In a video released from Live Leak, an adult black man is seen trying to recruit and/or talk to a young white boy whom he refers to as “Timmy.” After repeatedly telling the boy to put his mother on the phone, Timmy flashes a gun, to which the black man claims is fake before receiving a closer, more convincing look. The boy then flashes a Crip gang signal and reveals a blue bandana before the man begins to respond excitedly, saying, “I’m a Blood, what’s up?”

The video captures the essence of what is occurring on the streets of urban cities, particularly in what one can assume is L.A. Children are losing what it means to be a child, and urban adults are often unwittingly (or knowingly, as the man in the video) contributing to it. Gang violence is as rampant as ever and is negatively impacting more lives than one can definitely know.

In L.A., approximately 850,000 children live amid violent gang-heavy areas, wherein negative influences such as racism, drug addiction, rape, murder, and theft are gradually integrated into their day-to-day lives. Children who grow up to join gangs often face a severe deficit of opportunities and highlights the pursuit of happiness often appears out of reach for the youth of South Central.

Gang culture encourages extortion and terror as a means to an end, or to an end itself depending on the member. There is no cultural assimilation for those caught up in gang violence, and the poor boy recorded in the video – if he is indeed a “baby Crip” – will likely not live past the premature age of 20.

What is the solution to rampant gang culture in urban areas? Morality. Urban peoples, specifically those participating in gangs infamous for violence and drug pushing, need to adopt a consistent ethical code, preferably one that is in alignment with our American context that promotes wealth, health, and the possibility of success.