Nov. 29, 2010

Posts #13-16: Why has the Violating of Gang Members' Rights Become an Acceptable Practice?

From Reform with Palms Up by Michael Johnson


Post #13

"Why has the Violating of Gang Members' Rights Become an Acceptable Practice?"

The United States Constitution, particularly the 1st Amendment, guarantees its citizens the right o believe, propagate and assemble however, wherever and with whomever they please. However, that isn't the case when you have been identified as a gang member. Local, state and federal officials have all implemented one measure after another to flat-out suppress the rights of certain groups. Now, I truly understand and agree with any reasonable action to stop the senseless violence and deterioration within all minority communities or any community for that matter, but whatever action is taken has to be balanced out with individuals' constitutional rights! As a student of law I know that no right is absolute, despite the rhetoric about "our many limitless freedoms in America." But the government must have a compelling reason to limit a citizen's rights, and I think that we all can agree that the stopping of crime is a good reason, but not so much of a compelling reason for a blanket policy of trampling that is done in a discriminatory and racist manner, as is the case for gang members.

We all know that congressmen, law enforcement officials, corporate C.E.O.s and kinds of public and private citizens commit criminal acts in the furtherance of their organizations, businesses and/or political parties, but none of them become targeted as a group. The individual's actions are viewed separately from the entire group, and this reasonable approach is even afforded to biker gangs, militias, radical environmentalist groups and white supremacists, but if any minority "gang member" is accused of a criminal act, then his or her actions become attached to the entire organization and everyone is now responsible! Why is this the case when minorities are involved in criminal misconduct? Blanket policies can destroy a person's reputation and cost a person their freedom, and that isn't fair. This is why it is so important that anyone out there thinking of joining up with any kind of clique or gang really needs to truly consider the ramifications of such affiliations. I recommend that you don't join up at all, because unfortunately it's a fool's journey and all about exploitation! Exploitation by your peers, the media and the government! In today's society everyone benefits from you joining a gang but you.

We all know that those who are in power get to decide who is the scourge of their country and somewhat understandably so, the gangs are the scourge of American society despite America having serial killers, rapists, child molestors and men who start wars for profit! There are more draconian laws on the books for some young misguided gang member than there are for a man or football team who rapes an inebriated female college student, or who rapes a child and disseminates the horrible images throughout cyberspace but be a gang member staning on the corner with a few friends or fellow gang members and you can rest assured that you will be arrested, possibly beaten but certainly fined at the least and you haven't even committed a crime! You want something to fight for? How about fighting for your right to walk down the street without being harassed, shot, beaten, arrested or killed! Fight for your constitutional rights to be treated like a human being but you must understand this as well, normal human beings don't kill over colors, a dirt smudge by accident on your new dookies, a team jacket, or a hat turned to the left or right and/or territory. You have the right to believe and assemble with whomever you so choose to but that doesn't mean you have the right to be a criminal or a burden to society.

