Token Rights. Breaking Special Order 40

The talk about amending Special Order 40 pisses me off.

This has nothing to do with gangs. This has to do with one thing, race and class, well that’s two, but you know what I’m saying.

LA has always had a major gang problem. It just sickens me the right wing has gotten their teeth into the grief of this family and are using them as tools to pass some stupid racist bs agenda.

I’m not exactly sure how people actually continually fall for the gang rape trick.

What is the gang rape trick? After America got embarrassed about killing Native Americans, lynching black people, excluding Asians, and subjugating women for just being who they are biologically, they needed another way to justify crappy unjust treatment, because why be fair when being an asshole is so entertaining.

So what they decided was to get laws passed that are under the guise of anti-gang, but in actuality they are laws that rape the civil rights of people of color, who the cops can just lie and say are gang members.

If you’re a young person of color how do you convince someone you’re not a gang member?

You can’t.

It’s like a woman who has a short skirt on and goes to a bar and then she gets raped, everyone always says she deserved it. How dare someone walk around with a vagina looking sexy? And how dare young men of color go around being dark and stuff? What did they think would happen?

Sexy women and young men of color should stay home and watch TV forever.

The irony about gangs in LA is that the people who are the most active in passing laws in regards to gangs almost never, ever are even impacted by gangs.

But they do really hate people of color.

But I digress.

I wanted to take a little bit of time to call out Earl Ofari Hutchinson. I find him disturbing for lots of reasons:

1. He does lots of Fox New appearances.
2. He seems to be happy to be the “we need a minority, who is available” which means he ends up talking and writing about things he knows nothing about.
3. He wrote this odd piece in the LA Times supporting breaking Special Order 40 and some how justify it by saying it would be simple justice for the black community.


I don’t like tokens. I don’t like tokens of appreciation. I don’t like token minorities. I don’t like tokens talking about how people who look like him want tokens from the LAPD.

I want lots of things from the LAPD and harassing brown people is not on that list.

I hate it when racist white people employ the services of desperate minorities (and writers are already desperate, desperate ‘please accept me’ minority writers, they can be downright dangerous) to push an agenda, so that the racist white people can say, “Oh my god, we’re not racist. Look at this Uncle Tom we got on our team. Oh and by the way can you not say racist white people, because that hurts my little feelings.”

The gang problem in LA stems from the no jobs problem in LA. There are no jobs in Los Angeles. There isn’t a way to support yourself in LA. There are no middle income jobs in LA. There are no working class quality jobs in Los Angeles.

I say that in many different ways, because I don’t think people really get the situation Los Angeles is in right now. And for blacks, chicanos, and the people who didn’t get to LA by plane, the situation is dire.

When there are no jobs youth violence escalates.

It amazes me that this is a debate, as if amending Special Order 40 to give the police more authority to take away a person’s civil rights is going to some how help the gang problem.

This kind of thing is exactly why LA has a major gang problem.

Lack of the same opportunities and lack of rights equals no way to support yourself financially which leads to crime. And I completely understand why a young person of color would go into crime. There aren’t that many choices. What should they do starve? Become homeless? If I run out of money and I’m hungry I’m not going to be homeless. I will turn to a life of crime. I’m practicing my cat burglar skills right now.

We live in a community that doesn’t care, so why should the youth of America care.

Why would a person of color advocate having another person of color getting more harassed by the police. We know damn well that the LAPD isn’t going to be fair with the use of the amendment to Special Order 40.

Has the LAPD ever worked with the Chicano or African-American communities in Los Angeles? Other than working on us going to jail?

They can’t even come if someone gets shot and beaten next door.

Maybe Earl should write an editorial about these topics, instead of always being up the LAPD’s butt:

“How the LAPD will let you die if you fit the wrong description?”

Or how about this

“The American born black gang member. Killing black people in LA since the 1930s and getting away with it.”

Or how about this

“Not my problem. The elites response to racism and classism in America.”

