STREET LIFE: WHY GANGS ARE SO APPEALING TO YOUNG PEOPLE

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“The need to belong.”


ganglands

Gangs have been a problem in society for hundreds of years. And questions have always arisen as to why so many young males and females join gangs. Of course we point to the need to belong, but is it deeper than that alone? Is there more to joining a gang? But let’s first start out by defining what I mean by a gang.

Because any group of young people hanging out with each other is a gang. But we define a gang in society in correlation with criminal behavior. And that is what separates the gang of friends who innocently hang out together from those who break the law. It’s the conduct within the group that ultimately determines the character of the group.

american lifestyle

In America, we have street gangs that involve themselves in criminal activity on a daily. Because being in a gang alone is not deemed a crime. So why are so many young men and women joining in alliance with gangs in America? One of the obvious reasons like I said before, a reason to belong to something, anything.

But you also have so many that need some form of guidance in their lives. The gang leaders are generally older and provide them the tools of survival they don’t get at home. But it’s not constructive guidance, but the destruction that ultimately leads to their demise. Sometimes the kid has a stable family life, but an unstable community.

And when you live in an unstable community, you seek to be the guys living around you. Their lives tend to look alluring and much more interesting than your own. But the danger that comes with it is not realized until it’s far too late.

distractions necessary

So, in order to keep your kid from falling into this lifestyle, a major way is distractions. You keep them as busy and involved in activities as possible. It’s close to impossible if your kid is constantly in a sport or some out of school activity. And when they become of age to leave your house then you send them into the world.

The distractions are not really to make sure they stay out of trouble. But the distractions are to give them enough time to fully understand the ramifications of getting into trouble. When they are 12, 13, or 14 years old, they think you’re being hard on them. But when they are 20, 21, 22, they can see the downfall so they’re less likely to get into trouble at this point in life.


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OUTLAWZ: THE FASCINATION WITH THE CRIMINAL UNDERWORLD

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“They play hard, take what they want, and live it up.”


We watch movies about them, documentaries, and even read their life stories. They are the criminal underworld and for whatever reason we have this fascination with them. The most notable would have to be the Italian Mafia. They have been the interest and the inspiration for so many films in mainstream America. But what is it; what is it about these outlaws that intrigue society so much. The mafia is the biggest, there are also drug cartels and bank robbers as well. There is this mystique about them that attracts us to the life. None of us have the guts to live their lives, yet we are attracted to who they are and what they do.

Let’s look at the cast of people starting with the most popular; the American Mafia. No matter if it’s the Italians in New York and Chicago to the Irish in Boston, we are attracted like magnets to the mafia. From the way they dress to their cordial personalities. Even with the gentlemen like qualities, we still know what they are capable of doing under the right circumstance. But Image result for mafianonetheless we are allured by the racketeering, money laundering, loan sharking, gambling, and light weight drug trafficking. They take what they want and if the authorities put pressure on me, then hey, why not pay them off as well. Then once holidays come around, let’s hand out toys and turkeys to the community. It made them infamous with the law and revered with the public.

But what about the drug cartels? Guys like Frank Lucas to Pablo Escobar all the way to today with El Chapo. We hear about them running multi-billion dollar organizations and eluding authorities. Their lifestyles are so over the top with luxury vehicles, expensive jewelry, and palatial real estate. Their Related imagemuscle in how they deal with people leaves us terrified, yet they still have this aura about them that you stand on the sidelines and gawk. They have been immortalized in our pop culture, mainly through hip hop/rap lyrics. But why, what is the real reason we are so attracted to the criminal underworld?

In my opinion, they represent everything that we hate about our government, that the government makes us do. The don’t pay taxes, buy and sell whatever they want, and live over the top lifestyle most of us can only dream about. And when they die, we have these photos that almost serve as shrines making them martyrs. The communities they live in are more protected by them than our law enforcement. Everyone knows who runs the neighborhood and respects who runs the neighborhood. Unlike the judicial system which could allow people to walk free, you don’t break the laws and codes of their world. And that code is the biggest thing we respect. On paper, systematically, there is code in our society, but our politicians break that code and promise at every turn.

In the end, we will always be fascinated with the criminal underworld. Their lives seem to be so much more fascinating than our own lives. Plus, the very representatives that are hired to represent the people, these criminals flip them the finger to. We’re able to look on at how for once politicians are forced to do their jobs to catch these outlaws. The allure to the gangster lifestyle is eternal and will never end. Because as long as there is a law that could potentially be broken, someone will always try to find ways around it.


