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AALBC.com's Thumper's Corner Discussion Board » Culture, Race & Economy - Archive 2003 » Gangstas--Rebels or Conformists? « Previous Next »

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Chris Hayden

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Posted on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 11:12 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Gangstas are often portrayed as rebels against society--but aren't they really conforming to it?

I was watching a screening of the trailer for the movie, PANTHER, and when it showed a part where the brothers confronted the police with loaded weapons the young audience evidenced their disbelief. I then reflected on how rough tough gangstas, the terror of their communities, usually go quietly when arrested.
After all, they don't go to overthrow the social order, just to subvert and use it to their own ends. Isn't what they want money, bling bling, cars, homes, all manufactured and provided by society? Don't many of them ultimately crave to be at least on the outside, respectable citizens?
Isn't their misogyny and degradation of women in line with the attitude of this society toward women?
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Snake Girl

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Posted on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 03:09 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, Chris.

I'm inclined to agree with you. As often point out, human beings prefer..."EXCHANGE instead of real change."






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ABM

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Posted on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 04:16 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Gangs are nothing more than groups of mindlessly incompetent cowards. Most gangstas don't have the guts or brains to even effectively commit the petty crimes they fruitlessly endeavor much less have inclination or the ability to effect the overthrow of any social order. And the subjugation of women is a natural corollary of the senselessly raw, unchecked male aggression that gangs recklessly engender.
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Yukio

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Posted on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 08:05 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Interesting thread....aren't political parties gangs?
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Snake Girl

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Posted on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 08:13 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, Yukio. I would go along with grouping political parties and police departments as gangs.

My brother is a fireman--I would even call his crew a gang, because you should see how they take advantage of the town when they're just riding around on those trucks for days with nothing to do.

But this is my favorite brother, so I shake my head and forgive him.

Hi-ABM. How are you?

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Cynique

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Posted on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 09:30 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Come on, ABM. Surely know how powerful prison gangs are and how intricate and structured their chain of command is, rivaling corporate America in their subsidiaries. The hierarchy of urban gangs controls turf, the drug trade and very often forms liaisons with law enforcment. Gangs are also a form of male bonding, and young fatherless boys from dysfunctional families become affiliated with them, or hook up with a posse because they are seeking a sense of belonging. Gangs are an especially dominant force in the Hispanic community. This, of course, is not to say that gangs are good, but they are not as superficial or as impotent as you portray them to be. Also, from what I've heard, a lot of black fraternities have elements of the gang mentality nowadays. Bottom line: gangs are a sociological phenomenon and they've always existed. And actually, Chris, I would say that gangsters(as opposed to gangsta rappers) are rebels in a way; they are people who decide to live outside the law. And, Yukio, I don't think it would be a stretch to regard the congressional black caucus as a gang of sorts. LOL!
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ABM

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Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 11:33 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My initial response to Chris' post was geared to the more "classical" definition of gangs (i.e., groups of law and ethics flouting, criminals/convicts and social outcasts). But I agree that police departments and political parties could be deemed as forms of "gangs". Though, since they are underpaid and are asked to risk their lives for us; many of whom people who are often fearful of and hostile towards them; I better understand/tolerate cops exhibiting gang-like tendencies.

Politicians, on the other hand, I have little empathy for.

A few politicians sincerely attempt and manage to effect the best interests of the public. Most politicos, however, are only clever, charismatic whores who serve solely to incite and satiate the wayward desires of the deluded masses so as to maintain and embellish the status/power of their true masters, the social/business elite. And few political parties has ever started or won a great social change. Rather, most simply manipulate the social/cultural zeitgeist to realize the interests of their masters.


Cynique,
All of what you say about gangs may be true. Still, gangs are basically gatherings of cowardly dolts and mindless zombies. Yes, some gangs are complex, highly organized entities, and their leaders are often - if you excuse the murder/mayhem they engender - bright and charismatic. But the assortment of skills that you attribute to gangs would be much better applied in endeavors that did not result in the majority of their constituents being incarcerated, burnt out and murdered.

I discount any apparent rationalization of the purpose/influence of gangs. I have never bought the whole gangs being social/emotional refuge for poor/fatherless boys. I too came from the boilerplate "dysfunctional" background to which gangs alleged enjoy recruitment (e.g., poor, welfare, inner city, fatherless, inadequate schools, under-supported social systems, et. al). Yet, I NEVER once so much as considered joining a "posse". In fact, I would exchange the "o" and "e" of "posse" with a "u" and "y" to categorize most gang members.

