Lee Baca: “In L.A. Race Kills”

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, who many critics tend to forget is Latino himself, wrote a scintillating opinion piece in the L.A. Times taking to task the willful liberal ignorance of the escalating racist violence between Latinos and Blacks in California:

Conversations about race are fraught with emotion, confusion and controversy. But that doesn’t mean we should avoid or sidestep the issue.

As a Latino raised in East Los Angeles, and as the elected sheriff of Los Angeles County for the last decade, I have seen many sides of the race issue. I have lived it, in fact.

So let me be very clear about one thing: We have a serious interracial violence problem in this county involving blacks and Latinos.

Some people deny it. They say that race is not a factor in L.A.’s gang crisis; the problem, they say, is not one of blacks versus Latinos and Latinos versus blacks but merely one of gang members killing other gang members (and yes, they acknowledge, sometimes the gangs are race-based).

But they’re wrong. The truth is that, in many cases, race is at the heart of the problem. Latino gang members shoot blacks not because they’re members of a rival gang but because of their skin color. Likewise, black gang members shoot Latinos because they are brown.


Furthermore, we have evidence linking inmates who are known as “shot callers” directly to street shootings based entirely on race. These shot callers at Pitchess and elsewhere are affiliated with gangs, to be sure, and in many cases they may give the order to kill a particular person or a member of a particular gang. But if that person or gang cannot be found, the shot caller will often order the gunman to find someone — anyone — who is black or brown and shoot them instead. Gang affiliation does not matter. Only the color of the victim’s skin matters.

I would even take this a step further and suggest that some of L.A.’s so-called gangs are really no more than loose-knit bands of blacks or Latinos roaming the streets looking for people of the other color to shoot. Our gang investigators have learned this through interviews in Compton and elsewhere throughout the county. L.A.’s gang wars have long been complicated by drugs, territory issues or money. Now, it can also be over color.

I’ve long argued that same point, and have been largely ignored by the “Afrosphere” and Black bloggers who want to believe that White liberalism has their best interest at heart. Sorry my “brothers” (and sisters) but as Baca’s piece points out, White liberals are glad to bury their heads in the sand while Latino gangs shoot random Black folk.

And clearly the Black community allowing their response to this to be handled by low-life gang-bangers only makes the problem worse. Where are the Black leaders? Where are the protests? Where are Rev Wright and Farakhan on this one?

Maybe you should return to your Republican roots.

7 thoughts on “Lee Baca: “In L.A. Race Kills”

  1. I’ve long argued that same point, and have been largely ignored by the “Afrosphere” and Black bloggers who want to believe that White liberalism has their best interest at heart.

    I can’t remember you addressing this issue to me, but it does concern me. My way of dealing with it, which may not be very effective, is to demand that 15% of the blogs at the Democratic National Convention be Black, and to congratulate Hillary Clinton and then Barack Obama for hiring Patti Solis Doyle (in the essay you referenced above).

    I hope that by expressing solidarity with Latinos in my writing, I can do my part to show where I stand. I can’t go to LA and stop the killing myself, any more than I can go to São Paulo and stop the violence.

    But saying that we “believe white liberalism has our best interests at heart” is really unfair. Why do you think we started the AfroSpear, if not because we found that the white progressives of the big box blogs were very intentionally excluding us from everything they did, in every possible way?

    And why do you think we’ve insisted on having Black blog representation at the Democratic National Convention? If we believed that white liberals had our best interests at heart, we’d just entrust the whole ball of wax to them, right?

    It sounds like Lee Baca has found some creative ways to address the problem of Blacks and Latinos killing each other:

    “Inmates with a history of domestic violence — sometimes known members of opposing gangs — were forced to attend this program or be remanded to custody for a significant amount of state prison time. Those who agreed to participate would sit together and discuss various topics of interest. They would eat meals together and live together in housing set aside for them.

    The program was designed to address issues of domestic violence. But over a period of weeks, the participants overcame barriers by being exposed to those they were supposed to hate. They began to form friendships — friendships that, in some cases, have lasted outside the jail walls.”

    But, frankly, I think a lot of white people are just fine with seeing Blacks and Latinos locked up and/or killing each other. It saves whites the trouble of killing us off.

    I’m an immigration lawyer, retired. It’s my feeling that if every single Latino left the United States, then Blacks lives would not be improved one iota. Did Latinos enslave us here in America? No. Were Latinos responsible for Jim Crow? No.

    Do police officers profile us and arrest and imprison us on behalf of Latinos? Of course not.

    It’s possible that Latinos and Blacks are killing each other for the same reason that young Blacks are killing each other: lack of hope, fury, a deep sense of futility . . .

    Barack Obama said this was a “quiet riot” and I agree with him. White people just hope the riot stays quiet or continues to take Black and Latino lives, instead of anybody else’s.

  2. You misunderstand my point. Modern liberalism, as opposed to classical liberalism, is neo-Marxism dressed up with what was once the sort of populism that was the prevue of hacks like Pat Buchanan. Marxism is inherently anti-Black in that it seeks subservience of Blacks to a political ideology that pushes social efforts which harm our community, not the least of which is allowing a Latino pogrom against Blacks in many major cities.

