Gangs, In Black and White

Picture the words “street gangs” in your mind. What images do you see? Gangs, gang warfare, Crips, Bloods, Netas, Latin Kings, etc., headline our local and regional media outlets weekly. The very thought of the word “gang” reflexively conjures up mental images of black and brown violent, gun toting, drug dealing men, blaring rap music, preying on virtuous mainstream white society who react in horror, suspicion, caution, and contempt. What are we to do with this menacing social ill spiraling out of control, targeting old white men and women, pummeling good white business men, defiling young white women, and looting private property? The answer is clear: Watch, Arm Yourself, Shoot, Enact tougher laws, Shoot, Hire more police officers, Shoot, Jail them, Shoot!… and necessarily in that order.

As I sat in my rural home, in a county where the racial demographic (as is throughout most of rural and suburban America) 95.4% white, 2% African Americans, 2.7% Latino, 0.03% Asian, I asked myself some simple arithmetic questions. Why then, were reports on gang violence mostly about Bloods, Crips, and Latin Kings when the demographics of those racial groups summed up to less than 5% of the total local population? Considering the volume of articles written about gang activity, and the specific gangs repetitiously mentioned, this would have to suggest that each and every member of these demographics in my area, and others, would have to be gang members or affiliates. Was I too unknowingly a gang member? This is sarcasm of course.

Could there be any other types of gangs of other races out there contributing to this hellish downfall of communities and larger Western Society itself? Was there some violent genetic flaw that I personally had escaped, being of Latino origin? Suddenly, I remembered gangs by the names of Pagans, Aryan Brotherhood, Hell’s Angels, Skin Heads, Bikers, HAMC, Wheels of Soul, etc. But, where were these gangs in the popular narrative, even in areas where their culture was the dominant one? Did these gangs not commit violent crimes, rely on symbolism, reflect their political views through certain musical genre, engage in the proliferation of drugs, and revel in the abuse and defilement of women? Then I remembered Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols who were responsible for the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City where over 168 lives were taken and over 680 injured. They were reported to have been affiliated with mainly anti-government militia groups, but supremacist ones as well. Yes, other kinds of gangs do exist and are just as violent.

However, after scanning article after article I noticed that whenever a journal referred to mainstream white gangs the language subtly shifted. They were no longer “gangs” or “gang members” per say, but transformed into “groups,” “radical groups,” “militia groups,” and “anti-government organizations.” These terms now acknowledged purpose, even political acuity, and relevance. A certain subtle respect was now bestowed on these labels: “anti-government groups,” and “militias.” They were not conveyed as gun toting thugs, criminals, murderers, or drug dealers, but rather as “stockpiled militias,” and arms bearing “anti-government groups.” I was forced to take a step back and contemplate whether or not the Crips, the Bloods, Netas, and Latin Kings, etc. had any kinds of similarities with their white gang counterparts. For example, did they share contempt for government, for mainstream society, for our economic system, and/or for our justice system? And if so, where and through what vehicle of communication were they making these appeals? Therefore, I created a list of six questions to identify any similarities between “street gangs” and “antigovernment militias:”

1. Where were they using symbolism to identify their position in opposition to the mainstream?

2. Where were they applying uniformity to identify themselves uniquely?

3. Did both kinds of groups/gangs seek peer relevance and acceptance?

4. Did they make continuous public references swearing to not remain being economically challenged?

5. Were both joining their groups as a statement of defiance of authority?

6. Where they both stockpiling guns, and committing crimes?

The answer to ALL of the above questions is emphatically, “Yes!” But, language dictated not only the implication of intelligence surrounding certain gangs, but also dictated the implication of whether or not being armed was perhaps even justified for certain gangs. Why the stark difference in representations? What badge of honor had white gangs received in terms of recognition yet low profile convenience that minority gangs did not?

A particular article about the Oklahoma City bombers, written by the Washington Post caught my eye in that it was making an actual connection between the violence the bombers caused, their evolving mental state, and their progression of affiliation with groups. However, in most of the articles scanned about minority gangs there were seldom any connections made at all between their violence, individual and group evolving mental states, and their progression of affiliation. They were just criminals, simply put.

“A kid from the heart of America who feels the society has let him down can be very dangerous if he has underlying emotional quirks,” said Charles Bahn, a forensic psychologist from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York who studies the psyche of terrorists. “In urban America, gangs fill this void. In the Midwest, it’s cults, the macho gun world, militias, belonging to fringe groups.”

I began to really get into this whole “gang thing” and exploring their typical and similar characteristics:

• Most gang crimes are committed within their own racially/class based and dominated neighborhoods

• The largest victim groups related to gang violence were in fact Hispanics and Blacks

• Most gang members were minors between the ages of 12 and 19

• Most gang members targeted other gang members in most crimes

• The proliferation of drugs and drug use is proportionately equal in terms of rural, suburban, and urban areas.

These statistics painted a very different picture than what was typically being represented to the public at large. Purely minority gangs seem to dominate all conversations about ruthlessness and lawlessness, and, their membership were the only ones being represented as spreading exponentially and to be feared. White gangs go conveniently unnoticed and remain under the radar. However, statistics proves otherwise because in fact urban minority gang violence and membership has been slowly decreasing nationwide, yet white militia and anti-government group violence and membership is increasing exponentially according to a 2010 report by Amy Goodman of the Democracy Now news hour.