Those are the discussions that need to be had. This debate on the legal status of a gang member is a token conversation. A conversation designed to take away civil rights, to divide the human community, and to make it seem like a racist vile cause can’t possibly be racist or vile, because there is some crack pot theory that minorities can’t be racist.

by Browne Molyneux

This entry was posted in Analysis, Greater Los Angeles, Media and tagged , , , , by Browne Molyneux. Bookmark the permalink.

About Browne Molyneux

My name is Browne Molyneux. I'm a lady. I'm a radical feminist. I'm black. I'm an Angeleno. I'm an artist. I'm carFREE. I'm a freelance writer. I'm a blogger. I'm a philosopher. I'm a humanist. I'm a journalist. I formerly wrote a column on transportation, Tracks for LA City Beat. The above are all of the things I have to work on being, got questions email me. My topics of interests include but are not limited to politics, transportation, dark green issues, economics, race relations, feminism, culture, working class urban life, media, art, Los Angeles and literature.

23 thoughts on “Token Rights. Breaking Special Order 40

  1. I find it interesting that society keeps telling young people and especially young people of color that problems are not solved by violence when this government uses violence to intimidate and get it’s way in the international arena. Trickle down violence.
    It’s no wonder that after 9/11 the first people I heard wanting to go “bomb someone” were gang members.
    About Special Order 40, what criteria will they use to determine who is a gang member?

  2. That’s the thing Chimatli, there is virtually no way to determine that in a fair way.

    Changing special order 40 is in no way going to prevent gang violence in inner city neighborhoods (or suburban) it’s just going to give police another tool to take away people’s rights. And when it’s based on ethnicity that’s racism. That’s real racism. Gang members killing kids, that’s bad. That’s morally wrong, but the gov’t making a law that targets people based on race that is institutional racism. That’s the most deadly kind of racism.

    We can not let fear trick us into accepting a law that in the long term is going to be alot more destructive than in the short term gains that some people may see.

    If Special Order 40 is broken, anyone Latino will automatically be a suspect. Amyone Asian, Middle Eastern or whatever popular “boogie man” is out there can be framed by the cops and deported.

    And look at the groups that support it, it’s the usual suspects, if this passes or an amendment is added this is going to bring about a momentun of wrongness. That’s what I believe.

    I believe in open borders and an addition to the constitution that everyone gets the same rights in this country if they are sleeping here.


  3. Bronwski, I salute you for being black and saying the truth in defense of your brown brethren. Please know it is reciprocal

  4. “The gang problem in LA stems from the no jobs problem in LA. There are no jobs in Los Angeles. There isn’t a way to support yourself in LA. There are no middle income jobs in LA. There are no working class quality jobs in Los Angeles.”

    I think you’ve brought up a valid point, but you might want to take a look at what Alex Alonso has posted on his site:

    He interviewed people involved in the latest incarnation of black street gangs in L.A. in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

    Gangs in L.A. go very far back into this city’s brief history. I did some L.A. Times searching a few years ago, and found mention of several extant (in name) gangs that existed in the 1930’s in L.A.

  5. Urbray,

    I’m not sure what you are saying here. I read that article before. What is it you don’t agree with, just be up front. Online it’s hard for me to get subtle messages.

    I won’t be offended. I pinkie swear.


  6. I totally didn’t think you were looking for an argument, but when I see a “but” in a sentence it seems like to me that there is something else.

    “think you’ve brought up a valid point, but you might want to take a look at what Alex Alonso has posted on his site”

    That’s the only reason I thought that. I apologize if I came off in an accusatory tone.


  7. All this familiar disrepecting and respecting then apologizing for another unforseen inarticulation about constant ,obvious pendejas (sp.) –someone from over there, some few blocks away that we spot and looks and poses just like us, we hate ,we have learned has to be an enemy ,we guess we need to kill or at least give pain. Then when G” is in the pen ,how stupid.huh?

  8. Ubray, my grandpa came to LA as a youth in the late 1920s and lived in Watts and an area of East LA called el hoyo (the hole). When he was an adolescent, in the early 1930s, he got involved with a social club called whitefence, which is now one of the largest and most violent chicano street gangs in LA. Even back then, my grandpa noted the presence of veteranos, older gang members with street cred, back in the 30s. He noted that several gangs were already old, like hoyo maravilla,whitefence and big hazard.