I grew up and lived in/among many people who joined gangs. Yet I was able to obtain most of the requisite "male bonding" that you allude to more safely and productively via alley/schoolyard basketball, dodgeball, sandlot football and (the aforementioned) comic books. But almost all of the "gangstas" that I knew were weak-minded punk a$$es. They wanted to appear tough, impress silly-a$$ females and fearfully avoid taking responsibilities for their own actions by slavishly obeying the will of others.

The only thing that most gangstas are "rebeling" against is their own common sense.


Hi yourself, Snake Girl!
Hey Kola? Does your talking to me mean that I am "off punishment"? 'Cause gurl, last time out, you really took a brothah out to the woodshed for a paddling. Next time, at least give me time to grease my BEEhind sum before you take tuh it. K?HAHAHA!!!

BTW: You should better tolerate the activities of your fireman brother. They may appear to you and me to be doing very little. But as soon as something catches fire and explodes or some poisonous/radioactive spill/release occurs, it's him, not you or me, who is expected to put his a$$ on the line.
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Chris Hayden

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Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 11:37 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yukio:

Many present day political organizations in big cities were spawned from gangs--the Daley Machine, for instance, had some of its orgigins in the Irish Ragen's Colts gang, a collection of thugs that boasted hundreds of members (Their motto: You hit me and you hit two thousand) and which it is reputed Richard J. Daley was a member. This is one reason the political establishment fears (and at the same time tries to coopt) the Black Gangster Disciples and Vice Lords in Chicago today--Cynique, you probably can add more to this. In other cities criminal gangs served as sluggers and enforcers for politicians and even elected members to office--the Pendergast gang in Kansas City and Tammany Hall in New York. Even today, if you do not have the backing of the inner city dopelords it is futile to run for office, which is why you'll see such as Maxine Waters cozying up to Suge Knight and Freeway Ricky Ross. It should also be noted that these people, viewed as criminals and thugs and lowlifes outside their communities, are often looked on as heroes within. I remember how kids eyes would light up when they talked about a local gangster, and how politicians (black and white) got in line to receive his favors.

I actually met him once. Really nice guy. I was told he was unless you were a competitor or owed him money--a cousin of mine made this mistake and had to leave town.
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Snake Girl

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Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 11:54 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM...you were never on punishment. I've been the same with you. I guess you don't see all the threads.

I thought it was you who wasn't talking to me.

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Cynique

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Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 12:38 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM, does it ever occur to you that whenever you use yourself as an example of a person who does not fit a profile someone else has outlined, that you are the exception to the rule? BTW,I attributed no skills to gangs. But the ones here in Chicago have a pecking order you wouldn't believe. And, am I to assume that you don't consider the Mafia, who epitomizes "organized" crime, a gang?
Chris, you are correct about the Irish gangs of Chicago evolving into the Democratic political machine that controls all aspects of city government. And the black and hispanic street gangs certainly control the city's underworld.
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ABM

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Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 01:34 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynique: ABM, does it ever occur to you that whenever you use yourself as an example of a person who does not fit a profile someone else has outlined, that you are the exception to the rule?
ABM: Why not at all My Dear Cynique. Rather, I consider myself the "The 'exception' that proves the rule". HAHAHA!!!

Seriously. The reason why I discount the apparent justification for joining gangs is simple: Most poor, inner city, abandoned, fatherless boys, white/black/brown/yellow, DO NOT join gangs. Otherwise, there would be 10's of millions of men/boys in gangs, which there most certainly is not. I know brothahs who grew up all over the nation, in some of the cruelest/harshest conditions, and MOST of them avoided joining gangs. There's a certain type of mentality, character that feels the need to buddy-up with such a group. They are usually scary-a$$es, who are looking for protection from tougher kids, want to appear cool or "down" or they are simply stupid and ignorant & have nothing else anything to do.

Now, I will modify my opinion slightly where it concerns being incarcerated. I do think it is VERY difficult for brothahs to do hard/long prison time without joining gang, as other prisoners will likely prey on their apparent lack of backup. I know a number of men who did not join gangs until they were convicted of crimes and felt they had to join up just to stay alive.

And I would consider the "Mafia" or "Mob" to be a gang and would ascribe to them the same attributes that I have previously stated...no matter how they have been so eloquently glamorized by directors Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese and HBO's "The Sopranos".
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Chris Hayden

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Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 03:40 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM:

I would agree to some extent that some members of a gang are scary types--this is not the sole motivation.

Read Soyinka Shakur's MONSTER, among other books on this subject. It becomes obvious that additionally a drive for status is involved as well as a yearning for some sort of structure or family, twisted as that might be. People can fall into it by birth--your brothers and friends are in the gang, your neighbors, you do it. I knew a guy who got in Chicago's Vice Lords who got into it that way in the 60's. Met him at the Uof I in Champaign (where several members of the P-Stones and Disciples were enrolled, too--they had a truce on while at school). Said it was just a social thing--until the day they came to get him to do a hit.

