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Rumors and Race

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A rumor started earlier this week running from email to email, IM window to IM window, phone to phone amongst the Southern California black community that the freeway shootings are gang related and that the "Mexican Mafia" is targeting black men wearing white tee shirts in retaliation for stolen drugs. Yesterday, it expanded to include specifics about attacks happening on Cinco de Mayo at area high schools. Despite the LAPD's assurances that they've found nothing to corroborate the claims, many parents, particularly in South LA, are keeping their kids home today and security has been increased at several campuses.

While black and Latino politicians seem to finally be coming together in our city after years of fear and mistrust, it seems general race relations in the communities are worsening. After the high school fights earlier this year, African Americans in LA are finding it easy to believe far-fetched rumors of a brewing gang war despite evidence to the contrary.

Are these all precursors to something bigger happening in the southland or will things cool off?