As someone who was born and raised in LA, you're right. I grew up just South of Downtown. I've had friends and family members who were involved with local gangs. A lot of the "fear" is media driven. If you watch or read LA news, you'd get the idea that we're a bunch of thugs who go around robbing and killing ourselves in a barbaric way.
For the most part, our neighborhoods are filled with good, hard working people just like anywhere else. Yes, there are spots that can be dangerous, but no more dangerous than any other similar place in the US. That old saying, "If you're looking for trouble, you'll find it" definitely applies here. If you come with an attitude or looking to get into sh*t, yeah, you're gonna get messed with and the experience will not be that pleasant. If you mind your own business and act normally, nobody cares. For all the hype Skid Row receives, it's not very dangerous at all. Most of the hype comes from politicians and police officers acting like they're doing something good in the community and they use the homeless as scapegoats to push their BS agendas. It's the same thing in places such as Compton. As you saw for yourself, it's not what it's built up to be. We're just working class people trying to make our way in this world. Not much different from other poor areas across the nation. Besides, isn't rather stupid to argue about who has the worst areas in the US? Not exactly an honor I'd like to have.
I also grew up in South L.A., and currently reside in Inglewood, and even briefly lived in Compton in the early 90s...of course, there's crime but things are relatively tamer than they've been in recent years. You're absolutely right about the people; for every knucklehead in each neighborhood, there's at least 7-8 more people who are law-abiding citizens and are working-class. I know when to stay out of certain neighborhoods, but even when I visited the so-called dangerous neighborhoods, I've never had any problems; I just minded my business and kept it moving.
You can't always listen and pay attention to the bullshit that the media puts out; you need to experience it for yourself, and then form your own opinion.
place is the worst shit hole ever. i went there pick up some things for work and omg the place smelled like ass, the town was so boring. Everything is illegal. like alcohol (even tho its in the middle east Dubai and Abu Dhabi have alcohol legal in at least hotels. but nope not this place), also no hookah? like wtf. All the appartments are above digusting shopping malls. So many channels on tv are canceled (like mtv alot of news channels are canceled idk why but they are basically in their own world). i met some famlies down there they have terrible morals. like kids cant have girl friends or even say any bad word or listen to any other music besides what their parents will give them because its against islam. to radical and just stupid. only gross grocery stores are open after 7pm and they dont care about anything there. they think they are the shit because the are 20 min away from Dubai but its a shit hole to the max. and im arab myself so i have been all around the middle east and this is the worst.