Status--seeking the bubble reputation even at the cannon's mouth.
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Cynique

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Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 03:46 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM, I am not talking about why young boys DON'T join gangs, I am talking about why young boys DO join gangs. Or, am I making any attempt to glamorize gangdom. I am merely contending that gangs represent a powerful force in the urban environment, and their hard-core members are not cowardly punks. They are ruthless and dangerous and fearless. It should also be noted that all boys who join gangs don't become killers; the ones I talk to, cite the reason I gave as their reason for joining a gang, and, naturally, they think that those who don't join a gang are wimps. This is just the way it is.
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ABM

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Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 04:55 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Forgive me Chris & Cynique. I am not trying to argue, as I understand your points. They doubtless have merit. But it seems that EVERYONE has an excuse for doing something wrong. It's the environment...my upbringing...my daddy deserted me...blah...blah...blah blah. Enuff already with the blame game.

And Cynique, you can believe what you will about gangs being a "powerful force in the urban environment". Because I will bet my right arm the very "...ruthless and dangerous and fearless." Gangsta Disciples or Vice Lords who pillage and plunder hapless inner city Chicagoans wouldn't be caught dead trying to ply their woeful trades in the wealthy/white neighboring suburbs of Naperville, Oak Brook and Winnetka.
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Cynique

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Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 06:29 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM, the drug dealing gangsters don't have to go to the upscale suburbs to ply their trade because the Yuppies from the north shore come to the cities to patronize the drug dealers. And, The gangbangers have no vested interest in claiming the suburbs as turf since they don't live there.
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Yukio

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Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 07:19 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hmmmm...lol! Folks i'm not talkin about gangs in the "formal" sense, as in self-identified gangs, but in the way political parties coerce and exploit their constituencies(you guys are too precise and intellectual sometimes)...ie Bush's presidency...THe US government's relationship with corporations spawning corporate welfare...the federal government and all of it's agencies, ie CIA, FBI, etc....gangs....we know this or is it that some of our US nationalism prohibits us from seeing their malice? Hmmmm, the issue for me is that though it is their job, police, to protect us....they have no respect for the black body; we are variables, we are thingified...objects that committ crime...not people, so that if a black man commits a crime all black men are criminal...and i'm talking about the police as a gang, as an ideological body which attaches inhumane to the black body as criminal....i'm African American not black american, so i don't believe any government agency is without an ideology that is about sustaining its power and innocence....
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ABM

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Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 06:57 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynique,
I guess I should have prefaced my commentary on this subject matter by saying that I have a special resentment and disdain for all gangs, especially those in the inner cities because they prey on the weakest, most hapless of American citizens: poor black folks. I have witnessed so many innocent lives needlessly consumed and destroyed via gang-related activity that I can't help but express contempt for/toward those who willingly choose to participate in such a mindlessly inane lifestyle.

True, many drug-addicted surbanites patronize inner city dealers. But the real reason black gangs don't venture outside of their confines is they have neither the gumption, brains or guts to make of go of things beyond inner city street corners, schoolyards and projects. Whiteboys, however, don't let their home addresses limit where they do the nasty. They do their thing in the hood and the 'burbs.
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Yukio

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Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 08:52 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I dare say that the "whiteboys" probably have greater capital, which enables them to "manage" trade in the ghetto; they don't necessarily personally enter the ghetto and participate in the drug exchanges, however unequal. The "black" gangs, on the other hand, often don't have the capital, and when they do, they often have a "whiteboy" controling the exchanges within the burbs....forgive me, but it is like the neo-colonialism or integration....you used "insiders" to do the dirty work....the face we see on the streets are always only the pawns, and this is true whether we talk about the police or "formal" gangs: they are led not leaders!
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Chris Hayden

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Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 11:05 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yukio:

What you are speaking of is a gang in the sense that it is a criminal enterprise--which in all cases it is not. There are drugdealing, gangbanging gangs, there are also motorcycle clubs, car clubs, other clubs that are gangs but don't engage in criminal behavior.

I think political parties do operate like gangs in the formal sense; there is a hierarchy, there is a sense of loyalty to the gang, there is a symbolism and identification.

Bush, the corporations, the police, the CIA, I think they are operating the way they are supposed to--we just don't think they ought to operate like that because we buy the reasons or labels self justification and motives that they have presented publicly.

George Bush is doing what he was put there to do. Anyone who was familiar with his family and the cabal that surrounds them is not surprised at what is going on. Political parties in America are basically organizations that operate for the benefit of their members. The corporations ARE the government, and this is nothing new.

