Tha Screets 4-Life Essay, Research Paper
Tha day before today I was gang banging around tha hood in tha Screet. Chillin at tha crib making snaps wit them old heads. Unless you where affiliated with a gang in some way you would not have a clue of what that meant. Gangs have been around for hundreds of years. The pirates in the early ages where some of the first real gangs. There are many types of gangs. A gang can also be a team, group, crew or a posse. They re just social groups of people in a local area, which are mostly the same, age and are in acts of violence. At lease, that s what everybody in our society seams to think. Thought the years there has become a difference between the original gangs and the gangs of the younger generation, that changed society s perception of gangs, which resulted in many stereotypes. The early gangs helped each other, while the gangs today are looking to be loved or notice by others, and then everybody in society have options about every thing that they do.
Back in the day, before all the guns and drugs, gangs where simple. All their was, were knifes, leather, and your hood and peeps. Back then, gangs were spontaneous and unplanned (Roth 698). There was no set leader, no set ways about doing things. If there was a fight going on and one of their members was in it the others would jump in too. Most original gangsters (OG) had an attachment to their hood or territory (Roth 698). They stood up for their set. If other people that they don t know come around started something. The gang would most likely get involved. In the 70 s is when the real gangs started, like the Bloods and the Crips (Sounder 33). The Bloods where a gang that started in LA and all they wore was red to represent the gang. Of course the Crips wore the color blue to represent that gang. This was the first sign to 5-0 that something was going on in the different neighborhoods. The use of graffiti was used to communicate with others, that show warnings, deeds, challenges and remorse of dead ones (Nawojczyk 3). With the lack of communication between all the gangs and the misunderstanding of society, they showed what they where felling with a can of spray paint. Respect is needed in the act of the members of a gang and the gang itself (1). If you don t have respect from you members then the whole gang falls apart. Because there is no power or upper hand that you hold in the group. Many of the older gangs needed these things to protect their neighborhood and come together as friends and help one another. Most of the OG s that did have to serve time, they learned the hard way of doing things in the world (sounder 33). After the bad days of there live they learned that are more things out there than gangs. You see many OG s that have settled down with a girlfriend of some kind and have kids and a job. It shows that there is a way out of bad things, which start off simple.
Gangs today have many young gangsters that look for involvement. Young kids join gangs in order to have a family (Roth 699). Kids today don t all have a mother and a father, house, car, and siblings. And even if they do, they lack the time and energy that is needed in a real family. So they look else where to find the attention of a family like environment. A 14-year-old gets a tattoo with the symbol of the gang that he was going to join, and his mother or father did not say anything (Atkin VI). All that young man wanted was to be notice. Maybe get a beating or get in some type of trouble but he didn t. Them the low-income, Inner City, poverty stricken kids with not that many jobs, or not thing to do the kids go to gangs for action (Clark 757). Much of the youth with no money look at gangs as a way to have a way to get easy money. Which they are normally found in the city where there is not a lot of money in the community. The youth gangs today are looking to achieve acceptance by their peeps (Roth 698). Most kids in the city had friends that were in a gang and pressured them into joining. The gang members also have nicknames for one another and an entire-language of slang where they are the only ones that understand (699). The real difference from the society is to show how different and unique they are. Their mothers gave them all common names that somebody in the world might have. But with a gang nickname, you are sure that it is a unique in different ways. Either how it is spelled or pronounces. The language of a gang differs, from gang to gang. Some have a whole language of slang, or just gang signs that only the members of the gang can understand. Which gives them a part of being set aside from society. Most gangs also have a leader and/or second-in-command (699). These leaders and semi-leaders are like the father or keeper of the group. The kings or presidents, are what they are called. They plan out the activities of the group while the vice president or the prince follows though with the plan. So with the fact of a leader that acts like a father it more like a family and that is the basic thing that kids today are looking for.
Stereotypes are every where, and everyone has their own opinion about gangs. The media forms society and they way that we thing about gangs. The first movies of gangs, like The Godfather, New Jack City, Rebel without a Cause, West Side Story, or Boyz n the Hood (Clark 765). Even if you don t look at movies then you read a story about one of these stories. All of them movies are about gangs the thing that really goes on in them. The reason way gangs are expanding is because of the spread of different kinds of drugs (755). There are many reasons way the gangs have been expanding but it is not because of the drugs. Yes there are drugs that do run throughout a gang. But today with all the 5-0 and technology that they can t do as much and they use to. Gangs are only young black males that sell drugs in their neighborhood and commit violent acts (Roth 698). False there are so many different types of gangs. The Vietnamese, Chinese, Asian, Laotian, Cambodian, and yes the whites all have gangs that are related to one another. Not all do violent things like shooting and killing. There are female gangs that do prostitution and others that gamble all the time. Minority of the youth that commit a crime will in up in a gang or in jail (Clark 756). Yeah many young kids that rob a bank or steal from a corner store normally don t led a simple life. But you don t tell a kid that it would damage the mind of don t things good. The media and the families of gang members all have a negative attitude about the things that they do. There are many persecutions of gangs, and how they form and act, but unless you are not in them or involved in them then you don t know the first hand knowledge of gangs.
Older gangs were different that the gang of today and that did led to the many stereotypes. OG s was the real path makers of the gangs. Their basic plan was to help out their family. That meant to protect the hood and the homeboys. If it took all the blood in their body, all the rep that they had they would take the consciences. The younger generation takes things for granted. But they don t have that that much the lack the family and the action of others, so the look to the gangs for them to for full that hunger for love. While all that was going on the government and the society itself made all stereotypes. They cam to all those conclusion because they don t understand the real reason of a gang. And how if you live around it, it maybe all that you know. You may not know the right between right and wrong, but all they know is tha Screets are 4-life.
Atkin, S. Beth. Voices from the Streets: Young Former Gang Members Tell their Stories. New York: Little Brown and Company, 1996.
Clark, Charles. CQ Researcher. Youth Gangs 11 Oct. 1991 755-765.
Nawojczyk, Steve. Street Gang Dynamics. (1997): 11 Feb. 2000 .
Roth, John K. Social Issues: Gangs. New York: volume 3, 1997.
Sounder, Jon. Gang Warfare: Dadz in the Hood. The Economist 4 Nov 1995: 33.
Gang Slang Terminology
To dis someone: to show disrepect toward someone
To be down: to do right for you turf
Gangbanging: fighting different gang members
Gonna-be: young gang member
Hood: neighborhood, turf
Homeboys: fellow friends
Kickin it: relaxing
Old head: experienened older person
Original gangster (OG): founding member of a gang
Set: the gang
Sagging: wearing pants very low on hips
Shot callers: gang leaders
Wanna-be: youngster who hopes to join a gang someday
Ballin : having a lot of money
Peeps: friends, homeboys