Black street gangs will never be destroyed. You cannot destroy the side effects of a disease unless you destroy the disease. Black gangs are the by-product of racism, unemployment and the American prison industrial complex. These are not the sole reasons gangs exist in the black community, but they are three major contributing factors.
Without the Spook Hunters, a white group that preyed on helpless blacks in the middle of the last century, there would be no Spook Town Crips. If jobs and industry were still in places like Westside Chicago, the need for the 4 Corner Hustlers would not exist. If we were not sending nonviolent young drug offenders to prison with violent adult felons, there would be no need for them to join the ranks of prison gangs simply to survive.
Marry those real problems with a media machine that has figured out how to glamorize “gangsterism” (“American Gangster,” “Gangland,” “Locked Up”). You have a revenue stream that will continue to pay so long as the public’s morbid fascination with violence and perversion exists. BET, History Channel, Fox and CNBC win, and gangs and the community continue to lose.
I, unlike most critics, do not believe gangs are simply community pests that need to be terminated like sewer rats. I believe gangs can evolve. Gangs can grow and develop into what the community really needs: manpower for organizers like Feed the Hungry and Get Out the Vote; safety patrols on street corners; small business supporters/owners; and social clubs that organize at the local, city and state level for the benefit of the community.
This starts with self perception. Gangs see themselves as outcasts, outlaws and unwanted. This limits the organization’s ability to evolve.
Gangs must first incorporate like motorcycle clubs. This will give them a much different perception of themselves and begin to change public perception. I cite the Conservative Vice Lords of the 60s and bike clubs, like the Hell’s Angels and the East Bay Dragons, as examples of organizations that have done this successfully.
After the change in perception, there must be a community outreach effort: toy giveaways and active participation in local politics, like the GD’s did at Hoover’s request in the 90s. The organizations must become more like the Masons and Shriners and less like loosely organized cells of rogue criminals.
Gangs have members and sympathizers in every walk of American life. If they can alter their image, they can gain public backing and support, but the change must be authentic. There has to be a goal of legitimization like Japan’s Yakuza.
Corporate leaders and gang leaders share similar personality traits, and with proper tools and training, gang leaders can become businessmen. No longer can gangs hang in front of the liquor store, they must desire to own them.
Unlike the current store owners in the black community, the gang members and leaders live there. Thus this money will stay in that community, helping youth athletic programs, after-school tutorials, and attracting federal empowerment zone monies to build and grow more ventures.
NASCAR, with its ability to legitimize outlaw moonshiners and produce an American money-making monster, is proof that this is possible. This sport is still owned and run by the families that took up arms against the Feds during prohibition in the south.
I watched “Gangs of New York” often, and the fact that sticks out most in that film is that gangsters and gangs were and are tools for politicians. Democrats and Republicans are the product of a gang mentality and manpower. They used them in old America, and the CIA used them in Jamaica. They use them in America today as trigger words to get voters to vote for more money to be thrown at “The War on Gangs and Drugs and the Poor.”
If gangs and gangsters seek to survive, they must seek to thrive within the bigger society. They must plot, plan, strategize, organize and mobilize their greatest resource – manpower – and become a real force in the community. They must end their 40-year street beefs and reconcile with one another for the betterment of the greater economic good for all.
This is working on the continent of Africa, where the crimes were far more heinous. Why not here?
When gang leaders have expressed their desire to do this, they are crushed (Hoover, Fort). And when the community has supported organizations that became what gangs can be, those organizations were crushed (Panthers).
When people have proposed what I did in this blog, they have been killed (Hampton, Pac). So my days may be numbered, but remember this can be done, it must be done, and I believe it will be.
Black street gangs must grow and develop into what we need them to be or remain a tool for the incarceration and modern-day slavery system called federal and state prison that only profits the most corrupt gangsters – politicians. Fin. -It’s Bigga!