top-rated free essay

Made In America

By kburford93 Oct 23, 2013 1585 Words
Made in America
The Movie, Crips and Bloods: Made in America, is a documentary that informs people outside of the projects of LA, just what life looks like from an insider’s perspective. Many people don’t understand gangs and what it is that started the huge uprising of them. Growing up in the projects and being turned away from many youth groups took a large psychological toll on many of the kids growing up in LA in the 60’s. Instead of Boy Scouts, and other youth groups, the youth turned to making groups that eventually resulted in gangs. Not only were they turned away from youth groups but also unfairly treated by authority, which triggered African Americans to search for more of a sense of belonging. Gangs started small and seemingly harmless until the Bloods and Crips came into the picture. These two gangs being the first to turn violent with each other started a cycle of violence that may never be broken. The major things Peralta revealed to the viewers of this movie was that from all the unfair treatment coming from authority it lead to a cycle of violence that took a large psychological toll on the youth who were involved in these gangs. Other outside sources bring in more information that furthers what Peralta claims by revealing examples of violence, inequality, and an unbreakable cycle. Those living in the projects, either gang affiliated or not, often received unfair treatment from authority. In the article released in 1988 in the New York Times called “Gang Violence Shocks Los Angeles,” written by Robert Reinhold, he discusses the murder of the twenty-seven year old Karen Toshima. Toshima was an innocent victim taken by the gang wars that briefly moved into the affluent area of Westwood Village. Reinhold expresses that, “…a proposal in the City Council to pay a $25,000 reward for her killer, calls for a crackdown on the gangs… no such concerted police and media attention attends the numerous killings of innocent blacks by gangs.” (Reihhold). This reward angered many people living in the “gang zones” because the fact that hundreds of homicide cases go unnoticed. Like in the movie they talked about the lack of justice that was given to black people and the lack of government involvement. This is just furthering the argument that authority looked more at the white population and took more action when it came to finding justice and closure on problems that arose outside the projects. Steve Valdivia, the executive director of Youth Gang Services, explained, ''the black gangs have progressively gotten more violent… They don't give a damn about their own lives or anybody else's” (Reinhold). Since the up rise in gangs they just keep getting more violent in their crimes. In the movie one of the interviewees says himself that he is told he is worthless, in return he didn’t care about what happened to himself or anyone else. Maxine Walters said, ‘‘we are tired because our babies cannot play in the front yard because they might be shot” (Reinhold). These kids didn’t do anything, and neither did Karen, but because the area in which these people live they suffer the unfair treatment as well. Peralta’s argument is just further represented by this homicide case showing that there is a large amount of unfair and discriminatory acts against the members of not only these gangs but also those who live in the guarded neighborhoods that the gangs patrol. Not only did they suffer unfair treatment, people living in the project of South Los Angeles had a very hard time growing up around the violence and gang activity in their neighborhoods. Seeing all this violence led to psychological problems for many people whether they were young, old, involved in the gangs or not. In the article “Violent Events Have Long Term Effects on Children,” Glenn D. Braunstein, Chairman of the Department of Medicine, wrote about how violence affects children. In one paragraph specifically addressing the issues of gang violence in LA. Braunstein informs his readers that people living in the areas of LA are more at risk to suffer from depression. Braunstein says, “Ninety percent of these children and teens have been victims or witnesses of felony level violence.” (Braunstein 2012) People living outside of these gang hot spots have witnessed a significantly smaller amount of violence. Seeing and being a part of this violence can have life changing affects on these children and teens. The article also mentions, “A fifth of youth living in these areas suffer from clinical depression and one third have PTSD.” (Braunstein 2012) Living in heavily concentrated gang hot-zones does have a huge psychological toll on children and causes them to live in fear, in a sense. The psychological affects aren’t the only things that make it hard to live in the gang zones though. Made in America talks also about the vicious cycle that is nearly impossible to get out of. People that are born into families involved in gangs often have a hard time getting out of this long term cycle of violence that has been in their families for years maybe even decades. In an article comprised of many different sources called “The Cycle of Violence: Intergenerational Violence,” Lila Stansup discusses how cycles of violence are created. In her article she quotes Fagan who said, “Various types of violence…even witnessing violence: may influence the growing child, to believe that that violence is normal (Stansup 2007). This just goes to show that when introduced to violence it is easier for children to accept and engage in violent acts of their own. This also makes gangs seem normal and more appealing to the youth especially when it is all they have ever known and seen. The movie talks about how when someone is paying for your meals and taking you under their wing you basically have to do whatever they ask of you. Often times what older gang members would ask of you was to do something that members of the gang would commit. Children are almost pushed into these violent acts because they have no other choice. If they were to say no then they may risk the food that is put on their table or the roof they live under. So not only witnessing these acts of violence but engaging in the violent acts themselves even if they had no desire to forces the youth into a cycle that has been extremely hard to break away from. This phenomenon is further discussed in an online source called “Why Do Youth Join Gangs?” compiled by Shay Bilchik. Bilchik quoted many other people in his piece such as Johnstone and Moore. “In some communities, youth are intensively recruited or coerced into gangs (Johnstone, 1983). They seemingly have no choice. A few are virtually born into gangs as a result of neighborhood traditions and their parents' earlier gang participation or involvement in criminal activity” (Moore, 1978). This goes to show that what Peralta discussed in his movie is accurate to what happens to the youth that are born into the gang activity in the projects. This cycle is on going and few successfully get out once they are sucked in to the violent acts that they have seen their parents commit as well as committing them themselves. Growing up in the areas similar to LA made it very hard for kids to break away from the gang violence that has always been apart of their family’s lives. These people have struggled with unfair treatment coming from authority, like the case with Toshima, you would never see a reward for someone who was killed in the projects but when it is taken outside of the boundaries of the hood it’s a whole new story. Because of unfair treatment they received and all the violence that people witnessed starting at a young age it made people living in the ghetto more susceptible to acquiring a psychological disorder later in life or even in their youth. Living under these conditions and having people who are supposed to be your mentors show you this violent life style is essentially normal, creates a cycle of violence that is hard to break away from. All over people are unfairly treated and witnessing things that could change who they are for the rest of their life, but in the hood it’s a whole new game, a whole new story unlike many others. This is what is creating the unstoppable gang violence and this is what needs to be changed somehow. Peralta left his viewers with the message that something needs to be done, but never gave the answer as to how. These are the conditions in which many live under, and in fifty years, little has really changed.