    And you should know that many Latinos are in fact “White” so the idea that they didn’t have slaves here in America is ludicrous. Read The Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Diaz and you’ll see that Spain’s colonies were set specifically to trade African slaves.

    But that’s an aside; I’ve never advocated deporting all Latinos and no one actual has outside of the Ku Klux Klan. But perhaps that’s an issue to take up with Robert Byrd, perhaps at the convention since you’ll both be there.

    I have advocated for Jamiel’s Law which would deport illegal aliens who were convicted of violent felonies and I support deporting known members of MS-13 and similar gangs.

    That’s what I’d ask of you Mr. Holland, no hyperbole and straw men arguments about Jim Crow, but simply that Black people stand together and support simple, common sense laws that will help save lives.

    Can you stand with me to support justice for Jamiel Shaw? Can you help tell the story of a genocide on-going in our inner cities? Or is it more important to get your 15% from people you’ve all but accused of secretly wishing you dead?

  3. I don’t think deporting those who have been convicted of crimes will be a successfuly social policy (1) because they or people like them will just come back, and (2) because we have Black young men who are US citizens doing the same things, and (3) because many of the Latinos doing this gang-banging were certainly born in the United States and cannot be deported.

    Whenever I find myself agreeing with Pat Buchanan, I know I need to take a few steps back and figure out where I went wrong. And the Pat Buchanan view is that deporting people from foreign countries will make this country better. It won’t.

    The Spanish heritage people who held slaves are not out gang-banging; they’re going to college, opening businesses and running for public office. I believe that the Indian heritage Latinos, who have been just as marginalized in Latin America as Blacks are here, are the ones who are viewing their lives as worthless and so engaging in killing and being killed, a kind of Black-on-Latino suicide.

    The fact that the Latino behavior is so similar to the behavior of our own young Black people – gang-banging, is an indication that we have a much larger social problem (and economic and political) then a few deportations or even mass deportations are going to solve.

    Whites don’t care any more that Latinos are killing Blacks than they care when Blacks are killing Blacks. It doesn’t matter to them, and it means that we are not focusing our attention on those who are TRULY oppressing us.

    Deportation will no more work to reduce Latino on Black crime than it would work to reduce Black on Black crime. I even suspect that some of the Latino gangs involved in this are sponsored, funded and directed by the FBI or the CIA.

    So, no. I won’t join you in laws whose goal is to deport people. It’s not going to help and it’s going to drive a political wedge between Blacks and Latinos that will result in whites and Latinos gaining political office while Blacks are left behind.

    Do you think it will help Barack Obama’s campaign if Blacks are seen to be demanding the deportation of Latinos right now? Of course not!

    Latinos are already a greater percent of the population in the United States than are Blacks and that is only going to increase over the coming years. Like it or not, unless we form common cause with Latinos, particularly the ones who have been systematically marginalized, subjugated and exploited economically in their own countries (and that’s why they’ve come to the US in the first place) then we as Blacks are going to be increasingly outnumbered and outgunned politically, as Latinos form alliances with whites that leave Blacks out in the cold.

    Ultimately, that’s why your short-sighted solutions that advocate deportation are setting up generations of additional marginalization for Black politicians and Black people.

    As an immigration lawyer, I learned that people escaping the misery and brutality of Latin America deserve just as much compassion as Blacks who have lived with this misery and brutality in the US for centuries. We need to realize that MOST Latin America oppose gang-banging just like most Blacks oppose gang-banging and we need to form political alliances to solve the problems together.

  4. You’re saying that because Black Americans commit crime we should turn allow a racist Latino pogrom against Blacks to be on-going?

    Again you’re pretending I said something I didn’t that all Latin Americans are in need of deportation. It’s as if you don’t know that most Legal immigrants from Latin America would support the deportation of violent gangs, however people like yourself who see illegal as an easy source of votes and money do not.

    My question is how many people have to die while you form you alliance? A hundred more? A thousand?

    Your politics will not stop the racism that drives these killings. The Mexican Mafia, who in turn controls most Mexican gangs in the states from prison, is allied with the Aryan Brotherhood. Did you even know that?

    Latino is not a race; Latin America is just like America with dozens of different ethnicities including Indian, Native American European etc. It is a fantasy and a bit childish to see the world as Black White and Latino. It is identity politics at its worse and it prevents real solutions to problems here.

    Barack Obama’s campaign is not more important than Jamiell Shaw’s life. Or the life of Iofemi Hightower or Terrence Ariel or the six year old boy shot in the head by Mexican mafia affiliated gang bangers.

    Or it shouldn’t be. But I guess we all have our priorities. Mine is pushing laws that keep my family who live near Newark where MS-13 is gaining ground in, safe. Yours is presenting an image of Black/”Brown” solidarity in keeping with the “progressive” party line, no matter how much blood you have to ignore to do so.

    By the way, if you read more books than Das Kapital you’d find that one of the groups systematically exploited the most in Latin America is Black folk. They are also victimized here by those same people you see no point in deporting. But allowing him to escape here only to be gunned down by people who think the same of Black people as the Klan does is pretty progressive I guess.

  5. Did Latinos enslave us here in America? No. Were Latinos responsible for Jim Crow?

    Slavery and Jim Crow were very popular among Southern White Democrats and a LOT of White Northern Democrats. See the history of the Copperheads and the history of the Republican Party in the South.

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