Before I start writing about the issues pertaining to Buena Clinton, I want to dedicate this post to the unique culture it has. Several years ago, the image of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe would get posted in the corner of Buena st and Westminster (17th) st.  It was only temporarily though; and was usually displayed only in December. Eventually, the decision of keeping her image year-round was made. Now people of all races, mainly Latino

She protects her children of Buena Clintonand Asian, pay respect to her every time they pass by.  At first it was just an image of her but now she has a shrine, lights, and beautiful flowers.  She once united different races in Mexico with the help of a native Juan Diego and now she does this again in with this neighborhood.  I didn’t really see any interaction between Asians and Latinos before her display but all that has changed.  During Christmas, the community gets together to do posadas, a Mexican ceremony where they imitate the Holy Family trying to find shelter for the birth of Jesus Christ. Hot chocolate amongst other drinks are given to children with sweet bread. When someone wants to celebrate his/her birthday party, the whole apartment building is invited as well as close family members and friends. On fourth of July, a tradition of a firework war is practiced.  On the street of Morningside, people choose either side of the street and throw fireworks at each other all night. It is not a safe way to celebrate but people enjoy it because release stress and love the adrenaline. People do get minor burns at times but nothing severe; and so far no building has been burned down haha. This is a tradition that has been going on many years. There an enormous amount of social interaction between the residents of Buena Clinton.  Now cops are starting to gain their respect in the neighborhood (this does not include the infamous gang-unit officers). However, since people distrusted them, they took the law in their own hands.  Things have changed now but there is still that sense of helping one another in times of crisis. If someone, especially an outsider, tries to harm anyone in this area, most of the neighbors will come out to protect. As I looked through the police website to check if there were any child molesters in this area, I realized there were none.  People here do take pride to care for each other.  I’m not trying to say cops are not needed in this neighborhood because emergencies do happen, but a daily surveillance of cops is definitely not wanted. It just seems like a threat to the residents.  Many people talk bad about gangsters and how dangerous they are to everyone. I personally do not like the killing of my race so I agree with some opinions. I do, however, want to emphasize the fact that at least here in Buena Clinton gangster do not hurt women and children. They also protect the residents of Buena Clinton and care for the neighborhood. Vandalism, specifically graffiti on the walls, is an issue but is a weak counter-attack towards them.  I say this because to what both cops and the neighborhood know, there are no molesters nor rapists within these boundaries.  This something the residents, including gangsters,  cannot stand especially because there is a big population of children living there. People might not understand this but gangsters are like the national guard of the neighborhood; of course they do have their own separate gang-related problems.






About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

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