POST #14

American has a bullying problem and I think that is putting it mildly to say the least. I know that some of my theories are out there and unconventional but that doesn't mean they are untrue and not valid. I believe that gangs, well at least certain gangs, can be a tool for stopping bullying. I may be wrong but experience is on my side with this one and so is Jessica B. It was late 2002 when I first began to comtemplate: can certain gangs be helpful in stopping bullying? My ex-girlfriend and best friend Jessica B. is actually responsible for getting me to even think about this subject. After seven years of not hearing from Jessica, we reunited and tried to rekindle our romance and during one of her visits she told me something that I never knew about our relationship. She told me that she was bullied furing the first couple of months of high school. This was a shock to me because I was certain that everyone liked lil' Jessica B. because she is the nicest, sweetest and most genuine woman I have ever dated. She is also very petite and pretty. I just assumed everyone knew what I knew about her. She is GOOD people! In addition to revealing to me that she was bullied, she also finally told me why her younger sister Vanessa didn't like me and this revelation wasn't any less shocking. She told me that Vanessa didn't like me because while I stopped Jessica from being bullied I had failed to do the same for her. Again, I had no clue that Vanessa was a victim of bullying. I was part of the so-called "in-crowd" because I played football but it was well known that I was co-leader of the gang at our high school. I never heard the women or men that "ran" with me speak ill of Jessica or her sister Vanessa but now I also realize that Jessica and her sister are white and run in different circles at school and our relationship was a secret for a while. Jessica helped me recall the day that I unwittingly put an end to her victimization. She said it was during her third hour gym and I came in her gym class, thus in the process "skipping" my class and before her class got started I pulled her away from the group she was with and gave her a hug and kissed her on the forehead. The forehead kiss is sentimental to us because I used to tease her by saying she had a big head. After a few minutes of teasing her I left. I remember the incident but I just thought I was being romantic and mushy. It never crossed my mind that I just stopped her victimization. Jessica told me that every bitch who was mean to her tried to be her friend after that day and was asking her all sorts of crazy questions about me being in a gang, where did we meet, has she slept with me, am I violent with her, etc etc. What is even more unbelievable about the situation, Jessica actually thought I knew about her bullying and I did what I did to make a statement. She gives me too much credit and I told her that because if I had known she was being bullied I would have smashed out the guys who were responsible and had a few of my female homies do the same to the bitches. That is how I would have made a statement back then!

Now that we have the background on why I think gang members and popular kids are the key to stopping bullying, let's examine the theory a little. The first thing that must be remembered is that everyone hates a bully and gang members are no different. I think this rings true, especially for some gang members because a lot of these guys were bullied at one point and this is why many of the youth today join gangs. Don't nothing break up the pecking order of a hierarchy of bullies like gangs or the tough kids. Athletes don't even desire to beef with gang members! We all know athletes sit at the "round table" of the who's who for school. They are raised to mythological importance within the bullying pantheon, but just like Superman's weakness is cryptonite, an athlete who is a bully's weakness is those guys who are really tough, street tough! Giving the fact that children are losing their lives by committing suicide due to bullying I don't think no parent should take any option off the table that will protect and save their child's life! If your child has to befriend a trouble gang member to ensure his or her right to happiness, and a normal elementary or high school experience then so be it. Your child can be the one who inspires this kid to take school seriously, and strive for more out of life and this person may be what your child needs to build up enought confidence to deal with the bully. Strength lies in numbers and a kid who knows that someone truly has their back isn't going to stand for being anyone's doormat or punching bag! I'm not saying your child should join up with a gang, absolutley not, but don't be one of those parents who forgets what it feels like to have friends who don't take shit from no one. We all know that complaining to the teachers, principal or even the parent can make the problem worse, so why not equip your child with the guidance and tools to deal with the problem on his or her own?

Parents must ask themselves what's more important: being part of the status quo in thought or protecting their babies? The so-called professionals have fed the parents of this country bullshit over and over again about how to deal with this problem and it's crazy because they have convinced you to handcuff your child with fear, cowardice and talk. Just think back to what your mom and dad told you when it comes to bullying. They most likely told you to stand up for yourself and fight back! If the bully whips your ass, so what? Because now that bully knows that you are willing to fight and eventually will leave you alone. You didn't grow up a serial killer or murderer because you physically fought with someone, so why would you believe the same of your child? Because some quack study about violence says so but I think every parent knows deep down inside of themselves that their baby needs to learn how to fight back! I have developed an easy but effective plan for fighting back and it starts with the parents. If you are interested, please don't hesitate to contact me at or leave a comment for me here. Reform and stop bullying.

