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Fabian Nuñez and wife in San Diego today!

December 3rd, 2008 · 5 Comments

Former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez and his wife, Maria Robles, are in San Diego today to lend support to their son, Esteban, who was arrested yesterday on suspicion of murder.

The LA Times is reporting that the police are investigating a possible gang link with Esteban Nuñez and the other young men arrested in the stabbing.

Fabian Nuñez issued the following statement: “This is a very difficult and painful experience for every family involved. Maria and I love our children very much. We are confident our son Esteban will be cleared of the charges he is facing. We will continue to fully cooperate with all law enforcement officials and have faith in our system of justice. We ask that the media respect our family’s privacy as the process moves forward.”

I’m still shocked that Fabian Nuñez would allow his child to have a myspace such as the one he does and even allow him to perpetuate this “gangsta” mentality. If you notice on the myspace, Esteban Nuñez has posters of Scarface, Boyz N the Hood, Paid In Full, Gang Related, and 2Pac. It seems like he’s trying to embrace a thug’s life. When he was at Damien High School, a noted Catholic boy’s school in LA County, he said that the club he was in was “ur mom in bed.” If there was ever a reason for a parent to patrol their kid’s on-line activities, this is it.

Seneca, who sometimes contributes to this blog, recently told me that we Latinos often settle for the lowest common denominator too quickly. When I read about tragedies like this, I have to concur. Esteban Nuñez has lived a life that many kids will never get to experience with access to resources, education, etc. What is it about the gang life that appeals so much to Latino youth, even ones coming from upper incomes?

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Nuñez and wife in Sacramento airport today 12/03/08

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Tags: Crime · Fabian Núñez · Maria Robles

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 wendy carrillo // Dec 3, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    sigh. this is so tragic.

  • 2 theKaiser // Dec 3, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    The gangster life appeals to the machismo mentality by empowering the individual to feel social peer importance without society’s acceptance, or the cerebral work required by higher education. Look at me…I am so bad. I saw a picture in his MySpace of Esteban Nunez attempting to stab a cat with a knife. This is not an intelligent young man. To choose this environment over what was available to him conveys a total lack of any comprehension of cause and effect, and simple values. Since money buys American justice, I am sure he believes his father can get him out of this. Nevertheless, this boy’s problems are just beginning.

  • 3 HispanicPundit // Dec 3, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    What is it about the gang life that appeals so much to Latino youth, even ones coming from upper incomes?

    I’ve wondered about the same thing myself – particularly the upper income part. Here is my theory: cultural acceptance and the search to be different. Cultural acceptance is especially the case with minority groups where the “sell out” charge can be incredibly hurtful.

    Because Esteban Nuñez is the son of former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, he has more to prove than the typical person. He has to compensate for the fact that he has so much more money, opportunities, and power than his peers. Gangs, violence, and the overall hip hop culture is just one way to do that…especially when your peers glorify it.

    This is not unique to ghetto or violent prone cultures either. Hang around some Chicano Studies circles and you will quickly see that if you are not dark skinned enough, speak Spanish fluently enough, or basically show any signs of middle and upper class upbringing that you too will feel this sort of “prove yourself” pressure. The pressure to be for ‘la raza’ is strong no matter what the setting. Add that to a growing teenager full of testosterone and you can sometimes get a deadly combination. I blogged a few years ago how this same pressure has pushed many latino gangs in Los Angeles and Compton to turn racial, see here. (This is why, btw, I encourage everybody to openly embrace the “sell out” charge. Don’t be afraid of it and wear it as a badge of honor. As a future parent, this is what I plan to do with my child and teach him that I would be very proud if he too was a sell out – I’m very serious.)

    In addition to the above, having a successful father can be a psychologically hard thing to live with because you have just removed one avenue by which to get self worth from. For example, if you already grew up with all the money in the world, how much money would you have to make to feel you have progressed? It’s much easier to go a different route and carve out your niche in some other way. This is why, IMHO, many of the children of really rich parents are themselves leaders of radical movements. As Eric Hoffner said, “Unlimited opportunities can be as potent a cause of frustration as a paucity or lack of opportunities.” This is all explained in much greater detail in Eric Hoffer’s great (highly recommended) book, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. Thomas Sowell summarizes some of the authors points here.

    With that said, it should still be called what it is: very very stupid.

  • 4 Bearguez // Dec 3, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Private schools, expensive cars, and social status did not prevent this young man from participating in a gutter environment, fully engaging in incredibly stupid behavior. One trip through his MySpace tells you everything. He is old enough to be responsible for his actions. A tour in Iraq may have saved this young man from himself and his illusions of muy macho. I wonder where his parents were during the last five years. This obviously did not happen yesterday. The issues of character are totally at stake here, and this young man doesn’t have any. You can’t tell me Fabian Nunez didn’t see this coming.

  • 5 TruthSquad // Dec 5, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Your “shocked” Speaker Nunez would “allow his child” to have a MySpace page? He’s 19 years old. You think parents are censoring the pages of their 19 year old kids. What planet are you on?

    And Bearguez must be on that same planet. The best parents, loving parents still can have kids that make bad choices.

    And wait a second here — these are just allegations. Let the justice system work before casting stones.

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