Tony Rafael addresses the David Horowitz Freedom Center Book Club Tuesday evening at the Luxe on Sunset Blvd.
He's the author of the 2007 book "The Mexican Mafia." He writes this blog. He leaps buildings in a single bound.
He says that Los Angeles spent $82 million on anti-gang programs which were almost all taken over by the Mexican Mafia and resulted in nobody leaving a gang.
He says the Mexican Mafia controls about 100,000 Latino gangsters in Southern California and that man for man, the Latino gangbangers are more powerful and more organized than their black counterparts.
Maybe we need to have affirmative action for the oppressed black gangster?
According to Publisher's Weekly:
Rafael's debut book—a study of the Southern California–based Mexican mafia told mainly from the perspective of veteran Los Angeles deputy district attorney Anthony Manzella—is a revealing but flawed work. Despite occasional national headlines about drive-by shootings that claim innocent lives (including the granddaughter of an LAPD chief), most Americans are probably unfamiliar with the powerful, loosely organized street gangs that make up the Mexican mafia. Rafael does a workmanlike job of tracing the rise of these gangs, despite the occasional factual error (e.g., the RICO statute was used to indict criminal groups besides La Cosa Nostra before the Mexican mafia), but fails to dramatize his overly detailed account of Manzella's trials. Manzella is an interesting enough figure—a dedicated workaholic throwback who doesn't use a computer, or even an electric typewriter. But Rafael gives short shrift to the sociology of the rise of the Mexican mafia. Instead, he offers a final quote from Manzella (We know exactly the kind of families that produce criminals. I'd like to go in there and take them out. But we can't do that') will leave many with a sour taste that undercuts Rafael's attempts to make the deputy DA a hero.
From the Southern Poverty Law Center:
Whenever Tony Rafael leaves home, he carries a .45-caliber handgun nestled in a holster just below his armpit. A Cold Steel Recon-1 knife is stashed elsewhere on his person. Concealed weapons permits are hard to come by in Los Angeles County, but Rafael is a special case.
For the past five years, the respected writer and gang expert -- who uses only the name he writes under in public because of his dangerous work -- has been researching one of the deadliest gangs in America for a nonfiction book he's writing on the Mexican Mafia, or "La Eme"(the Spanish word for the letter 'M'), tentatively titled Southern Soldiers. His sources are of the "L.A. Confidential" variety: prison inmates, gang members past and present, homicide detectives, FBI agents and their informants. He has volunteered for the Los Angeles Police Department, conducting long-term surveillance outside gang hangouts, and has dug up the cases of hundreds of gang members from the county court system to document the bloody swath they've cut across Los Angeles.
One heart-arresting fact the streetwise investigator recently uncovered is that Mexican Mafia leaders have declared a "green light" on African Americans found in neighborhoods claimed by the powerful prison-based gang. This means that members of Latino street gangs affiliated with the La Eme are under orders to harass, assault, and even murder African-Americans, who Mexican Mafia leaders view as sub-human.
The reason for this, Rafael has found, is that a longstanding prison gang war between the Mexican Mafia and the African-American prison gang, Black Guerilla Family, has led to a deep racial loathing between the gangs that has spilled over into the streets of Los Angeles County.
..."They don't want blacks in their neighborhoods. They say it makes their neighborhood look bad."
..."[I]n the California prison system the Aryan Brotherhood and the Mexican Mafia have made an alliance to gang up against the Black Guerilla Family. It's common knowledge in the prison system that if there's a fight between a Mexican Mafia member and a black inmate, and there aren't enough Mexican Mafia guys to jump on his side, the Aryans are supposed to jump in on his side. This is an alliance that goes back 20 years. The Mexican Mafia and the Aryan Brotherhood have a mutual racial hatred for blacks."
"The Mexican Mafia derives inspiration and ethnic pride from the concept of La Raza (Spanish, in this context, for "The Race"), as well as from the Aztec, Aztlan movement. And this goes way back. There was a Mexican Mafia shot caller back in the 1970s named Rudolph Cheyenne Cardena, and before he was killed by rival Mexican gang members in 1978 or 1977, Cardena saw the Mexican Mafia the way George Jackson [a prominent member of the original Black Panther Party who founded the Black Guerilla Family] saw the black prison movement. He wanted to change the Mexican Mafia into a political, socially active movement, and what he used for inspiration was the Aztec culture. He taught himself Nahuatl [the ancient language of the Aztecs], started teaching it to all the other homies. In fact, to this day they still use Nahuatl to send coded messages to one another -- these kinds of three level-coded messages. You have to know the code, and then Nahuatl and so on. And one of the symbols of the Mexican Mafia is the Aztec worship [symbol]."