Other than your not making clear in what manner they function as gangs, I didn't pick up on it because, to me, it goes without saying--which may be a sad commentary on The World of the 21st Century.
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ABM

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Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 11:45 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yukio,

You proffer intriguing comments about what may surreptitiously occur within some communities (though the focus was more on the overt exertions of power/influence). Still, I am sure that you would agree that even within the scenario that you cite there is a decidedly pro-white "trade surplus" (likely a +100:1 ratio) going on.

And again folks, the primary argument here is that gangs, particularly black gangs, no matter their apparent way/cause/reason, malevolently prey on the most weak and defenseless youth/women/children/elder/neighbors of the very neighborhoods that birth/nurtured them. They basically crap in their own kitchen then forcefully serve up their rancid fixings for the their own family to woefully consume. And what is worse is their dealing are now being so colorfully "glamorized", that many otherwise decent people get deceptively swept up into a life that ultimately destroys any and all around them.

It is the callously disregard & disloyalty for one's own people/home/hearth that is incalculably destructive and, thus, I find mortally irreconcilable.



PS: You will please pardon me, Cynique, while I use my own life experience "as an example", because any honest examination of what goes on in the hood would argue that when it comes to honestly examining what gangs REALLY are, this is much more the "rule" than it is the "exception".

One of the very best guys I knew in high school was killed in a "drive-by shooting" while waiting at a bus stop, just moments after he, other friends and myself had parted company. He died just months before we marched to "Pomp & Circumstance".

He was a tall (6'6"), powerful, handsome, warm-hearted and generous young man. And he was deeply rooted in his Christian faith. He had SAT scores in the top +85 percentile. Class President, Most Handsome, Most Popular, Most Athletic, Most Likely to Succeed, etc etc...etc. And he had academic and football & basketball (captain of both teams) scholarship offers. So skilled was he in basketball that he won league MVP honors over several guys who had long & successful NBA.

The guy who shot him - to pass the infernally obligatory gang initiation - was FOURTEEN YEARS OLD.

The young fool had mistaken my friend for a rival gang member. The gangstas' intended victim was about 7 inches shorter and 70 lbs. lighter than my friend.

Folks, you can say what you want. But gangs ain't worth a damn!
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Cynique

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Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 12:44 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM your scenario about innocent good guys being the mistaken victim of bad drive-by shooters is a familiar one. Something like this happens at least once a year around Chicago. This is a way of life in the inner cities. Just as white kids gun down their classmates over imagined slights is a regular occurrence in white suburbia. And, for that matter, just as American GIs are being picked off daily by gangs of Iraqi snipers. During the course of this discussion, nobody ever said street gangs were good; only that they are a force to be reckoned with. And, as Chris says, the gang anatomy is pervasive throughout society, down through history.
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Snake Girl

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Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 12:57 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM, you're totally right about black gangs and their cowardice--their recognition of the fact that you can kill other blacks and get away scott free--so therefore, they terrorize and debase and destroy their own households. Whole neighborhoods live in total fear of their own sons.

The children run the parents--so the elders cannot pass down any wisdom.

I also notice that when there's a so called riot...the blacks will only burn down their own neighborhood. They dare not venture to the white section and really have a RIOT. There is a legendary cowardice in black people.

BTW--Osama is 6'6.

YUKIO...you're so right about corporations being "the government". That's exactly what is taking place globally.

I do, however, hold the view that White men (both Caucasoid and Arab) and Asian men are the only three on planet earth who hold any real power...and for it...they are the boldest, bravest aggressors on earth. Black men almost ALWAYS victimize "other" black men exclusively or black females in the midst of their bravado.

In America, in particular, there is a type of holocaust here where blacks are murdering black people, selling drugs to black children, abandoning black children and, whenever they can, breeding out their own people at an alarming rate...that goes unchallenged or is most often downplayed by black people--to save face, I suppose.

There is a morbid complacency in our communities that MUST have been the exact mental glue that held the plantations together for so many hundreds of years.

I am one who agrees with Barbara Christian's assertation that we blacks in America--are actually WORSE off than we were 100 years ago. The material possessions cloud our ability to equate genuine worth. The black family is DEAD. The black man has a new religion--"me, me, me". Black women are depicted as "evil, bitter, worthless"...therefore, we cannot gain wisdom from her pain. Black children are living in a virtual death clench--their parents at each other's throats, connected to nothing honorable and totally invisible to the selfish "America first" prostations of the black middle class.

We need a revolution just to save our children...whole generations are now being raised by "hip hop" to become future monsters and mice women...but of course, WOMEN cannot start and sustain a revolution all on their own.




