Prime Minister Tony Blair of England has urged members of the black community to speak out against the gang culture in their areas. He said, “The black community — the vast majority of whom in these communities are decent, law-abiding people are horrified at what is happening — they need to be mobilised in denunciation of this gang culture that is killing innocent young black kids. But, we won’t stop this by pretending it isn’t black kids doing it.” At least seventeen teenagers, the majority of them black, have been shot or stabbed to death in the past six months. A spokesperson for the Commission for Racial Equality commented, “Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise that some young black men are becoming involved in gang cultures and criminal activities. They do so because they feel they have no choice and no future.”
Blame is one thing, action is another. Modern society provides fewer entry level job positions which enable a young person to raise a family and buy a house. England, like America, has to confront gang culture in a twofold manner – protect the innocent, but also offer new career opportunities for young men and women that enable them to gain self respect.