34 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 747 (2000-2001)
Demonizing Youth

handle is hein.journals/lla34 and id is 779 raw text is: DEMONIZING YOUTH

Linda S. Beres* and Thomas D. Griffith**
Why can't they be like we were?
Perfect in every way!
What's the matter with Aids today?'
Youth in general, and young minority males in particular, often
are demonized by legislators, the media, scholars, and the public at
large. These attacks reinforce stereotypes and place a particularly
heavy burden on young Black and Latino males.2 Negative images
of youth also may inhibit the adoption of the most effective programs
to reduce crime, especially in disadvantaged inner-city neighbor-
Viewing young minority males as the enemy fosters illegal po-
lice conduct like that exhibited by the Rampart CRASH unit. In-
deed, the name itself, Community Response to Street Hoodlums,
evokes images of incorrigible offenders for whom rehabilitation pro-
grams are fruitless.4  Conceptualizing the crime-control mission in
military terms----'War on Drugs and War on         Gangs-can
* Professor of Law, Loyola Law School.
** John B. Milliken Professor of Taxation, University of Southern Califor-
nia Law School. We would like to thank Jeannine Taylor for her excellent re-
search assistance.
1. Charles Strouse & Lee Adams, Kids, on BYE BYE BIRDIE (Columbia
Records 1960).
2. Other minority groups and females may also be affected. See Davan
Maharaj, Rights Suits Involving Police Photos Settled, L.A. TIMES, Dec. 12,
1995, at Al (reporting settlement of lawsuit brought by Asian female teenagers
who were detained and photographed as suspected gang members by Garden
Grove police).
3. See Tom Hayden, Commentary, We Need Peacemakers Like Alex San-
chez Gangs: Respected Leader of Homies Unidos Could Help Steer Youths in
the Right Direction, L.A. TIMES, Jan. 11, 2000, at Bll.
4. See id.

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