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Chris Hayden

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Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 01:27 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Snake girl:

I haven't seen any gangmembers kill anybody and get away scott free. If they are not caught and punished (somebody always snitches them out or they brag to somebody and tell on themselves) they are usually caught in the cycle of retaliation. I don't think we all realize how much law enforcement is a part of this. It is a common practice for them to pick up a blood and drop him off in crip territory or vice versa. It is quite common for them to encourage one gang to attack another or to refuse to apprehend a killer or drop charges--they looked on one banger rubbing out another as a service and figured somebody would get him sooner or later and they wouldn't have to go through the expense or trouble of a trial.

It is dumb for blacks to attack other blacks merely for straying on their turf--then I remember the terrible gang fights and assaults blacks had to endure here in St.Louis for tresspassing on white gang's turfs when I was coming up--there are white gangs, black gangs in L.A. and Chicago formed in response to attacks on new black immigrants by white ones.

At the bottom society finds these groups useful--after all if I am worried about gangbangers I won't want to deal with corrupt police or politicians.
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ABM

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Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 04:01 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynique,
I apologize for apparently missing your point. Although I don't accept the comparability of your other examples of victimization as they related to gang-spawned tumult. There are INFINITELY more black people being ensnared/incarcerated/hurt/killed via gang-related activity than there are via the Columbine-like scenarios to which you allude. And although I fear/prey for our soldiers fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, everyone within our current armed forced VOLUNTEERED to be included within the possibility of being placed in harms way. Some of them even lustfully sought the lure of the kill-or-be-kill thrill that the generously military offers. And those who now fear what may befall them could have all just as easily avoided Bush's venal Iraqi oil grab had they choose to avoid raising their hand and pledging their allegiance to Uncle Sam.


Kola,
I accept and agree with much of your criticism about black men. Black men have often been much more inclined to raise their hands against their own brother and sister than they have their true enemies. But I am afraid that we are going to continue to go around-n-around on the issue of who's most at fault. Because I find it interesting that you seem to easily rail on against the seed yet often hesitate or hedge on your blame of the soil from which the bud grows.

Given what you know and have freely asserted about the primordial relationship between mother and child, I ask you: If a woman bares and rears to child, and the child grows into but fails as a man who then dooms the worlds, isn't it the woman, more than all others, who is to blame for our demise?

Take for example your commentary of the horrors of vaginally infibulation. I understand that African women enforce this onerous practice as rigorously as do the men you so often revile. I read that in many areas where this malevolent procedure is administered, it is performed almost solely by women, and that men have little if any direct involvement in the procedure itself. And some women are stringently, even defiantly, obliged to this practice. I even read of an situation where a woman who had emigrated from Africa had while visiting her African her mother and grandmother left her infant child with them for only a couple of hours only to return and discover her elders had against her many prior commands and pleading infibulated her child.

Kola, I think you may painfully discover (if you have not already) that our women are just as much (if not even more) to blame for what befall us as are us men.


Chris,
I essentially agree with your comparison of the ways/functions of black street gangs, to those of white gangs - whether they reside on the street, taverns, police depts or state capitol buildings. But honestly, all other things being equal, I am MUCH less directly and personally concerned about and enraged by the acts of the local police, the GOP, the Klan or some organized outfit of Irish "hooligans" than I am the "Bloods", "Crips", "Gangsta Disciples" and "Vice Lords".
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Chris Hayden

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Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 05:40 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM:

I go along with your assessment of how and who becomes the target of this violence. That was one of the things I liked about the movie BOYZ N THE HOOD--if you remember the cycle of homicides was started because somebody shoved somebody else's brother--in most cases violence occurs for the stupidest of reasons and in the most inane situations. We had a case here in St. Louis where a guy killed his brother because he'd used too much toilet paper. That probably was not the only reason --drugs and alchohol are involved--it doesn't come down to, "well, I'm pissed, so let me take it out on the Man" which might involve me having to go miles to find the Man , but, "i'm pissed and you stepped on my shoe and you're right here, Mofo!" A good friend of mine pointed this out to me about spousal and child abuse, how often this is the result of the father bringing his tensions into the house and taking them out on so called loved ones. He said he realized that most of his tensions were caused on the job and so he took them out on the ones causing them--his bosses and left it outside when dealing with his wife and child. It led to a whole lot of problems on the job, but his family has stuck by him.
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Snake Girl

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Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 06:19 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


We're generalizing here ABM.

YOU are a wonderful black man and father.

My children have a wonderful black father...who treats their mother like a queen and provides a good life for us...and RULES us, because I trust him to do so. Make no mistake...Thomas wears the pants in this house. But he relies on my infinite knowledge and my tenderness as a woman to help him reach ALL decisions.

Not only do my sons call Thomas "daddy"...so does their mother.

SO NO...I disagree that the mother--especially the black mother--rears and controls her own children. Not only that, but I also do not blame "Black Men" for the destruction of the black community, either.

