Bush vs. the Latin Kings

Anna Schneider

In another misguided effort to crack down on "terrorists," the White House and House of Representatives recently passed "The Gangbuster's Bill," which allots at least $250 million over the next 5 years to crack down on those nasty, tattooed, gun-toting, drug-pushing gang bangers that currently run rampant in the streets of America. The funding for "Ganbuster's" includes cutting money already going to youth and crime-prevention programs. Why is this bill necessary? Just ask Republican Congressman J.Randy Forbes, whose constituency includes super-dangerous, gang-infested towns like Petersburg and Suffolk Virginia: This legislation is part of an increasing federal effort to assist local law enforcement in targeting and federally prosecuting violent criminals who are associated with street gangs."Gangbuster's" has two main goals: GOAL #1 - Designates “High-intensity Gang Areas” and authorizes funds to combat gang activity in those areas and other areas of need GOAL #2 - Defines a gang crime in federal code and specifies punishments for gang-related crimes and other violent crimesOnce again, the Administration seems much more focused on warfare and punishment than actually preventing a problem. God forbid they assign someone who has real experience and an understanding of inner-city street life -- and I don't mean a cop -- to help prevent gangs. And giving millions of dollars to the police isn't going to help anybody but the prison-industrial complex. "Gangbuster's" makes it easier for cops to lock up young black and latino men from poor, inner-city neighborhoods that have been abandoned by the government for decades. This just adds to the millions like them who are already stuck with the cyclical stigma of being an ex-con.Ironically, while Bush promoted more violence, his better-half toured the country talking to ex-gang members and community groups about violence prevention. But even Laura's good Christian intentions have little pull in comparison to her husband's fears of the unknown encroaching on his security. For more on Laura, gang bangers and "Gangbuster's" check out Luis J. Rodriguez's cover story for the August issue of The Progressive. Since Rodriguez's story unfortunately is not on the web as of today, here's a little snippit to tide you over: While Mrs. Bush may be genuine in her efforts, her husband's anti-gang policies have a clear and linked purpose. The overall objective is to shrink the federal government's role in society to primarily military operations and complicated domestic security measures…Socially relevant programs, on the other hand, that provide treatment, jobs, education, arts and after school recreation will fall more and more into private hands.

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