Thursday, June 22, 2006

Gangster Infomercial

These photos are from papers taken from a student in a small town alternative school in the South. As it turns out this kid was a transplant gang member from Indiana. There he was a Gangster Disciple.

When he came here he decided to take his gang knowledge and make his own little group. But why did he not just carry on the GDN here? Most likely he wasn't very high in the pecking order up north. But here in a small backwoods town he could be the "big man." Here he could take elements of his old gang and make a whole new one based on his gang of origin.

This is just one of the ways that gangs transplant all over the country. One of the ways that gang identifiers get blurry over different areas. This is one of the main reasons communities need training specialized for their own gang ecology.

Learning "gangs" from gang instructors and from popular published gang books can prove faulty. For one it can provide a community with a false sense of security. If they don't see the signs of the Vice Lords in their community, (at least according to Officer Big John's Big Book of Gangs) then they may miss something.

That is why gang training has to be locale specific. That is why gang training has to focus more on the ideology and general identifiers associated with gangs rather than beating a dead horse about how Crips make their graffiti. Unfortunately communities and law enforcement groups all too often pay overpriced "trainers" with their so called "certified gang courses" to come in and teach them about gangs that have nothing to do with their region.

I still don't get how anyone can claim to teach a "gang certification" course and sleep good at night. There are no college degrees for gangs. BE VERY WARY of anyone who tells you that you need to pay 200 dollars a head to get certified in his idea of gangs. Frankly it is a rip off. If it weren't then these guys owe a whole lot of money to the Crips, Gangster Disciples, and so on for using material THEY created.

I recently acquired a "big book of gangs" from a rather prominent gang educator. This book sold for about 50 bucks. The thing was it only talked about gangs from his city. Outside of a 100 mile radius it becomes practically useless.

It is not enough that adult gang leaders use kids to make their money. Unfortunately some so called professionals do the same. No, it isn't wrong to do gang training. And it isn't wrong to get paid for your work. What is wrong is delivering a half researched bunch of junk wrapped in a tidy little "certification" package and marketing it as the gospel on gangs. Then charging insane prices to people.

It is that infomercial mentality that we can do without.