Sunday, July 6, 2008

Letter in 7/6 Charlotte Observer

As a community activist with a background in Hip Hop culture, I find your 6/29 editorial "Use all Tools Available to Shut Down Gangs" , as well as the current anti gang bills, disturbing, to say the least.

The new get tough on gang policies conjure up atrocities of the past including McCarthyism, COINTELPRO, and the Patriot Act. Although, these efforts were ,initially, applauded by many Americans as a way to insure law and order, most citizens will agree, in retrospect that they were dreadful mistakes.

The main problem with the prosed anti gang bills is their failure to clearly define what constitutes being a gang member. A preemptive strike against gangs will not win the war on crime but will only result in constitutional violations and "Hip Hop profiling."

Paul Scott