The disservice to us all in these shifting labels is that it seems many pluralities of citizens, from all walks of life, are experiencing alienation, resentment for authority and governance, compelled to heavily arm themselves for protection against outsiders, and making public statements about their presence and attitudes. The lopsidedness of fear tilted conveniently ever in the direction of minority gangs and street crime, leaves us ignorant and/or blind to the truths about our national disposition as citizens regarding all of the relevant issues surrounding gangs: poverty, effectively engaging youth, public education, public safety, our criminal justice system, policing policies, and so on. We cannot enter into a constructive conversation about these issues until we deal fairly with the language and identification of what and who is in fact criminal, the non-bias and non-discriminant truth about drug and gun proliferation, and the public’s ability to accurately differentiate between headlines and actual trends in violence. I assure you that social deviance, and radical forms of social resentment are human problems, not racial or spatial ones.

Sources:

Dale Russakoff and Serge F. Kovaleski; “An Ordinary Boy’s Extraordinary Rage,” Washington Post, p. A01, Sunday, July 2, 1995.

Herrell, Erica, Violence By Gang Members, 1993 – 2005; Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, June 2005.

Amy Goodman, “White Power USA: The Rise of Right-Wing Militias in America,” Democracy Now, 2010.

How to Rig Gang Hooks For Fishing Live Bait Under a Float

In this article I will outline how to rig a set of gang hooks for fishing under a float. Two of the popular and effective fishing baits are live worms and live minnows and gang hooks are the most effective way to rig these live baits for fishing, especially when fishing under a float. For those of you who don’t know, gang hooks are a pair of small hooks tied back to back on a leader and used for fishing various live baits.

When fishing with a float, which of course is another name for a bobber, the best types of floats to use are slip bobbers. Slip bobbers made from balsa wood are the most buoyant and effective fishing floats. Slip bobbers slip through your line and “float freely” on your line. A bobber stop (which is a small piece of rubber) is then added to your line to stop the bobber from “slipping” beyond it. This bobber stop can be adjusted by the angler, so you have complete control over the depth that your bait is below the float. This makes float fishing much more precise, and in almost all fishing situations where a float of any kind is used, a slip bobber is the way to go.

With that being said let’s get down to the business of how to rig gang hooks for fishing live bait under a float, what do you say? For this example I’m going to assume that a slip bobber is being employed. If you are using another type of float these principles still hold true and I’m sure you can adjust these ideas to your particular type of float as needed.

Begin by grabbing the end of you line and slipping your bobber onto the line. Now add the bobber stop to your line. At this point tie a small swivel to the line. The swivel will not only help to prevent line twist, but will also make a strong union between your line and the set of gang hooks. At this point a set of pre-tied gang hooks is added to the opposite end of the swivel. Now, depending on the depth of the water you intend to fish, current flow (if there is any), and wind conditions, a split shot sinker or two may need to be added to your line to help the bait to sink in the water. Adding split shots to the line is a judgment call and is completely up to personal fishing conditions.

At this point your bait needs to be added to the gang hooks. If minnows are your bait of choice, simply hook the minnow through the lips on the top of the two hooks and allow the second hook to “hang freely”. If worms are being used as bait, rig the worm onto the gang hooks outstretched (as I’m sure you can imagine). In the case of large worms such as night crawlers the worm should be pinched in half before being rigged on the gang hooks so that a large portion of the worm isn’t “hanging free” off of the second hook in the water.

The bobber stop now needs to be adjusted to the depth you would like your bait to be below the float and you are good to go. Now you know how to rig gang hooks for fishing live bait under a float so it’s time to get out there and start catching some fish.

All About The Best Printing Service Companies

Printing ServicesIn order to make your clients think and believe your company to be competent enough, you ought to present the company name in a polished way. Business cards form a very important aspect for all ventures and enterprises worldwide, and getting it printed from the best will ensure the quality of the card. Get in touch with the best business card printing service and get cards produced using high tech Heidelberg offset printing technology. If your company is in the food service industry and you are in immediate need of takeout menu printing, you can easily hire the best takeout menu printing services at an affordable rate.

Advanced technology for better prints

The state of the art technology helps produce premium business cards with flawless colors which are consistent with a guaranteed 99.8% accuracy rate. An important factor for maintaining the brand reputation is to never go cheap and compromise on the quality. The pioneers of business card printing service will help you maintain the quality of business image and repute. These high quality business cards are printed using the Heidelberg technology in jumbo machines similar to the size of a school bus.

Vast variety

The Gang Run Preset production method helps reduce the cost of printing making it cheaper for the clients and ensures supreme quality takeout menu printing. Full Bleed print also known as the borderless print effect is possible with their high end color printing machines. It reduces the printing time which ensures that the client receives maximum to go menus for accelerating business sales. The takeout menu printing service is available 24X7 and with UPS ground shipping, deliveries can be made within 24 to 28 hours. All types of takeout menus are printed including roll fold, double gate, half fold, Z-fold, tri fold, half then half, accordion, double parallel etc.

Thickness and quality

The categories of super quality business cards to choose from include silk business cards, gold foil stamped, spot UV business card, linen textured, ultra-thick 32 pt, premium business cards and basic business cards. The cards are available in three thickness options ranging from 14pt (standard) to 32pt (edge). The medium thickness category which ranges from 16pt (premium) to 19pt (suede) is the most popular type and is suitable for all business purposes. The offset printing method offers up to 8 times higher quality print than digital. Prior to setting an order, clients can inspect the quality of paper, and they get a vast variety to choose from.

The minimum time for printing is 24 hours, and depending on the quantity of order the printing process can take up to 10 business days. Small quantity order is dispatched and delivered within 24 hours and bulk orders are delivered via UPS ground shipping within 6 business days. It may not be the cheapest printing option but indeed it is advanced and vanguard. Unlike digital printing the offset printing method requires burning the design onto metal film plates, which offer 100% accurate prints.