Both are unfairly demonized. They are both "mentally and spiritually damaged"...just as Willie Lynch ideology set out to do. It works. Then some of it has to do with "class"--generations of poverty.

The black mother in America is not even FREE or allowed to accept her own self--at least a black man is free to be "a black man"...but American society forces black women to live in "white woman's drag"...and to "blame" herself.

One thing I notice that Black American women have brought with them from Africa...they don't fully develop their daughters into well rounded human beings. The emphasis is on the male child. He is the valued one, and often times...black women create spoiled, baby-fied, non-productive sons. This is a defect from Africa itself--trust me. African women also raise weak sons, because they covet them too much.

But this is "the society", ABM...not sex. Neither is more at blame than the other.

Still, black men by absence UNDO much of the good in children simply by leaving these kids to be raised by the black men on the street corner...

It's quite evident from listening to gangbangers, cool boys and Original G's that they were raised by Black Men alright....... "THE MACK"...Snoop Dogg and other "I got me a GAT and 10 bitches" music videos..."SuperFly"...R.Kelly

You cannot blame "black mothers" for presenting these images. By far...black ADULT males create and sustain the "laws" of the black communities. Otherwise, it wouldn't be o.k. to rape 14 year old little girls and be forgiven for it (as long as they're black).

I've lived here over 20 years...and Black Women don't run shit! Although they also FAIL to use what influence they do have over their sons...to create better habits in boys.

For instance you will see a black mother telling her boy child--"You're going to be a heartbreaker when you grow up. You're going to break these little girls hearts".

And she smiles, adoringly, as she wishes this on him.

Because black men are absent--black kids seek them out and once they find their daddy's image...White America prefers elevating the worst images of black men possible, but then, black men allow those images to be upheld.

Image #1...I got a big penis and can sex all the ladies. THATS WHO I IS. I'm the man.

Image #2...I'm too cool to work a job or be educated by the slave system.

Image #3...I'm an American. I'm not responsible for what happens to shiftless underachievers.

Image #4...I'm an endangered black male. Black women are castrating evil women. I appeal to your sympathy as I selfishly live just for my damned self.

If black women truly had the influence over their sons that you are claiming...then the ideologies of black women would be far more detectable. More "brothas" would be sporting Alice Walker t-shirts, spouting the poetry of Sonia Sanchez and making videos that reflect a deep love of their mother's own image...not a fantasy "borrowed" from the dominant culture.

Instead, the sons rebel against their mothers. They blame her for their father being gone.

The father can't accept her...cause she's black and she's only 1 woman.

Without being allowed to run IBM or TransAmerica...black men need more than 1 woman to feel like a man. So the family gets spared.

The black mother has been taught by America that her blackness is a "defect"...so she hides under too much FAT weight or blond fake hair or whatever else can insult her true image--which, because it relates to Africa--is ugly.

Children love and defend their parents..no matter what.

It's a cycle.


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Ssssssss

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Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 06:19 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM

It's 2004.

It's time for US to take responsibility for our own soil.

We are the ones who accept soil...that most others would not deposit their spit in.

The White man has done a masterful and impressive job of bending and shaping this entire planet to meet the needs of HIS white children...he put his white woman on a pedestal--and made the whole world bow at her feet. He should be given some credit for conquering the human race.

He has done well by his seed and continues to manipulate all those weaker beings who

allow themselves to be his toilet paper.

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Yukio

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Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 12:48 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chris H.

Don't confuse commentary for disagreements. I agree with what you say about how political parties operate like gangs...that was one of my points. And of course there are many "types" of gangs, but the gang that this thread seems to be concerned about are those that participate in crime and violence, which is what the US government and their agencies represent. I'm decontructing these categories of "gang" and "government." The point is not that the government is the corporation. The point is that corporations, governments, especially this one, also have the same elements that u enlisted, ie
hierarchy, sense of loyalty, symbolism and identification, and more importantly to my initial post is that regardless of what they are "suppose to do," they operate like the drug gangs and gangstas, violently and criminally!

BTW, i was trying to engage and insight not introduce something "new." The newness of my points are irrelevant, since no one had introduced them and people were interested enough to respond. Finally, do u really think your points are "new?" They are not...lol!

At any rate Chris H., you are quite correct they do behave as they are suppose: through coercion, exploitation and malice--they are parasites.


I'm conceptualizing and theorizing here, not narrating the history of the origins of political parties in gangs, in this regard i felt you being "formal" and categorical, which places things into neat boxes when nothing is every that neat, however much we hope them to be. Also, i relying on the "function" of things is limiting, since it'll only tell you its purpose but not how it operates and what it does in a given situation....

