Artist and author Henry A. J. Ramos, Age 17, “War & Peace” mural, Los Angeles, 1977

Artist and author Henry A. J. Ramos, Age 17, “War & Peace” mural, Los Angeles, 1977

First, objectively, in key areas like criminal justice, education, employment, and health, Latino males are manifestly faring worse than either Latinas or other minority males. Gang involvement and incarceration rates for Latino males are disproportionately high with resulting negative impacts on other areas of Latino progress. For example, in California and other states with large and growing Latino populations, Latino males have the highest incidence of early school incompletion and early mortality. Latino males are also about 1.5 times more likely to be unemployed than white males. 

Second, while much recent focus on minority males has been justifiably directed to the dismal circumstances still facing African American males in U.S. society, Latino young men and boys face comparable, though still unique conditions and challenges that warrant their own attention and response. Cultural, linguistic, legalistic, and historical aspects of the Latino male experience in America are sufficiently particular, that dedicated attention to these experiences is warranted at this particularly important moment in public discussion and debate on criminal justice, diversity, and human rights issues.