Black anger grows as illegal immigrants transform urban neighborhoods.
Mexican gangs in Los Angeles, like Florencia 13, are waging a bloody campaign to drive blacks from neighborhoods.
Terry Anderson is angry. From his KRLA-AM radio perch in Los Angeles, the black talk-show host thunders, “I have gone on the streets and talked to people at random here in the black community, and they all ask me the same question: ‘Why are our politicians and leaders letting this happen?’ ” What’s got Anderson—motto: “If You Ain’t Mad, You Ain’t Payin’ Attention”—so worked up isn’t the Jena Six or nooses on Columbia University doorknobs; it’s the illegal immigrants who allegedly murdered three Newark college students last August. And when he excoriates politicians for “letting this happen,” he’s directing his fire at Congressional Black Caucus members who support open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens. “Massive illegal immigration has been devastating to my community,” Anderson, a former auto mechanic and longtime South Central Los Angeles resident, tells listeners. “Black Americans are hit the hardest.”
Gangbanging is responsible for much of the carnage. Greater Los Angeles is now home to some 500 Mexican gangs—compared with some 200 black ones—and they’ve aggressively tried to push blacks out of mixed-race neighborhoods. More than just turf wars, the Latinos’ violence has included attacks against law-abiding African-Americans with no gang involvement; a horrifying example was the December 2006 murder of 14-year-old Cheryl Green by Mexican gang members in Harbor Gateway, a brutal crime designed to terrorize local blacks. Three years earlier, the same gang had killed a black man because he dared to patronize a local store that they considered “For Hispanics Only.” Meantime, federal authorities have indicted members of another Los Angeles–based Latino gang, Florencia 13, for random shootings of blacks in South L.A. The indictment chillingly accuses a gang leader of giving members instructions on how to find blacks to shoot.
The violent neighborhood confrontations initially received little media attention outside Southern California. But the murder last summer of three black, college-bound students in Newark, New Jersey—allegedly by several illegal Hispanic immigrants, including a Peruvian with a criminal record named Jose Carranza—sparked widespread national coverage and a heated debate within the black community. The Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, a conservative radio host and columnist, called the Newark killings and the California violence “a wake-up call” for blacks. Reflecting the new mood, Terry Anderson, the Los Angeles talk-show host, challenged black leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to speak out. “If you make one simple change, and change Jose Carranza to a white man,” said Anderson, “I will guarantee you that [Sharpton and Jackson] would be screaming and marching in the streets.”