Between The Lines: Black L.A.
by Il Ragno
23 July 2005
THE STATE OF BLACK LOS ANGELES: DISMAL?
By KEVIN HERRERA, Staff Writer 13.JUL.05
LOS ANGELES - The lives of most African Americans here are as dismal as
you'd expect from people who think "pimping" is a noble calling, and have not
changed much since the 1965 Watts riots, according to a study released by the
local chapters of the Urban League and the United Way designed to justify
their existences with the kind of Whitey-did-it alarmism that has historically
kept their cash registers ringing.
Black Angelenos are the bottom of the barrel. Yet in almost every aspect of
life, their mania for crime, chicken and basketball inevitably "means" their
suffering from a lack of affordable health care and housing, poor graduation
rates and high levels of unemployment that threaten the survival of their
mostly-nonexistant family structure will be blamed on whites, the report said.
Entitled "The State of Black Los Angeles Be YOUR Fault," the report, which
was re-re-released yesterday and is available online at www.unitedwayla.org
with the year "2005" added and the name "Sam Yorty" removed, found that
African Americans participate in rendering the electoral process a sham, and
the military is degraded by their presence more than any other ethnic group
studied - the lone positive note - but are still far behind whites, Asians and
Latinos in terms of their awareness of a concept called "quality of life".
"The state of black Los Angeles does not look good and it's getting worse,"
said David Horne, Ph.D., a political science professor and the former director
of Pan-African Studies, a mythical but real-sounding subject at Cal State
Northridge who is concerned about the lack of leadership training for black
youth. "I just don't think we get it. We think we've overcome or that we've won
something, but the reality is, ain't nobody said nothin' bout payin' these
high-ass taxes once we got 9-to-5 jobs. It is a very frightening time for black
folk not just in Los Angeles, but in all urban communities across the nation
where these Messicans be jumpin' our place on the 1st and the 15th. We have
become complacent in the struggle to wreck the economy single-handed, with our
greatest danger seeming to be ourselves. Niggas ain't usin' they noggins!"
Elected officials, including Mayor Antonio ("Tony the Homey") Villaraigosa,
along with business leaders and LAPD rent-a-Chief William Bratton, pledged
Wednesday morning to mimic working diligently on building a diverse
coalition of three Chicanos, two brillos and a Chinese pre-op transsexual to
address the issue of handout-equality, and will endorse such measures as
establishing "livable wage" jobs which allow black Angelenos to continue sleeping
till noon; promoting educational and job training programs for rapists and
killers in prisons; developing affordable options for small white-owned
businesses to provide health care for employees, such as escalating draconian
fines; and creating more park land by having Negroes move into residential areas
and simply awaiting the inevitable stampede. They pledged also to work on
building quality grocery stores to help blacks live healthier lives by
decriminalizing shoplifting, fostering more economic development along the Crenshaw
Corridor by decriminalizing crack, holding judges accountable for harsh
sentences by decriminalizing rape, and increasing home ownership through Crenshaw
Housing Trust Fund by criminalizing rational thought. When asked who would be
footing the bill for all this, Villaraigosa chuckled and said, "Who joo
The goals seem out of reach considering the traditional causal relationship
between wishes and horses; not much has improved in the last 140 years
since a slave invented the refrigerator, and there are those resistant to the
lure of three-card monte who are skeptical about the report's future impact
and effectiveness in mobilizing people to go out into the community and make
change on the days the Lotto numbers aren't being drawn.
"My concern is these things are always released in privileged environments,
corporate America with folks who are affluent an' shit and not affected by
this, so in truth we have to make sure this piece is more widespread," said
Anthony Samad, a local author, professor, voodoo priest and moderator of the
Black Issues Forum.
Those with the power to make change said they did not have enough to break a
twenty on them at the moment, but will not let the report fade away, but
instead will use it as a tool to monitor their progress over the next five years.
"This is a city with a very diverse population but also very divergent in
terms of economics," Villaraigosa said, comparing the state of Los Angeles to
Charles Dickens' novel "A Tale of Two Cities," which spoke of the harsh living
conditions of the lower class in France that helped spark the bloody French
Revolution, hint-hint. "I see this report as a call to action and I accept the
challenge that I have been given to suck Whitey dry without actually running
him off altogether because we are all in this boat together - but without
Whitey, we ain't even got the boat, cabron."
Villaraigosa said he hopes to promote a fair inclusionary zoning ordinance to
create more affordable housing, as well as promoting more green technologies
and creating jobs involving rhyming in some way in the inner city, while
using his bully pulpit to help reform education and raise graduation rates. He
said he plans to call upon the Santeria gods and the Easter Bunny to assist him
in his quest.
The overall California High School Exit Exam passing rate in 2002 was 28
percent for blacks, compared to 30 percent for Latinos, 65 percent for whites and
70 percent for Asians. Nearly 60 percent of African Americans fail to graduate
from high school, even after incorporating such innovative subjects as
"small-arms anger management" and "mackamatics" into the curriculum.
