Between The Lines: Black L.A.

by Il Ragno

23 July 2005

[Original here.]


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 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 theenk, ese?"

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 hopefully.

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 whining.

"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 anti-evil.

"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!"


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