MY SIDE OF THE RACIAL DIVIDE, RACE RELATIONS AND POLITICS AMONG BLACKS AND MEXICANS INSIDE LOS ANGELES

By Ronald Chatman A.K.A. O/G MADD RONALD1
JUNE 7, 2005

I GREW UP IN LOS ANGELES IN THE 1970’s AND 80’s. IN THOSE DAYS RELATIONS BETWEEN THE BLACK AND MEXICAN RACE WAS A VERY COPESTETIC SITUATION IN L.A. WHEN THERE WAS NO RACIAL TENSION. AS A 4th GRADE STUDENT AT 24THSTREET ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, I WAS ONCE blankIGNED TO TEACH THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE TO A MEXICAN STUDENT, WHO HAD JUST MOVED TO L.A., FROM MEXICO. IN THE 70’s THE POPULATION OF BLACK PEOPLE IN LOS ANGELES WAS MUCH GREATER.

CALIFORNIA USE TO BE A PART OF MEXICO AT ONE TIME IN HISTORY UNTIL until the treaty of guadalupe hildago after the Mexican-American War that ended in 1848, SO NATURALLY THE MEXICAN POPULATION IS GOING TO BE GREATER IN L.A. THAN OTHER RACES. AS A CHILD I ALWAYS HAD FRIENDS OF MEXICAN DESCENT AND WE ALL GOT ALONG AS WE STILL DO TO THIS VERY DAY.

NEIGHBORHOOD ROLLIN 20’s AND WESTSIDE HARPYS ARE 2 GANGS OF DIFFERENT RACES THAT HAVE BEEN COVERING A LOT OF THE SAME GROUND FOR YEARS. THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A COPESTETIC RAPPORT BETWEEN US AND THE HARPYS TO THIS VERY DAY DESPITE THE FEW CONFLICTS THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN THE PAST.

THE 20?s HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN ATMOSPHERE WHERE THE BLACK AND MEXICAN GANGS FROM THAT AREA OFTEN SHARE COMMON ENEMIES SUCH AS 18thSTREET AND OTHER VARIOUS RIVALS. EVEN THE SMALLER HISPANIC GANGS IN THE 20’s THAT ARE RIVALS TO THE HARPYS AND MAY EXIST WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE WESTSIDE ROLLIN 20’s LIKE THE DRIFTERS AND THE (NOW DEFUNCT) WESTSIDE ALCAPONES GANG HAVE ALWAYS ALLIED THEMSELVES WITH N/H/B 20’s AGAINST WHOEVER OUR COMMON ENEMIESWERE.

I WENT TO PRISON FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 1987 IT WAS THERE I HAD LEARNED OF THE RACE RELATIONS AND PRISON POLITICS OF THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MEXICAN GANG MEMBERS. I WAS SURPRISED TO REALIZE THE HISPANIC GANG FROM LOS ANGELES AND THE REST OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (SURENOS 13), WERE ALLIED WITH THE WHITE SUPREMACIST PRISON GANGS AND WERE SWORN POLITICAL ENEMIES TO THE BLACK INMATES. THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA MEXICAN GANG MEMBERS (NORTENOS 14), ARE ALLIED WITH THE BLACK INMATES THROUGHOUT CALIFORNIAS PRISON SYSTEM AND NORTENOS AND SURENOS ARE SWORN ENEMIES. I CAN REMEMBER BEING CAUGHT UP IN A RACE RIOT INSIDE OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY JAIL. I HAD JUST ENTERED ONE OF THE MAINLINE MODULES WHERE I WAS TO BE HOUSED WITH AB OUT 15 OTHER INMATES OF VARIOUS RACES.

WHEN THE GATES HAD OPENED TO LET US INTO OUR CELLS THE RACIAL TENSION EXPLODED RIGHT BEFORE MY EYES BETWEEN BLACK AND MEXICAN INMATES FROM EVERY CELL. WHEN RACE RIOTS TAKE PLACE, IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU ARE INVOLVED OR NOT THE COLOR OF SKIN BECOMES THE MAIN ISSUE. I HAVE BEEN INCARCERATED IN ANOTHER PART OF THE L.A. COUNTY JAIL SYSTEM AT WAYSIDE MAXIMUM.