For example, the function of a chair is to provide a seat. Yet, the chair can evoke memories, can be used to stand on to reach something out of reach, to hit a burglar with or ya baby's father when he acts up (lmao), etc...

Consider a literary example (and i know Snake Girl will appreciate this): Toni Morrison uses the kitchen, food, as well as rooms to evoke familarity, pain and intimacy...the opening and throughout Paradise. John Edgar Wideman does similarly with the basketball in much of his fiction, especially Hoop Roots.... if we limit ourselves to the "function" of the kitchen, basketball court, a love seat, then we'll not understand much will we...
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Chris Hayden

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Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 11:25 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yukio:

Your original post was "Aren't political parties gangs?" I suppose my comeback should have been, "How so?" since there are several points at which political parties overlap and intersect with the gang, in theoretical and in actual practice.

That way you could have clarified your statement, which was vague, general and overbroad--at variance by the way, with your usually detailed and cogent analysis of subjects. Perhaps you might have anticipated that someone might take off on some tangent, since it might involve sociological, psychological, economic-political analyses (one or all the above) by further discussing and clarifying what you meant, rather than laying a syntactical trap for the unwary, already consumed with a discussion of whether or not gang members were conforming to society or rebelling against it.

This thread was concerned with "Gangstas" the modern usually African American usually urban gangmember or gangsta who may engage in behavior that is not necessarily criminal or violent (in assuming a certain attitude, dress, talk) but is in fact considered by some deviant, not in conformity to the norm, if you will.

If you are going to engage in some deconstruction, you should inform those that you are adressing that you are doing, for then, how can we have a discussion (If I am discussing the Crips and Bloods as a gang--and by the way, many of those members, when referring to their organization, will refer to it as a "set" or a "club" and deny they are in a gang--at least to most outsiders--and you are using the word to refer to the CIA or Standard Oil or The Congress then we are proceeding along two alternate paths--though indeed these may intersect.

Your description, by the way --hierarchy, etc--also might describe fraternites, sororities or even families or tribes.

As for your point about "newness" there is of course nothing new under the sun, and as to your conceptualizing and theorizing here I refer you to my discussion above, about the need to inform your listeners of what in fact you are doing.

Perhaps relying on the function of things is limiting, but, not to denigrate the artistry and erudition of Toni Morriosn and John Edgar Wideman, sooner or later we do have to settle on something concrete. If I am tired and ask your for a chair, I do not want you to tell me to imagine or remember one, or hand me SULA or A GLANCE AWAY and tell me it is the same thing, or to find it in there.

Pax
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Yukio

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Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 02:28 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chris H:

Sorry to disappoint..lol! Like i said, i sought to engage and insight...not explain, which is why it was a question!

My reply was a clarification of what i sought to insight and it was clearly an engagement with gangs as criminal elements, along the line of the conversation ABM and Cynique were having, but i sought to introduce police and the state into the discussion. Again, not to explain, but to instigate....which does indeed anticipate (and invites)various responses, as you suggest....not a problem for me.

Indeed, i was quite clear from my first explanation(7/1/03)before your suggestion that i wasn't clear(7/2/03), so you didn't have to ask "how so?":
"Hmmmm...lol! Folks i'm not talkin about gangs in the "formal" sense, as in self-identified gangs, but in the way political parties coerce and exploit their constituencies." You see Chris, I wasn't disagreeing with you concerning your point that political parties operate like gangs in a formal sense, but telling posters what i meant. Perhaps, you misread or misunderstood what i was saying, but it is clear that i addressed how "I" saw things!

Perhaps, the problem was that u were stuck on your own definitions..ABM, Snake Girl, and Cynique got it...lol!

Again, I was talking about coercion and exploitation! How these "clubs" "gangs" "ganstas" operate! Your reply to my post suggests this, but i wasn't talking about what they "are,"(an ontological question) which is why a functional analysis is limited, but what they DO! This is quite concrete!(BTW, i only used literary examples because this is a literary site, but lets deal with the real world...lol!) So if u ask me about the police, it would be ridiculous to limit the answer to "keeping the peace and protecting law-abiding citizens," since they ALSO murdering my brothers and sisters who are often law-abiding citizens!
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ABM

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Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 03:15 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I must say that is often pleasingly daunting to visit this site, because we folks can go wide-n-deep at times, can't we? (Ouch! Brain freeze.)

Anyway, to answer your original question, Chris: Gangs are surely NOT agents of social change in communities. Actually, they help to maintain the status quo.

Gangs help to foster a mentality, aura and behavior among poor folks, especially Black folks, that accepts - sometimes, even appreciates - ignorance, fear, lawlessness, ignorance, mayhem & murder. In such an environment, it is nearly impossible for people to press for more rights, standing & advantage because they are too concerned about living and dying.

