Gangs In Garden City: How Immigration, Segregation, and Youth Violence are Changing America's Suburbs
Год издания: 2012Количество страниц: 456
For decades street gangs have been synonymous with inner cities, where drugs and drive-by shootings are a fact of daily life. But in a disturbing new trend two gangs - Mara Salvatrucha and 18th Street - with their roots in Central America and Los Angeles, have ventured beyond our urban centers and into America's most exclusive suburbs. For the past five years journalist Sarah Garland has reported on the changing landscape and demographics of Hempstead, Long Island, following the lives of current and former gang members. In Gangs in Garden City she tells their stories. We meet Julio, a Salvadoran civil war veteran escaping the violence back home only to join Mara Salvatrucha in Los Angeles, and flee again for New York; Jessica, who comes from a family of Mara Salvatrucha members yet chooses to join a rival gang; and twelve-year-old Daniel, a recent Salvadoran immigrant who must choose between his best friend and the gang as he fights off bullies and tries to fit in. They have the same dreams and the same problems as suburban teenagers everywhere - except they learn the only way to survive is to join the rising tide of violence that surrounds them. Their disturbing personal narratives expose the cruel reality of segregation, racial income gaps, and poverty, which lie hidden behind suburban white picket fences in a pattern repeated all across America. While the gangs' growth has provoked a nationwide panic and a decade of federal and local law enforcement crackdowns, she asks why their spread is so prevalent, and what it reveals about the fractures in American society. Gangs in Garden City not only explores our false assumptions about these gangs, but also shows how immigration raids, rising incarceration rates, suburban decay, and inadequate funding of our nation's schools have worsened an alarming situation. Fearlessly reported and sensitively told, Gangs in Garden City unveils a hidden, troubling world that exists in the shadows of our own. Garland shows how the gangs next door will continue to spread - and thrive - if we do not act quickly to uproot them.