How tragic that the mothers interviewed cannot understand why their sons leave them for the gangs. Any male, no matter how righteous and fine a homemaker his mother, can recognize in gang members an innate male longing and need to break away from the mother and be joined to the fellowship of men. In fact, the finest woman's best is not good enough to usher a boy into manhood. As every humane society has known for milleniums--unlike our own--that is men's work.
As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa, I saw how another, ostensibly "primitive" culture was far more advanced than our own in recognizing, affirming and making certain that this need was met in every male. No boy can do it by himself, any more than a mother can let go of her boy by herself. Calling the boy out and away from the mother is the job of the father, together with the elder men of the village, who alone can make the necessary "cut."
Our efforts to console the mothers and control the gangs are a waste of time, sadly enough, until we men are willing to heal the awful wound in the masculine soul today. Until then, we "modern" males--regardless of race or class--can only lurch desperately from our mother's grasp into the fatherless void, unto destruction.
REV. GORDON DALBEY