    Like the alonzo article, the birth of many gangs (black and brown) began as a response to oppression and racist social hierarchies. when people have no means of moving up the social ladder, they create their own social prestige mechanisms no matter how destructive.

    BTW, ubray, thanks for the link.

  9. Another good resource on gang culture is Mike Davis’ City of Quartz and Always Running by Luis Rodriguez.

    I would truly caution using one source of media in regards to getting info on sociology type issues.

    Like never, ever go to Wikipedia. I never link Wikipedia I think someone should destroy Wikipedia or put big signs up that say, “The guy that wrote this was on the crapper on his lap top and his sources are the things that dropped out of his ass.”

    I get all of my info that I write from books and real life observation and then I may supplement a point with a link, because I know most people don’t like to read, but books on culture are usually very freakin’ good.

    Mike Davis should be required reading for any junior LA historian.

    The Street Gangs website is interesting though.


  10. Oh another good one is Monster by Kody Scott. In my all girl catholic junior high I used this book as an art project. I made an oil painting of his silhouette. I was told after that I would have to get all of my art projects approved in the future, since it was obvious that I didn’t know how to pick safe subjects to be artsy about.


  11. Art makes a really good point. When Italians and Chinese were excluded from the mainstream (until pretty recently) their organized crime had a free pass in their respective communities. The mob and the tongs were “the law” in some respects.

    That’s what’s happening with these street gangs. They’re becoming like the mob. They’re starting to exist in all kinds of situations that didn’t exist before – gangsters in the military, gangsters in government, gangsters in entertainment media, gangsters in sports.

    These LA gangs all had roots in segregation in LA. Today, the problem is access to decent economic opportunities. Drugs, prostitution, extortion, and legal businesses that gangs can operate create jobs – especially for people with police records.

    It’s so bad, I think we need to just make up some jobs for people to do, and make up some tame stuff to do for people who want to just have fun in a non-violent way.

    One thing though – there’s some attitude out there that it’s just jobs. It’s not just jobs. There’s also social integration that matters. Integration can’t be just about trying to get people of color to be white, either. There’s a lot of racism to undo – and if you consider the vast square-mileage of the eastside and southside, that’s a lot of stuff to explain.

  12. Mike Davis is way over rated, never offers anything original. He sure fled L.A. for a while.

    Can’t wait for his next book… “Mike Davis Speaks on Chicana Lesbian Theories”…that fool writes about things he really has no business yappin’ about.

    Dramatic azz foo.

  13. Why do others have to speak for the Shaw family?

    Are you saying the Shaws are too stupid to make their own decisions and are being brain-washed by whitey? Your comment about the Shaw family being “used as tools” portrays the Shaws as ignorant and unable to make their own decisions. Are you saying the Shaw family has to follow your beliefs or else they are being used as tools?

    The truth is there is a large gang problem and many gang members are illegal aliens. You may not agree with Special Order 40, but we are quickly reaching a critical mass point when it comes to street gangs, prisons and crime. We have too many poor people in Calif., we don’t need to add to our problems by not enforcing immigration laws.

  14. Metro_Vaquero,

    So why is he overrated? Do you have reasons or is it just that he’s not a capitalist and believes that race and class do intersect?

    I know alot of people of color in LA who are yuppies really hate this conversation, but hey we need all types.


  15. is they stupid,

    I think racist assholes took advantage of a situation, that’s what I think. Racist a**holes have been trying to egg on the African-American community on this for two years. As if the people who are putting this law forth give a damn about young black men dying. And like this law is going to actually stop that from happening.

    I just look at who supports a law. The same people who support amending (or breaking) special action 40 or the same people who supported 187.

    Hey if you don’t like immigration in this country fine, but when you try to be duplicitous and pretend as if this is about gang violence, come the fudge on.

    So “is they stupid” do you think it’s ok for people to be here “illegally” as long as they aren’t gang members?

    Let me answer for you, no right.

    You don’t want anyone over here who wasn’t born here (or looks like they were born here.)