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THE AARON HERNANDEZ EFFECTS: HOW LEAVING A LIFE BEHIND IS HARDER FOR SOME

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“Why some can’t adjust to change.”


Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez has been talked about in the news as well as the sports world since his conviction on murder charges. But this past week, Hernandez committed suicide in his prison cell. Now questions linger as to what was going through his mind toward the end of his life. He had just the day prior was found not guilty two separate murders in other states. But the suicide came out of nowhere. But more than the suicide or even his murder charges, everyone want to know, how did he lose it all? What was it about the NFL that he couldn’t adjust to his knew life.

To the dominant society, it seems odd that a multimillionaire can’t just fly straight. But when you grow up a certain way, some people just cannot adjust. Meaning, just because you have a lot of money does not mean you’re going to change who you are internally. If anything, money just magnifies who you really are as a person. So whatever you were prior to the money, you’re more now. But still, the average Joe feels like Hernandez had life in his hands. Big NFL contract, married with a child, nice home; everything seemed right. So what was it about the street life he couldn’t shake loose.

Well, if you didn’t grow up in the street or knew someone that deep in the street, then you won’t understand how Aaron could become who he was in life. There is aspect of the street lifestyle that is within you already. Just as there are some people who can’t take part in the activities in the street. Not everyone is cut out for that life, but some are cut out. Hernandez was lured in after the death of his father. When a boy loses his dad, it’s much easier to pull him into the street because he is now looking for guidance. And if there is no one who can tell him in the street he’s headed down a wrong path, then the flower blooms how it wants to bloom.

So in the end, Aaron Hernandez is not the first pro athlete to fall victim to himself. A lot of guys have not been able to change their ways. Some men have even turned to abusing narcotics and alcohol because they can’t adjust to the new life they have. What’s sad is that more young men each and every year are suspended from professional sports leagues. And until they learn to leave old ways behind they will always have problems in life.


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848: NARCOTICS CHARGES AND MISUNDERSTOOD LAWS THAT AFFECT A COMMUNITY

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“Ever been in too deep?”


848 is the charge that is reserved for mainly drug traffickers who move high quantities of narcotics. It is known as the the kingpin charge. In my lifetime, there have been a few kingpins that have graced this earth. But when I think of a kingpin, I think of Pablo Escobar, Carlos Lehder, Joaquin Guzman (El Chapo), and Griselda Blanco. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized that Americans have been hit with 848. And when you look at what they were engaged in, you could consider these people kingpins. Nicky Barnes, Frank Lucas, Ricky Ross, Big Meech, and Rayful Edmond. My question is, do some of the men who are hit with these charges know what they’re involved in?

Growing up in the inner city, there were guys in my community that were charged with various drug offenses. To me they were just basic drug dealers, but you hear about guys receiving kingpin charges and you pause. These guys are kingpins, really? But in the court system, the level of drugs that they were selling made them kingpins. But, there is only one problem, a lot of the names I stated early were much older men. But what about guys who were getting charged in cities across the United States at young ages. And when I say young, I mean 15, 16, 17, and 18 years old.

You think to yourself, what 15 – 18 year old really know about the drug laws. You had guys selling drugs that didn’t even know there was authority outside their neighborhood. So to assume they were these guys putting together this massive criminal enterprise is far fetched. Don’t get me wrong, they knew it was wrong. But for boys this young, they were doing what was the cash cow in the neighborhood. So if they knew what they were truly involved in, would they have still joined? We will never know because so many of them have lost time selling drugs.

Now as for me, how come I never got involved in my neighborhood debauchery? It was because I knew the full extent to which I could get into trouble or killed. How did I know, I was taught in my household. So why weren’t these guys taught in their households. Or maybe they were taught what could happen. Maybe they knew and just didn’t care. I will say, the older guys knew what could happen. Unlike the older guys, younger guys had no clue what they were doing. Nonetheless, the criminal justice could care less if they knew or not. They were carried off to jail.

In the end, being seen as a kingpin or running a continuous criminal enterprise is an 848. So by law, it is not hard to be labeled as a kingpin. But as for the young guys who get involved they are in the dark as to what they are doing. But in today’s society, can they truly say they don’t know. There is enough information out here that was not available in the past. But as long as poverty is what’s driving the market, we won’t see any stoppage of drug sells anytime soon.