The Invisible War on Terror in Los Angeles

Ralph Ellison’s classic work, Invisible Man, speaks to the condition of blacks and browns in South Los Angeles. More African Americans and Hispanic Americans died last year and will die this year in South Los Angeles than in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, their deaths remain unnoticed and are in fact invisible.  The real War on Terror is in the streets of Los Angeles.  Although South Los Angeles represents 3.75% of the city’s population, the area has accounted for nearly 12% of all recorded homicides.  Well over 200 blacks and browns will die from gang-related violence.  In addition to this, children are terrorized daily by gang violence at school and in their communities.  In fact youth in this area suffered higher rates of PTSD than the soldiers in the Iraq War at its height. This is the shameful story that is hidden from America. Given this, what needs to be done?

1. More visibility needs to be given to this issue by the media.  Whether we like it or not, the issue of homicides in South Los Angeles, in particular those related to street gangs need to publicized.
2. Let your elected officials and demand that something be done.
3. Demand that we put human and financial resources in this area. Billions of dollars are being wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan, going to corrupt contractors.  This money can and needs to go to South Los Angeles.
4. Demand that we have nation building right here in America, starting in South Los Angeles.
5. Speak out

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