The Oregonian recently ran a fairly comprehensive article about the growing gang problem in Gresham, a fairly large city that adjoins Portland to the East. The article dwells on the positive roll of a gang outreach employee called “Coach.” The author, Kasia Hall, writes:
As one of the only gang outreach workers in Gresham, Coach is on the front lines of a growing effort to battle the escalating gang violence that has law enforcement, city leaders and the community on alert. In 2013, tension of the previous two decades came to a head, with six of the city’s seven homicides considered gang-related.
Coach’s job? Cut the pool of gang recruits by getting kids off the streets and into jobs or school. His duties range from helping prevent street fights to “kickin’ it,” as he says, with the kids at a MAX stop — anything to help the yellow tape from going up.
Gresham hired Coach as a contract worker in December, and he is now regularly recognized by residents, from a gas attendant to youths on a street corner. He’ll spend time at the hot spots, watching and waiting. Many nights he’ll cruise with the windows open, looking out for potential trouble.
When we think of gangs, we generally imagine black and Hispanic gangs. Except in the movies, few of us have actually been threatened by dangerous skinhead, or motorcycle, gangs. But Ms. Hall makes sure we know that, even though blacks and Hispanics are the core constituency of these gangs, whites are in on the action too:
As subsidized housing in neighborhoods east of 82nd Avenue took hold, Gresham became a mecca for gangbangers, who planted new roots and brought their colors, shootings and stabbings with them.
According to a 2014 Multnomah County Comprehensive Gang Assessment report released in June, violent crime from 2009 to 2012 decreased in Portland by nearly 5 percent. In Gresham, it increased 24 percent.
On a recent Saturday night, members of the East Metro Gang Enforcement Team walk through apartment complexes, handing out stickers to kids while trying to talk to parents.
Many residents close their doors to the uniformed officers. They don’t want to talk for fear of retaliation from their neighbors who may be part of the Sureños, Norteños, Bloods, Crips, white supremacist gangs or outlaw motorcycle gangs.
A casual reader, from some other part of the world, might assume that white gangs are a major problem in Gresham. After all, based on the most recent census, Gresham is anywhere between 76% and 84% white. I would say the higher estimate is more accurate; many “Native Americans” are actually white, but call themselves “Native American” because of a great grandmother, who was “pure-blooded ______.”
According to the article, there are some 450 documented gang members in the Gresham area. I couldn’t help but wonder how many of these are white. I also wondered if the city of Gresham has allocated resources toward helping “at-risk white youth.” In other words, I wondered if there are white “coaches” on the city’s payroll.
Though, Mr. Hall wasn’t able to answer my questions, she did get back to me quickly, and she did tell me who to contact for more information.
An email response, from the City of Gresham’s policy advisor, states:
White supremacy/OMG members represent about 10% of the overall gang population in East County. We do not currently fund any outreach coordinators who specialize in these sub-groups. With limited resources, we are only able to fund 2 outreach positions at this time, and as you read in the article those 2 positions are focused on the other 90% of the gang population (black and Hispanic). We contract these outreach services out to local youth-serving non-profit agencies, which pay about $18/hour to their outreach workers.
In other words, about 20% of the population (the “diversity” so to speak) accounts for 90% of the gang problems in the Gresham area. It’s safe to assume that none of the “local youth-serving agencies” will hire white outreach workers to deal with black or Hispanic gangs.
Maybe it would be a good idea for whites to join white-supremacy/motorcycle gangs in larger numbers – so that white men can also get paid $18/hour for such rewarding work.
As it stands now, the government (through forced integration) has moved black/Hispanic crime into white areas. Now, not only do whites suffer from more dangerous neighborhoods, but their insurance rates go up, their homes decline in value and their children’s education suffers. On top of that, they must pay higher taxes in order to fund an increased police presence and programs such as the one described above. Although they must pay for such services, only black/Hispanic men need apply for outreach jobs.
There are plenty of white criminals in the Gresham area; meth and heroin are serious problems there. We can only wonder if this would have been the case had white communities been allowed self-determination and a sense of pride. I would guess that white children, if encouraged to feel good about themselves and their roots, would resort to drugs less frequently than they do now. One can safely get high on ethnic pride. It’s cheap, readily available – and, so far, it’s legal even for whites. Give white school children ethnic pride, and let it displace more dangerous drugs.