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Fundamentals of Gangs Essay

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Fundamentals of Gangs


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...


... middle of paper ...


...nforcement to track and identity. Presently there are about 200 known Crip gangs in Los Angeles and 70 Blood gangs.

Both the Crips and the Bloods developed their own distinctive style that would let anyone recognize them at a sight glance. Just by looking at the color of their clothes, or their tattoos they can be easily distinguished. The Crips started using the color blue for their clothing to set them apart from other gangs. Also the Crips began referring to each other as “Cuzz,” short for cousin. While the bloods wore red, and referred to each other as “bloods.” A select group of bloods get a tattoo of two burned dots over a single burned dot. This represents a dog’s paw, so they refer to each other as “dog’s.” A lot of times members of the Crips dislike using words that start with “B” and bloods dislike using words that start with “C.” So to a blood a word like cigarette would bigarette.

     These gangs have a long and complex history that came together in the 1980’s to have many riots and gang wars. Many people were killed it was horrible. There history has been filled with a lot of violence. And now what started as a group of people has turned into a way of life.


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