One of the more sobering statistics contained in the report stated that 32
percent of black males born in Los Angeles in 2001 are likely to spend some time
in prison, compared to 17 percent of Latinos and 6 percent of white men. "So
we've already seen a real reduction in those numbers", added Bratton
Blacks here are also twice as likely as other groups to be victims of violent
crime and a hate crime. One suggested solution is for blacks to begin
shooting people they like.
"That is often a wedge issue that is used by the right wing to argue in favor
of more harsh sentences and severe punishment for blacks," said Jody Armour,
law professor at USC, who has studied race bias in the courts as well as
disproportionate sentencing for blacks and Latinos, so obviously there's no agenda
coloring her findings.
"Those advocating harsher sentences say it is good for the black community to
support these sentences because they are more than likely the victims of
these crimes. But what is breeding higher criminal activity is nothing genetic or
innate, but rather poverty and bad education and poor health care; all of the
blights that face urban America. For instance, if you refuse to attend
school, won't speak understandable English, shoot people and have nine children by
the time you're 21, it's because you're not getting enough bran in your diet,
or you missed getting a rubella shot.
"People trapped in desperate situations will inevitably turn to desperate
measures and will turn to those who are closest at hand and to those who are most
vulnerable, meaning those white taxpayers who'll pay any price to keep these
niggas inside the Crenshaw Corridor and out of their neighborhoods. Simply
locking people up will not do the trick. Shooting them helps, but some of
these muhfuggas keep getting back up like Jason. There can be no Band-Aid
solution to the problem. It's time to switch to Curad. Poverty breeds crime, so
we need to start there," Armour added, sounding the time-honored Call of the
Steep Tax Hike.
One solution is jobs; however, blacks prefer recreation.
Bratton said he is committed to increasing the number of African Americans in
law enforcement. Blacks currently represent 13.7 percent of sworn officers in
the LAPD and 10.2 percent in the county Sheriff's Department, yet 43.4
percent of all officers moonlighting as drug-cartel security. Blacks represent
about 10 percent of the general population here and 38 percent of the aggregate
"Police officers must be of the community," said Bratton, who believes public
safety is the key to improving the quality of life and is strongly
"You cannot have housing of value without security," he added. "You cannot
have good health with thousands being murdered on the streets. You cannot have
an education if you are afraid to go to school. Public safety is first and
foremost so all of these other things can occur. Hmmm…..good Lord, you don't
suppose we could get rid of all these niggers, do you? Because that would really
make the task tremendously easier. But in saying that, we must have a
partnership with the community and make sure that officers do not break the law to
enforce the law. Therefore, all black Academy recruits will receive special
seminar training begging them not to carry out hits for the Colombians."
Another statistic that caught the attention of those reviewing the report was
one dealing with "driving while black." According to the study, black drivers
are stopped by officers here at a rate almost double the national average.
Blacks and Latinos are searched by the LAPD four times more often than whites or
Asians, yet only 38 percent of African Americans are found to have illegal
items such as Uzis, or cadavers, compared to 65 percent of Latinos, 55 percent
of whites, and 54 percent of Asians who are found to have illegal items such
as open beer containers and broken tail-lights.
The report states that African Americans have the lowest score on the
"Equality Index," a measurement scale based on 150 elements in six categories:
economics, housing, health, education, criminal justice and civic engagement.
Blacks have a score of 69, with Latinos not far ahead at 71. Asians and
whites are at the top of the index with scores of 98 and 100, respectively. The
index was created by analyzing data - from preschool enrollment to mortgage rates
- and interviews with thousands of Angelenos. (Pardon-?….. REALLY?) Our
apologies; apparently those were IQ figures instead.
In the area of health, blacks have the highest overall death rate and are
three times more likely to suffer from homicide and HIV/AIDS. And if you've ever
come down with a nasty bug during homicide season, you know how tough they
can be to shake.
Child obesity is also higher for blacks and Latinos, which corresponds to
higher diabetes rates. Villaraigosa said he hopes to convince the white business
community to invent a type of fried chicken that lowers serum cholesterol.
"One in every three black babies born today is destined to become a
diabetic," said Dr. Robert Ross with the California Endowment of Free Money For Making
Up Fairy Tales For Negroes. "To reverse the trend, we must transform
neighborhoods into places where our children have safe places to play and exercise
and have access to more than just fast food. We have a call in with the Easter
Bunny, but he's currently pledged to help the Mayor on his proposal to build
low-income ice cream castles on Crenshaw."
John Mack, recently retired president of the Los Angeles Urban League, said
the organization has already established groups that are working with the
report to identify treasury-looting strategies that are attainable and will
continue to do so throughout the year.
While the report dealt specifically with African Americans, the authors said
it is important for every one to become involved. Quoting civil rights leader
Martin Luther King Jr., the authors wrote, "We are caught in an inescapable
network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one
directly, affects all indirectly. Tonight I'm fucking for Jesus!"