The following is a response to the Somali Youth Gang article.
For the past three years my security consulting firm has worked with the Somali Community. Clients contact us to coordinate the security operations at events such as weddings, movies and parties. The past three years has been an education to say the least. At any given event there are groups of Somali males loitering in and around the area of the event.
The males move in large groups to intimidate others. Vulgar language, hand gestures and clothing also have the markings of gang activity. On a regular basis these males start fights with single males. Ganging up on these single males at times eight to 10 on one.
I do respect the notion that these males are caught between two cultures. But that idea only goes so far. When given the opportunity to come to this country for a fresh start, one can pick any sub-culture to attach to. A lot of young Somali males attach themselves to the worst America has to offer, the rough gang-thug Hip-Hop culture. Wearing their pants around their knees and referring to each other as “Niggas.” This is fundamentally wrong at any level, by any group, especially new immigrants. This is a choice that these young men make on their own.
In terms of whom is to blame, I think that your article fell short of making one good point. Yes, it can be said that the city should provide adequate facilities for young people to “hang out.” But where you fell short was that personal responsibility of the individual is key. We live in a victim society. No one is responsible for themselves. I understand that your paper is very liberal in its view, for example, Jamal’s “Minor Immigration offenses.” Jamal is accused of lying about what countries he had lived in along with other offenses. Again your paper implies that the Government under Bush is out to get minorities. Use your charge in a more responsible way!!!!
What are the answers? I truly believe that education is key, but also being able to follow through with strong punishment for gang-related crimes. To include deportation.
We cannot allow people to come to our country without a firm understanding of how things work. You can’t always look to some government program to solve your problems. I feel that as things stand, we have started to please so many different groups that we have forgotten about what America means. What we have built for our children. I am interested in hearing from Burt Berlowe and his extensive interaction with the Somali community he so proudly defends.
Erik R. Bergling KingsleyBergling & Associates L.L.C