Works Cited
Bilchik, Shay, comp. Why Do Youth Join Gangs? Why Do Youth Join Gangs? Juvenile Justice Board, Aug. 1998. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. . Braunstein, Glenn D. "Violent Events Have Long-Term Effects on Children." Web log post. The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 24 Sept. 2012. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. . Johnstone, J.W. 1983. Recruitment to a youth gang. Youth and Society 14:281-300. Moore, J.W. 1978. Homeboys: Gangs, Drugs and Prison in the Barrios of Los Angeles. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. Reinhold, Robert. "Gang Violence Shocks Los Angeles." Editorial. New York Times [New York] 8 Feb. 1988: n. pag. The New York Times. The New York Times, 08 Feb. 1988. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. . Stansup, Lila. "The Cycle of Violence: Intergenerational Violence." Web log post. Yahoo! Contributor Network. N.p., 14 Dec. 2007. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. .

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Crips and Bloods Made in America

    ... Crips and Bloods Made in America Crips and Bloods Made in America To start with, a vast number of neighborhoods suffer from gradual increase of criminal activities. Black teenagers still build their own street-based gangs that provoke crime. Nevertheless, there are number of social theories that can explain such be...

    Read More
  • Made In America

    ... “Made in America” The trend towards outsourcing overseas and the slowly decreasing of American manufacturing has made it very difficult to find American-made goods, but not impossible. There are a few small businesses that are still dedicated to manufacturing goods in the United States, but in today’s society, they are hard to come b...

    Read More
  • The War That Made America

    ...The War That Made America: The French and Indian war went on from 1756 to 1763. It was also known as the Seven Years’ War, it lasted seven years. It greatly involved the Native Americans and affected the relationship that they had with the French. The British and the French were fighting to see who would take over the colonies in North Americ...

    Read More
  • america

    ...Today, many people immigrate to the United States of America in search of the American Dream; freedom, equality, and the opportunity to achieve their personal goals in life that they could not otherwise achieve in their homeland. The American Dream is the pursuit of prosperity Today, many people immigrate to the United States of America in...

    Read More
  • Made In America Insourcing Of Jobs Analysis

    ...Made in America: The insourcing of jobs Barrack Obama wants companies to move their production back to America. In fact, he endorses insourcing and wants to make it easier for companies to bring back their jobs to America. But what can the manufacturers and government do to keep or increase the jobs in the United States of America? And what are ...

    Read More
  • Crips And Bloods Made In America Questions

    ...Crips and Bloods: Made in America    1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.     Why did black clubs originate in Los Angeles?  Why did people join the clubs?        How was segregation maintained in Los Angeles in the 1950s and 1960s.  Was  this legal?  Explain.      What were the causes of the ...

    Read More
  • Analysis Of Crips And Bloods: Made In America

    ...In the documentary Crips and Bloods: Made in America (2008), producer Stacy Peralta documents the beginnings of the most violent gangs known in America, The Crips and The Bloods. He outlined the many external factors that turned the African-American youth of South Central Los Angeles, California into a world of bloodshed and death from the 1950...

    Read More
  • Mag-Lite, Made in America

    ...MADE IN AMERICA MAG-LITE flashlights. From US$ 125,- to a US$ 500 million company INTERNATIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP UNIVERSITY OF AMSTERDAM 2012/2013 PROF. DR. TSVI VINIG Table of content Introduction | 3 | | | | | | PART...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.