According to William Finnegan, author of Cold New World, there are a couple of good reasons that teenagers in the Antelope Valley area become members of white supremacist groups. Many of them are obvious just in reading the book. Peer pressure is the biggest reason given for the youth to join these groups. This means that since their friends are in the group, they should be in it. Another reason is to be protected. Both the Sharps and the NLRs protect themselves and each other. They watch each other's backs. And if youre not in one of these groups, youre bound to get hurt, or looked bad
upon. Youre reputation might be at stake, so the natural thing to do would be to become part of the in group. No one wants to be an outsider..or part of the out group, so they become affiliated with the in crowd. Then they feel a sense of belonging and security. It all comes down to peer pressure and being regarded as one of us. Another reason that comes to mind is using the group in general as a scapegoat. A person builds so much frustration and anger at something, and instead of going to the gym to vent their anger, they join a gang and let the idea of prejudice guide their anger to let out their emotions.
Sonoma County does not have the extent of gangs that Antelope Valley has, thankfully. But if we did. Im sure that the same type of social interactions, economic conditions, and family actions would be about the same for both areas. The poverty line plays a major role in the economic situation that an area has, and if the poverty line is high, that is , if we have a large population of homeless or misfortunate people, the more trouble we would have. It has been found that high crime rate is associated with how a person lives. If one is poor, and not able to afford the necessities in life, they are more likely to resort to crime to get what they need. Also, an area of dirt and filth on the lower side of town has always been associated with crime. We hardly ever find problems in a well to do neighborhood, because these people are respectable, can afford what they need, and dont need to use crime as a scapegoat. Because we live in such a great area, we are fortunate not to see much of this.
Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice, or SHARPS for short, are a group of troubled youth in the Antelope Valley. They are not a local group, it is just an antiracist -ideology -street -fighting gang. They are bigger than the Nazi Low Riders, and we could say that it has a more laissez-faire type leadership. This means that everyone is on their own, and there really is no big organization. There is no leader of the Sharps. They do what ever they want. The only real organization might be to get together and decide what action is
going to be taken about who, and so on. The skinheads are non political, and they dont seem to follow so much in Hitlers Nazi footsteps. The Sharps are all for the working class, and most of them are pussy preppy white rich kids.
Nazi Low Riders are into tattoos, swastikas, skulls, iron crosses, and lightning bolts. It seems that this group strictly follows in Hitlers footsteps. They are more political than the sharps, but they are also a much smaller, local group. We see this group more concerned about where other groups are at at certain times and whos with what group. They say that Nazism is about a society with no upper or lower class.-Theyd have equality. This group also believes that white supremacist just comes from growing up and seeing whats in society. Youre not born with these feelings.