2022 Abstracts Stage 3

The Destruction of Urban Communities In L.A, and the Formation of Gang Culture

Robert Cooper, 2022, Stage 3

My project is about the U.S governments failure to uphold Lockean inspired natural rights in urban communities. The American government values the rights of: life, liberty, and property, but within their Los Angels based black communities they have frequently violated these natural rights in favour for a more Hobbesian approach to governing. This approach consists of having a strong centralized power in order to control the natural impulses of human nature in order to establish law. By doing this they have had a heavy presence in minority communities because of their racist belief that blacks are natural lawless. In practice this meant they over policed these communities, which only created disability and a further violation of the natural rights. This then culminated in the creation of gangs such as the Bloods and Crips, as a means to protect their neighbourhoods. These gangs then took the form of the governing bodies in these communities, with hopes of establishing these natural rights. However this also leads to gangs getting involved in deadly rivalries as they attempt to protect their areas. Although they spark violence, gangs do however, help inspire a pride in these communities so much so that members of these gangs often try to help their neighbourhoods by offering financial opportunities, protecting each others property, and making sure that everyone is safe and healthy. In conclusion because of the failure of the United States government to uphold their Lockean inspired natural rights of: life liberty and property, in favour for a more Hobbesian approach to governing urban communities in Los Angeles leads to gangs such as the Bloods and Crips. These gangs form as a way for the people of the neighbourhood to then uphold their natural rights. In doing so they re-establish a sense of community.

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