POST #15

Through the years I have met and been involved with many women who identify themselves as members of a street gang and although I like to think of myself as ahead of the curve on this issue and have never exploited the position I once held to get in the panties of a fellow female gang member I must admit that the potential for abuse is too great to even allow for women to truly be recognized within any street gang. I hate to say this because I know some solid women and they are just as genuine as their male counterparts but I'm troubled by the facts on the ground. The fact is that most women of these street organizations are being expoited. They are either used as sexual toys, drug mules, gun runners and drug holders. Hell, some of them are even used for murder plots and assassinations of gang rivals. They trick the guy over to your gang's neighborhood for sex and the rival gang is usually waiting in the house or just outside the house with full access. This can not be all these women are worth to any street gang because that sends the message to your rivals and the world that your street gang hates women and has a glass ceiling. Now, this may not mean much to you if you are not trying to reform and be productive members of society but for those who are, this implication means everything. No self-respecting women in her right mind will want to be a part of any street gang that doesn't respect her as a woman. Unfortunately, some have fallen for the bullshit hook, line and sinker but it isn't too late for them. I want you sisters (black, white, latino, asian, etc) to ask yourselves, when was the last time you witnessed a male member disciplined for disrespecting you by calling you a derogatory name, or impregnating you and not taking care of his responsibilities, or for acts of infidelity or for allowing you to take the drug case but not hitting your books or visiting you while you're locked up for him or for beating your ass? You most likely can not remember such a time because it is so uncommon amongst street gangs that it is almost unheard of. Most American street gangs are patriarchal in structure and belief and women are not properly represented. This is why I say it's a sham. The Vice Lords refer to their women as "flowers", give them ranks like their male counterparts, and even some of the literature recognizes their contributions and rights as Vice Lord members but those facts are somewhat misleading because if a female member is dating or married to a male member and a domestic situation occurs it is highly unlikely that the male member will be disciplined if he was to physically or verbally abuse the female member, despite her being a woman of respect and rank. This is unacceptable because if a male Vice Lord disrespects another male member, no matter how insignificant, he will be immediately disciplined! The male member doesn't even have to have rank within the organization. Why isn't the female member given such automatic justice? She will have to literally demand justice or retribution and she still may not receive it.

Demand reform on this issue if you are going to be a part of any street gang because otherwise you are living a lie and you are nothing but a tool for exploitation. I remember when I discovered that a female Vice Lord I was dating had become pregant by a rival gang member. I was so angry with her that I demanded that she have an abortion for the posterity of the nation. She calmly replied that she would be more that willing to have the abortion, just as soon as I surgically remove my penis! Mt reply was very disrespectful and she only angered me even more by laughing but then she told me a truth that I have never forgotten. She told me that I don't call the shots over her vagina, just like she don't call shots over my penis. That was my first educational lesson about a woman's right to choose what she thinks is best for her body. We were both sixteen at the time.

Demand that your street gang/organization treat you as equals and then they refuse to you should walk away and truly be a part of something more worthy. Humanity, yeah that is more worthy than any gang! Reform with palms up!

POST #16

For the young Vice Lords out there I think of the most important and easiest ways for you to deman reform is to make them apply the literatire when concerning you. This should also be the case for any street gang. If you are a part of anything that teaches positivity, legality, community and education for its members then you should demand that those who are in authority over you should implement programs with such literature in mind. Lip service is no longer enough and if they are in positions of leadership you have the right to complain about any leader who is forcing or helping you to throw your life away. Always remember that within a chain of command there is always someone higher than the next guy.

Another aspect of reform is to teach proper firearms ownership. There is too much gun violence out there and a lot of the violence is directly attributed to so many young men possessing illegal firearms and not truly understanding the damage that a firearm can cause. If they are old enough, non-felons and taught authentic forms of conflict resolution I honestly believe the gun violence will drop dramatically. A man who can express his anger without violence is a man who is less likely to use violence to show his anger! If your gang leader can't teach you how to diffuse a situation without violence then that is a man you shouldn't be following. I just wanted to share these thoughts with you. If you want to talk in depth about conflict resolution, please don't hesitate to contact me at or leave your comments here. Reform with palms up!


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LisaHeard Posted 11 years, 11 months ago. ✓ Mailed 11 years, 10 months ago   Favorite
Thanks for writing! I finished the transcription for your post.

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