December 05, 2008

Violence in Jamaica

Jamaica: Gang and Police Violence in the Inner-Cities

www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR38/004/2008/en/d7801d73-0172-11dd-8daf-5b71323cd12c/amr380042008eng.pdf

“Genuine security depends on respect for human rights.�

This quote is from Jamaica: Gang and Police Violence in the Inner Cities, which addresses the issues in Jamaica regarding daily deaths, murders, and disasters. Gang affiliation is tearing apart communities while local police officials only intensify problem by increasing the level of violence.

Throughout the text, pictures are shown of communities attempting to clearly outline their expectations of “No Guns� and “One Love�. Violence does not only affect those directly involved, in most cases, it involves innocent people attempting to solve the problem.

Everyone has obstacles to overcome, but when one finds himself struggling stay alive, it is time for a change. In Jamaica, security seems unattainable because of the negative feelings towards local citizens. It is disheartening to think that even those assigned to protect pass judgment and fail to give everyone the basic human right of life in a place where violence is lurking at every corner.

Posted by rubalcav at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

High School Violence

An Inner-City Perspective on High School Violence written by Evelyn Nieves:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A01E0DA123DF93BA25750C0A9679C8B63

I truly believe that violence does not just happen, something in people’s lives sparks a mental or physical reaction. We are all inherently good, so why then does violence become a part of our everyday lives?

In “An Inner-City Perspective on High School Violence�, the children Hoover High School have been labeled and dismissed as a violent atmosphere where deaths and fights are unavoidable. The writer describes Hoover as a school “saddled with a reputation for being troubled and potentially dangerous.� According to sociological studies, labeling a group or person can often pave the way for negative self-evaluations and actions.

Labeling Theory:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labeling_theory

Negative preconceived notions can affect the way individuals behave. In many cases, such as Hoover high school, people do not necessarily think of their community as bad, because the violence becomes a normal occurrence. In Hoover high school, the students have learned to work around the problems and cooperate to better their community and self worth.

Posted by rubalcav at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

Violence in Kenya

Disputed Vote Plunges Kenya into Violence:

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2007/12/30/world/20071231KENYA_3.html

Inner city violence does not just happen in our cities; it is a prominent issue around the world. On December 2008, Kenya elected its new president, Mwai Kibaki. Instead of receiving a warm welcome, the president was greeted with a severe, tribal bloodletting.

As you can see in the picture, the inhabitants of a small town named Kibera responded to the let down with violence, crime, and mayhem. The issue arose because Raila Odinga, “the people’s president�, was not elected president. Kenya, a once upon a time exemplary democracy has fallen under the corruption of the government and other people in power.

In this case, it was not a traumatic childhood nor extreme poverty that ignited the uproar, instead, poor political leadership and integrity led to disappointment and anger. The citizens of Kenya chose to act rather than speak against the government. These violent responses should not be justified, however, fear of potential political and financial failures due to corrupt leadership is by no means acceptable or tolerable either.

Posted by rubalcav at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2008

Can't Go Outside

I Can't Go Outside:
http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/1093215,CST-NWS-prisoner06.article

This article addresses violence in Chicago, Little Village to be exact. This is where my family and I live, where a young child claim can be “a prisoner in her own home.� The article speaks to an 11-year-old girl who is told that this world does not welcome her; instead it threatens to take her life, day in and day out.

I am aware that violence is so powerful because of the weapons and attitudes associated, but the idea that children’s imaginations do not run wild with fairy tales and knowledge, instead blood and fatality, is repulsive. Not only does violence threaten the body, but it also affects the mind. According to the article, children lose focus in school with the constant fear of death. Additionally, it is natural for children to learn how to interact with others, but with so much fear lurking, they are not able to learn about social interaction. This injustice must end.

When children’s biggest fear becomes violence and death, it is time for society to intervene. When did we lose sight of what our purpose is in the world? As members of society it is our job to unite forces, to show the power of the masses, and stand up for our rights and safety. This does not necessarily mean that we fight back with anger and vengeance in mind; on the contrary, we should attempt to be more welcoming and loving in order to arrest violent thoughts and actions. As I mentioned before, belonging (or a lack thereof) is at the root of most gang affiliation and violence.

Posted by rubalcav at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2008

Youth Gangs and Violence

Youth Gangs and Violence:
http://www.safeyouth.org/scripts/faq/youthgang.asp

While browsing the web, I fell upon a very informative article that outlines the potential motives for joining violence affiliated groups, such as gangs. In Youth Gangs and Violence, the author states, “Some are seeking excitement; others are looking for prestige, protection, a chance to make money, or a sense of belonging.� What does this mean? What can possibly be causing this lack of self-esteem or belonging?

I believe that gang affiliation may be partially due to poor family involvement or interaction. Without a supportive family in children’s lives, it is very possible for them to look elsewhere for the support system they long for. If we take a close look we can see that gangs, as horrible as they are, seemingly posses the characteristics of a family: financial, emotional, and physical protection. The problem lies in the means for acquiring all three traits.

As disappointing as it sounds, gangs have become a big problem in small communities, such as my own. In order to fix the problem, we can make support groups more accessible and welcoming. With a feeling of belonging comes higher self-esteem and satisfaction with one’s life, thus, eliminating some of the motives for joining a gang.

Posted by rubalcav at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

Welcome

Welcome! I hope to capture your attention for the allotted time while informing you along the way. I will try my best to respond and react to my articles or pictures with my utmost respect and knowledge. I have always been under the impression that blogs are meant to be creative and enlightening. Upon receiving this assignment, I hesitated to begin blogging due to my lack of “blogging experience�.

Throughout the nest few days, I will be discussing and analyzing inner-city violence, with a main focus on teenage violence. I hope to investigate the reasons for initiating violent encounters as well as the consequences of one’s poor decisions.

Initially, I did not know what I was going to blog about but after much thought, I chose to express my feelings on a topic that has been present my entire life. I was born and raised in Chicago, yes, the actual city of Chicago, as opposed to the suburbs where inhabitants deem it acceptable to say they are from the Chicago. Violence is a prominent issue in my neighborhood and I want to be able to understand it rather than judge it. The only way to accomplish this is through careful analysis and creative thinking, which can all be expressed via this blog. Enjoy!

Posted by rubalcav at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)