    If you want to have that debate, hey I’m fine, but I’m not going to pretend like I believe this token silly stance, when it’s obviously not the real issue.


    One thing that stands out to me in L.A.’s history is the “restrictive covenants” that (I have heard) are still attached to most pieces of property in L.A. (though are now unenforceable).

    Different ethnic groups were completely barred from moving into other areas because of covenants that only allowed white protestants to own property in those areas.

    These covenants, as I understand, were removed only a short time ago.

    Anyway, with ethnic group compressed into certain specific areas, other ethnic groups would move out of those areas if their numbers could not match other groups.

    So, you get ethnic ghettos. These ghettos also make it easier for the powers in L.A. to ignore the interests of people living in an area. So, there is a vacuum of state influence, control, and investment – which leads to the formation of ad hoc groups of people who look after their own self interests in a the most basic way humans can. They form their own “gangs”. The police are then used to simply contain people in their ethnic enclave – and not enforce the law, per se, but simply to prevent anyone from a geographic area from affecting people in other parts of the city.

    I think that “jobs” have been delivered to these former ethnic ghettos – but not in an effective manner. A lot of government jobs (esp. at the County level) were opened up to blacks from South L.A. in the 1970’s – but not too much has come of that other than a few families struggling into the middle class and moving out of their old neighborhood.

    Anyway, that is how I see it (for now). I think that the Alonzo article shows why things continue to suck in a lot of neighborhoods in L.A. Our local (and in the 1970’s the federal government too) has taken steps to quash any local leaders or intellectuals from these areas from organizing people into anything other than loosely organized street gangs.

    I think there might be a younger generation that is not being profiled, incarcerated, or killed by the FBI and LAPD, that will hopefully re-do some of the organizing that happened in the 1960’s in L.A. They are up against a lot.

    If it were me, I would try and start with the drug dealers in an area – to ensure that they keep the peace and prevent the violent shootings, etc. from driving away outside money.

    I would hook up with outside money coming in to buy the influence of local people to write letters, vote, and organize for increased attention by local politicians. It is easy for politicians to ignore the interests of a neighborhood if that neighborhood doesn’t vote, write letters, campaign, or have its own money pile to fund campaigns.

    There would then be an ea of local king-makers in L.A. neighborhoods. As things improved, these people would be less and less important. There would then come a time (about 40 years later) when that old neighborhood can sort of take care of itself – it will have enough people who know how things work complaining and contributing money towards what matters most for them in an effective way.


  17. Ubray,

    Many of these ideas are good. You know you probably could be instrumental in making many of these things happen.

    “I would hook up with outside money coming in to buy the influence of local people to write letters, vote, and organize for increased attention by local politicians. It is easy for politicians to ignore the interests of a neighborhood if that neighborhood doesn’t vote, write letters, campaign, or have its own money pile to fund campaigns.” ubray

    I thought about starting “we’ll write your letters” non profit where I would go into poor neighborhoods and find out how they were getting the screwgy and I would write letter and call politician for them…but I have lots of ideas that will never happen.

    I know there are organizations like that, but they are usually in bed with some corporate asshole.

    Mine would have been totally pure with no deals with dirty business people.

  18. I am not sure where to begin. First, I am moved by your passion, but those same strong emotions mar your message. As a reader, I am left wondering why one would do such a disservice by ranting and name calling. If you devalue the ethics of Fox News, how is your approach any different?

    Amending Special Order 40 is not the answer to ending gang violence in Los Angeles. I remember my mom telling stories about being stopped and asked for a green card in the 1970’s and being harassed , a particular sore point given she is third generation Mexican American, but even more alarming for those without documents or some protection of the law.

    The story of the Shaw family is particularly heart wrenching as it is when a life is ended so violently, so young. I do not agree with the Shaw family nor do I agree with the conclusion of Earl Ofari Hutchinson’s Los Angeles Times piece in regrads to Special Order 40. I would not go as far as to personally attack either party, to call them a token, an Uncle Tom, to refer to them as people that are unable to make their own decisions – which you did here, “racist white people employ the services of desperate minorities”.