People need to become educated (formally/informally), enlightened, organized, inspired and supported to initiate change. They need information, materials, finances and plans/programs. Well, how does a young girl focus in class to get better grades to get a good education, obtain a job & start/operate a lucrative business, which would provide the resources needed to grow a community, when she rues being shuck down by gangsters who are waiting for her right outside her classroom? How can parents, businesses and community leaders formulate sports teams, which are excellent for fostering personal discipline, obedience and group unity/cooperation that is vital to building fruitful coalitions when every other week there's a drive-by shooting near the community's only b-ball court? And how can you get help from those outside of your neighborhood who are generously willing to tutor your kids and illiterate adults, help you to rehab your dilapidated building, help provide free legal aide, fundraisers, etc, all of which are needed to turn around a community/society, when these gracious outsiders eventually stop coming out to help when one of them was carjacked and injured by gangstas while waiting at a latenite stop sign?

If anything, some gangs inhibit social and community enhancement and development more than all the police, corporations and politicians combined.
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Yukio

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Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 03:56 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM:
I don't know which "gangs" inhibit social and community enhancement more, because they, "gangstas," the police(police what?), and politicians, do the same thing! If this has validity, then we need to have both an internal and external analysis and criticism. Otherwise, our self-criticism could be interpreted as an acceptance of the greater society!
ABM:
I don't know which "gangs" inhibit social and community enhancement more, because they, "gangstas," the police(police what?), and politicians, do the same DAMN thing! If this has validity, then we need to have both an internal and external analysis and criticism. Otherwise, our self-criticism could be interpreted as an acceptance of the greater society!
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ABM

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Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 04:16 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yukio,

I share some of your criticism of police & politicians. But there are degrees/nuances that must be accounted for here in this comparison/contrast of street gangs to cops/pols. Because let's be real here: As bad as many coppers and politicos may be, at least there is SOME mechanism of accountability that they must answer to. However, street gangs will do whatever/whenever to and against you without hardly batting an eye. And the public can not vote/protest/sue the "Bloods" and "Crips" out of their job and office.
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Yukio

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Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 06:21 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM:
I agree with you concerning the question of accountability. Yet, i'm not so sure that the behavior of police and politicians are censured. Since numerically we are a minority, votes though necessarily really don't provide us with the political power that would change our social status nor change the way police departments treat black people. And our experience in the court room as it pertains to police brutality is terrible. In addition, since we are primarily a working class community, crime will always be constitutive of our daily lives. This is the same in poor white hoods...lol! Yet, whites are not demonization, dehumanized, and police don't brutalize white folk.

Finally, my point is not about comparisons, but the fact that we as a community address BOTH the internal and the external! This is less about analysis and more about proscription!
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ABM

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Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 12:04 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yukio,
Are you related to Rodney King?
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yukio

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Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 12:51 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM:
No, are u?
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ABM

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Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 07:13 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Boy. I sure hope I'm not connect by blood to that fool. I was just trying to "humorously" elude to and discern the cause of your repeated disparagement of police.

Not all cops are brutal, racist monsters, Yukio. Some actually try to "serve-n-protect" the people under their charge. And although most politicians are sneaky, greedy MOFO's who are mostly out for them-n-their's, some still actually try and even manage to adequately represent and advocate the best interests of ALL of their citizenry - Black, White & Other. But I have never known a "gang" to be about anything other than doing whatever/whenever/however to get what they want, no matter the torment and bloodshed that they leave in their wake.

I have a complex love-hate relationship with police.

like so many other AA's, I have experienced the following: Been called nigger, blackie and darkie & assorted other racial epithets by cops. I have experienced that infernal DWB. I've been shoved about and threaten by them. And I have even accused of committing crimes that I was never even so much as +15 mile radius of when/where the incidents had occurred.

However, police also (some of whom members of the same police district that had also abused me) stopped my father from possibly bludgeoning my mother to death, rescued a female relative that had been kidnapped by a deviant neighbor, consistently and earnestly blunted many attempts of "gangs" to take up drug-dealing operations in a park just across the street from my childhood residence, sponsored/volunteered for youth sports in my childhood community and (< a year ago) recovered my mother-in-law's vehicle and apprehended her assailants within < hour from her being carjacked.


But then, dare I again (Cynique) try to use my personal experiences to be the "exception" to prove the "rule"?
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Yukio

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Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 09:39 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ABM:

I'm sure there are good politicians and police officers, but I'm talking about the police(soldiers who discipline) and politians (administers that manage)the citizenry and second class citizenry(the colonizers, ie whites and the colonizer, ie People of Color). In this respect, individuals cases are less signigicant in respect to the relationships among these groups within a colonial settler society. I'm not working within the accept US democracy model; rather, I'm talking about internal colonialism!

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