THIS WAS A MAXIMUM SECURITY COUNTY INSTITUTION WHERE RACE RIOTS FROM DORM TO DORM TOOK PLACE ON A DAILY BASIS. IT IS OFTEN VOLATILE TO MIX BLACK AND HISPANIC INMATES WITH THE SOCIAL INGREDIENTS OF POLITICS AND RESPECT THERE IS BOUND TO BE A RACIAL EXPLOSION.

MY SETT NEIGHBORHOOD ROLLIN 20’s BLOODS AND THE BLACK-P-STONE BLOODS ARE AT WAR WITH 18thSTREET (THE BIGGEST HISPANIC GANG IN ALL OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY), MID CITY 13, AND A.T.C. 13 ARE ALSO MEXICAN GANGS THAT ARE SWORN ENEMIES TO NEIGHBORHOOD ROLLIN 20’s. THERE IS A WAR TAKING PLACE IN THE STREETS OF LOS ANGELES BETWEEN VARIOUS BLACK AND MEXICAN GANGS, NOW IT IS OVERFLOWING TO THE CREATION OF A MAJOR RACE ISSUE.

IN SOME INSTANCES BLOODS AND CRIPS HAVE TO SET ASIDE THEIR DIFFERENCES IN ORDER TO DEAL WITH THE CURRENT CONFLICTS OF RACE RELATIONS. I NOW HAVE A SON AND A DAUGHTER WHO BOTH ATTEND HIGH SCHOOL IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY. MY SON AND MY DAUGHTER HAVE TOLD ME ABOUT RACE RIOTS BETWEEN BLACK AND MEXICAN STUDENTS, TAKING PLACE AT THEIR SCHOOLS.

LUNCH TIME IN THE LOS ANGELES HIGH SCHOOLS HAS BECOME SOMETHING YOU CAN COMPARE TO YARD RELEASE IN THE STATE PRISONS SYSTEM. I HAVE BEEN READING IN THE NEWS ABOUT VARIOUS HIGH SCHOOLS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EXPLODING INTO RACIAL VIOLENCE BETWEEN BLACK AND HISPANIC STUDENTS. I ATTENDED JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL IN LOS ANGELES BACK IN THE 80’s. I READ ABOUT A SEVERE RACE RIOT TAKING PLACE THERE A FEW MONTHS AGO.

IN MY HIGH SCHOOL DAYS THE CRUCIAL COLORS OF CONFLICT WERE RED AND BLUE NOW THEY HAVE CHANGED TO BLACK AND BROWN. CINCO DE MAYO (MAY 5, 2005) WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A BIG DAY OF RACIAL CONFLICT IN THE STREETS AND IN THE SCHOOLS OF LOS ANGELES. ALL IN ALL RACIAL TOLERANCE AND INTERGRATION HAS BECOME RACIAL HATRED AND DISINTERGRATION.

MY FATHER TAUGHT ME NOT TO BE PREJUDICE, AS I TEACH MY KIDS. HE ALSO TOLD ME TO ONLY DISLIKE THOSE WHO DON’T LIKE ME. AS YOU CAN SEE THERE IS A LONG CHAIN OF RACIAL HATRED IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BETWEEN 2 OF THE MOST IMPOVERISHED MINORITY RACES. THE CYCLE OF HATE IS RAPIDLY REGENERATING INTO THE LIVES OF OUR CHILDREN.

OUR CHILDREN ARE NOT BORN TO HATE EACH OTHER BECAUSE OF RACE. HATRED IS TAUGHT TO THEM AT HOME FIRST BY THEIR PARENTS. WE ARE 2 BEAUTIFUL RACES OF PEOPLE BOTH BLACK AND BROWN, BUT UNTIL WE ALL ACHIEVE TOLERANCE AND UNDERSTANDING OF ONE ANOTHER, I TAKE A MILITANT STANCE AS A BLACK MAN ON MY SIDE OF THE RACIAL DIVIDE.

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2 Comments for “MY SIDE OF THE RACIAL DIVIDE, RACE RELATIONS AND POLITICS AMONG BLACKS AND MEXICANS INSIDE LOS ANGELES”

  1. lil g

    Good story ronald…real sh*% u said!!

  2. Big Rob

    Great story man well said i am a chicano from cali and i grew up in the same time frame as yourself and everything was cool between our races. But drugs not only destroyed our people but also our race relations see its all a power struggle over drugs i hate to say this but its nothing personal just buisness, may god bless our people

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