Contrary to popular belief the gang violence in Los Angeles County between groups of different races is more gruesome and vicious than the violence being carried out by gangs of the same ethnic background.
The majority of this struggle is taking place between black and Hispanic gangs. There are several reasons why the conflict between gangs of different races is more violent than the tradition interracial wars, such as the struggle for the same drug territory, as well as a strong sense of nationalism. Los Angeles is the most diverse city in the United States and many gangs participate in the same activities, meaning the likelihood of them crossing paths is pretty high.
This program by Gangland “Race Wars” gives us a great look inside the reasons why the conflict started between the Hispanic gangs and the African American gangs. The O.G. or original gangsters were not drug dealers, their business was protecting the neighborhood and the people in the neighborhood, until the emergence of wide spread cocaine use, which was very profitable creating rivalry’s for bragging rights and clientele. The gang members saw an opportunity to make money by becoming drug dealers, and when there is competition of the drug trade violence is inevitable. Racial territory was marked off on the residential neighborhood streets of Los Angeles, with the threat that if the lines were crossed the person crossing them was entering a life-threatening situation. Prison rivalries and conflicts also play a huge roll in the war on the streets. Most of the highest-ranking members in criminal organizations are imprisoned, but still manage to order murders and give instructions to members carrying out the day-to-day operations. The rule is in prison even if someone is your enemy on the outside if they are of the same race as you there is an unspoken agreement to call a truce until you return to the streets.
Kecho619. “Gangland – Race Wars.” YouTube. YouTube, 21 Nov. 2011. Web. 03 Oct. 2012. .