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Street Gangs

Essay by review  •  January 1, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,158 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,013 Views

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Street gangs are an organization of young people that are usually in their teens and twenties. They join together and claim a territory or neighborhood as their own. They are known for being violent and heavily involved in drug peddling. On the streets graffiti is the means of communication of territorial limits and to challenge other gangs. A challenge can be anything from making a mark on enemy territory or crossing out enemy tag. There are generally 4 types of individuals associated with street gangs. The "hard-cores" are the members who talk, act, dress, and commit criminal acts as a gang member. The "Associates" will identify themselves with gang members in there neighborhood, but rarly get involved. the "Peripherals" are those who identify with gangs for protection or for favors. These are mostly women . They are used to carry drugs or guns for members in return for money or drugs. Than there are the "gonna-be's" they are people who aren't gang members but wear gang clothes and act like gang members. They are sometimes more dangerous than normal members. They are the recruitment pool for new members. The gang warfare of the 1980's into today, is just as dangerous to join as to be a member. To join one of these gangs one must do all sorts of crazy things to "prove your loyalty to the gang." Which could be anything from committing a crime to playing Russian roulette. Crip members initiate into the gang by committing a crime in front of gang witnesses. The initiation process is called "Loc'ing"-In. Female members have the option to commit a crime or become Sexed-In (Sex with several older members). The most common form of initiation into other gangs is something that they call "walking the line." The "prospect" is instructed to walk between two lines of gang members, with his/her hands behind them, while members beat and kick them. The prospect must repeat this process until they get from one end of the line to the other without falling down. Along with the initiation routines is the memorization of alliance and set history, organization and mythical symbolism that the gangs refer to as "knowledge." Some of this knowledge was the explosion of Street Gangs in the Los Angeles area during the mid to late twentieth century.

There were three main periods where gangs in Los Angeles grew at a rapid rate. The first of which was just after the end of World War II. Significant amounts of blacks migrated to LA from the southern part of the United States. There was over a 100% increase in the black population of Los Angeles at that time. Ethnic and interracial paranoia began for form amongst the white residents in L.A. The gangs started to form in the late 40's and early 50's initially as a defensive reaction to the bigotry and prejudice affecting the black community. The second period occurred after the Watts Rebellion of 1965. The Watt's Rebellion was a violent outbreak in the Watt's housing project between black and white groups. Much violence occurred including widespread police brutality. These riots inspired the black community to get involved in political and social actions. New groups began to form to monitor the LAPD and document their treatment towards blacks. A man named Ron Wilkins created the Community Action Patrol to monitor these police abuses. Many other groups like the CAP were formed at that time. The biggest of which was the Black Panthers because they were considered to have the largest following and the most political influence. By 1967, the Black Panthers were one of the strongest political groups in the USA. But then, over the next two years the Black Panthers began to have disputes between other black organizations which resulted in the murder of the leaders of the Black Panther Organization, These events brought forth the end of the black political progress in L.A. and fueled the fires of street activity. Street gangs started to reinvent themselves. The third period of time where



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