    There are very real racial issues within our communities, people are not brainwashed by the media,often misinformed, but not brainwashed. Everyone feels the cultural and economic strains on their families and communities, and you are right these frustrations work themselves out into distrust and anger. Your approach, attacking someone and labeling them an Uncle Tom or a token is a personal attack,not a strong arguement.

    Just as the families need to see past their anger and saddness, the politicans need to see past their political careers, we need to avoid the trap of Mike Davis, the trap of envisioning a doomsday Los Angeles.

    Amending Special Order 40 would be a great injustice, an attack on a protection for civil liberties, that impacts all of us – documented, undocumented, and natural born citizens alike.

  19. Peleonera,

    Thanks for commenting. My writing style is my writing style I can’t change it.

    You’re the first person to comment on my calling out of Earl, so thanks for that. I was shocked that no one else had a problem with that.

    I think he’s an opportunist and he’s a little inconsistent. I have a big problem with inconsistency.

    As far as me being like Fox News, well let me try to compare why I think it’s perfectly ok for me to talk crap about Fox News though I’m pretty dramatic with my typing.

    It’s like I might kill someone if they do something that I feel is not cool, but I would never vote for my gov’t to kill someone, because an organization with power is supposed to be ideal. There is no wiggle room for personality.

    I’m not a gov’t or organization, I’m one person, being unemotional leads to no change and that doesn’t help the gov’t, it’s saying you agree with the status quo.

    I think Americans should be more emotional about political issues in France and the UK they are. They will go out in the streets and make the gov’t wish they were dead.

    Americans need to stop being so afraid, what do we have to lose we’re making less and less money, we have no healthcare, a crummy school system, we’re drowning in debt, we’re fat pigs, so why is it that we are so afraid to tell the gov’t that we don’t like it and why should we do that politely. The gov’t doesn’t understand polite.

    Do you know why the New Deal passed?

    It was spurred by the Bonus March

    Because veterans black, white, and brown marched up to the white house and said they where going to burn it down, that’s why. That’s the only kind of language most bureaucracies understand.

    If you can give me an example of when being polite changed anything, that would make my day, because being an asshole is hard work.


  20. “Do you have reasons or is it just that he’s not a capitalist and believes that race and class do intersect?”

    Not a capitalist eh. I’m sure my boy Davis is very much making a killing of these doomsday books being peddled to those too lazy to get a broad understanding of Los Angeles and/or its complexities. “Ecology of FEAR,” “Planet of SLUMS,” “DEAD Cities,”etc, etc. Way too fatalistic for my taste. It’s simple as that, Davis never offers anything new or constructive, just throws out REDUCTIONIST conclusions. Even his “facts” are fabrications, look it up. Good thing he stopped writing about L.A, that PoMo anti-LA, “de-centered” literary junk is kinda tiresome.

    Mike Davis’s work on LA is the CRASH of books. Nuff said.

  21. Your opinion. Mike Davis is not the Crash of books (in my opinion.)

    You seemed to have read alot of his work to not like him, which is good. How very unLA of you. I applaud reading. I read lots of people I don’t agree with either, though if I thought someone was fatalistic bullshit I don’t know if I’d read three books by them.

    What is a good book on LA History?


  22. A good book on why LA has developed the way it is (i.e. competing malls), RTD to MTA, political history/machines, and other regional things would be William Fulton’s “Reluctant Metropolis.” He has a very upfront style, but he knows his s***. I recently read (well almost all of it), the Next Los Angeles (2006), which is put together by 3 different people (multi-cultural). That one is a history of social movements throughout L.A.’s history. Its kind of a response to Davis, Soja, and a lot of the other haters. The book introduced me to some pretty bad ass people from back n’ the day.

    “ (if you trust it”: While most historians, journalists, and filmmakers have focused on Los Angeles as a bastion of corporate greed, business boosterism, political corruption, cheap labor, exploited immigrants, and unregulated sprawl, The Next Los Angeles tells a different story: that of the reformers and radicals who have struggled for alternative visions of social and economic justice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *