considered "justified". Do I feel this punk got what he deserved? Of course not! No one should have to bury their kid but if you're reaching in for a gun while being approached by a cop, you are just minutes away from seeing your maker. To those still defending this punk, I ask you the following.....what if there had never been a 911 call and just days later, this punk ended up killing a loved one of yours in a robbery gone bad? That's what I thought!
GETTING KILLED JUST FOR MAKING A WRONG TURN.
Unlike the Eastlake avenue incident, the following 1995 incident would end up getting nationwide attention (then-President Bill Clinton would even comment on this incident). It seemed that a family leaving a kid's birthday party late one night somewhere in the Cypress Park area was having trouble finding their way out of the neighborhood. They accidently made a wrong turn and headed into an alley occupied by Latino gangbangers.
The gangbangers, thinking it was a rival gang, fired at the family car and as a result, 3-year old Stephanie Kuhen was dead. Unlike 16-year old Danny Saavedra, little Stephanie never got the chance to know what it was like to make friends in kindergarden.
Following this horrific killing, several arrests of these gangbangers would be made. Like the family of the punk killed on Eastlike avenue, the parents of those gangbanging child killers arrested came to the rescue, claiming their kids were good kids who never did anything wrong. Many of us do remember this story, but not all remember what happened on the day of the sentencing. It seemed that when the sister of one of the child killers tearfully told the judge her brother was innocent, not one of those killers standing trial (including her brother) gave a face similar to one who would have had remorse.
Following the sister's words, an older relative spoke up (not sure if it was an aunt or grandmother of one of the killers). This stupid lady had the nerves of blaming the dead kid's family for her death, claiming that her family should have never been in that area so late at night. The lawyer representing the gangbangers even blamed the driver of the vehicle the kid was in, claiming he knew he wasn't lost and that he was actually looking for drugs to buy (this was used simply because of the driver's past history with the law). All the child killers were given life.
What the above stories and many other related stories have in common is that many Latinos (but not all) seem to go out of their way to "protect" rather than "prevent" when it comes to their own choosing to take the wrong road in life. History shows that these Latinos always seem to want to either claim "innocence" towards their guilty loved ones or blame everyone except themselves.
Take another incident for example that took place some 20 years ago in a San Pedro supermarket parking lot. Two Latino gangbangers ended up killing two Japanese exchange students in a carjacking gone bad. Unlike both the Eastlake avenue and Cypress Park shootings, this killing got worldwide attention and was the top story for days in Japan. When the media approached the parents of one of the twp gangbangers, the mother had the nerves of blaming the police for her son's actions. Yeah, you heard me.....that's parents, with an "S".
Though I would be a fool to say that no one comes from a broken home, one would be an even bigger fool to say that all who take the wrong road in life do it because of a broken home. It is Latinos like Ms. Gonzalez who try to sucker all of society into believing this. The Eastlake avenue, Cypress Park, and San Pedro incidents are examples of how this has been proven false.
It is poor, irresponsible parenting at home and not a broken home that is responsible for these problems (which we sadly see a lot in Latino communities). Comedian George Lopez even told his audiences at his shows that as Latinos we need to make sure our kids do better than us. Now why would he bring up a serious comment during a evening of laughter? Maybe because he and his audiences know the problems of poor parenting among most Latino parents. Bet you wouldn't tell George Lopez off because of this comment.
I think I speak for many Latinos when I say that in my life, I have been associated with friends whose fathers were never part of their lives. I speak for many Latinos when I say that in my life, I have been associated with friends whose fathers died before they hit their teens. And I even speak for Latinos when I say that in my life, I have been associated with friends whose fathers died before they were born. Like many out there, these individuals all grew up in the same neighborhoods like mine, infested with crime and Latino gangs and yet they all grew up to become great human beings. Sadly, the last time I told someone this during an online chat regarding Latinos taking the wrong road in life, they called me a liar.
May I mention just one more person in case anyone reading this also believes I am lying.....there was this one individual that once grew up in a rough neighborhood, lost her father while still a kid, had a mom she never saw much since the mom was working two jobs and yet this person was still able to take the right road in life. I think she now works somewhere in the Washington DC area. She is a Latina by the name of Sonia Sotomayor.
I can just imagine the responses....."She don't count", or "That was long time ago", or "She was lucky".
One other thing I do recall Ms Gonzalez telling me was that I should not be in support of these heavy 3-strike prison sentences because one day someone from my family may fall victim to a similar sentence. This suggestion was nothing more than pure stupidity....as if at least one member of every Latino family will eventually be sentenced to prison sometime in their lifetime. She might as well say that every Latino family will one day have at least one family member abducted by aliens from Mars.
Speaking of George Lopez telling Latinos they need to tell their kids to do better than them....remember the Alhambra High School controversy involving the 4.0 Asian student? This Asian student was not only was a student council member but was one of the smartest in the school who had already been accepted to a big name university.
The student decided to write a story in the school paper that talked about the differences between the Asian students and the Latino students. It seemed that this student believed that the reason why Asian students did better than Latino students in school was because Latino parents don't do enough to teach their kids about the importance of taking the right road in life and the importance of an education.
Though most of the Latinos associated with Alhambra High School cried racism, no one seemed to challenge the Asian student's comments. Since statistics did show the Asian students did better than the Latino students and since this Asian student had no history of racism, nothing was done to him as a result. This story (published in the Pasadena Star) would receive the support from both me and my sister, a full-blooded Latina with a Master's degree from USC (and no, we are not married to Asians). Though many Latinos probably won't admit it, many were probably in support of this Asian student's story.
By now, I sound like a very bad man who many think jail time is my best solution. Believe it or not, I do believe in alternatives.
Would I suggest the release of prisoners? ARE YOU NUTS? AFTER WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING?
Would I recommend a job training program? Sure, but let's face the truth....unless you work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, getting a job doesn't get you out of trouble or out of a gang (but many want you to believe that). A recent LA Times story recently profiled a man who even though has a job as a foreman and is happily married with a kid on the way, he still shows 100% loyalty for the infamous and notorious Latino gang he has been associated with forever. The gang tattoos on this man proves it.
Would educating in the classrooms solve the problem? I think I speak for far too many when I say that teaching students about the dangers of drugs, gangs, drinking and driving, and driving while using a cell phone, has never been proven to work (though school districts and politicians, known for scratching each other's backs, would likely refuse to agree with me).
So what is my alternative? The answer....punishing the parents.
Anyone knows that criminals and gangbangers start out young, which is why it is important for at least one parent to take time to teach their kids about respecting the law, people, and people's property while still young. But as you have already noticed by reading this story, parents are not doing it. Therefore, they should pay the price.
I have always believed that if a minor commits a crime, whether it is shoplifting, vandalism, graffiti, or some type of gang-related activity, that minor and at least one of his or her parents should be forced to get up at 6 am on a Sunday morning and spend the next 6 to 8 hours picking up trash or painting over graffitied walls. Everyone would get punished equally, regardless of what race they are, what neighborhood they live in, or how much their annual income is. No one pays their way out of it. You come up with this idea and I guarantee that not only would the number of minors committing crimes drop to an all time low but the number of parents talking to their kids about respect and about the importance of taking the right road in life would skyrocket to an all time high.
You noticed I never included jail time in my idea?
Now on sad note, no politician would ever approve of this idea. Why not? Two reasons.....fear of losing votes from these same parents and because politicians are pure cowards when it comes to legal threats from civil rights groups who would call this idea "unconstitutional".
So this is when stiff jail time becomes to only way of bringing justice to both law abiding citizens and victims of crimes.
As I end this story, I want all to be reminded that this story is not about racism nor about being ashamed of my race. This story is about speaking the truth and reminding all about the dark cloud that many continue to keep over the Latino community. I do stand by everything you have read. All incidents mentioned did take place and are as accurate as can be. To those who ask why I did not mention much on African-American criminals or gangbangers, it is because that writing duty belongs to a law-abiding African-Americans.
And to those who plan on responding back with criticism, may I make a challenge to you......when responding back, please also give me your thoughts on why the punk killed on Eastlake avenue would be using a gun in the first place and please give me your thoughts on the murders of both 16-year old Danny Saavedra and 3-year old Stephanie Kuen, two individuals who were not able to live as long as you!!!
NEWSFLASH..........CASSANDRA GONZALEZ AND THE YOUTH JUSTICE COALITION NEED YOUR HELP!!!!
Three arrests have been made in the shooting death of 6-year old Jesse Valencia, the little boy shot to death while playing in front of his Azusa home. Little Jessie, who like little Danny and Stephanie, will also not be able to know what it will be like to graduate from high school, go to college, get married, and have kids of his or her own. Little Jessie would end up dying in his mother's arms.
Three young Latinos, a 19, 20, and 21 year old are likely to be hit with murder charges and they need our help! Got no conscience? No problem! Have a loved one in prison? Always a plus! Law abiding citizens need not apply! Contact Cassandra Gonzalez or the Youth Justice Coalition a.s.a.p. but please....no anti-criminal rights questions (we won't answer them). Let's bring justice for these three killers by keeping them out of prison!