Chicago Street Gangs
September 6, 2003 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Cache of first link.
posted by macadamiaranch at 8:38 AM on September 6, 2003

That is one excellent site - thanks!
posted by carter at 8:54 AM on September 6, 2003

I get the feeling that a guestbook wasn't such a great idea.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:30 AM on September 6, 2003

what does the "affiliation" mean? the gangs can either be "people" or "folk" affiliated...
posted by reality at 10:01 AM on September 6, 2003

That 2nd entry in the guestbook slays me -

You other gangs are excrement. You are smeared meconium. Our gang at the New York Athletic Club is clearly superior. We invite you and the rest of your pathetic, knock-kneed, limpwristed, milquetoast bunch to venture down to 180 Central Park South. Here, convenient to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, designer stores on Fifth Avenue, several notable gourmet restaurants, and, of course, Central Park itself, we will commit capital offenses on your sorry selves to demonstrate our manifest excellence.

You do not stand a chance. You will be defeated utterly. We shall reign supreme forever.
posted by pyramid termite at 10:23 AM on September 6, 2003

pyramid termite beat me to it. Here I was, previewing my nicely formatted post that detailed the hilarity of Herman's guestbook entry, only to find he'd posted it first.

Funny stuff.
posted by Fofer at 10:27 AM on September 6, 2003

Here are some links explaining the "People" vs. "Folks" affiliations.


City Divided One
posted by cryosis at 10:34 AM on September 6, 2003

Fofer - I've just made a friendly little post there myself -

From: Officer Flanagan, Chi. Police

Hello, guys. I'd like to thank you for putting your email addresses on the web so I can add them to the database our department's been working on. See you soon on the street and hope you enjoy your stay in Cook County Jail.

Officer Flanagan
posted by pyramid termite at 10:36 AM on September 6, 2003

You've angered LIL R3NO, and that's never good.
posted by pemulis at 10:50 AM on September 6, 2003

That chicago gang list seems little too new school or something. How can you possibly have a chicago gang roll call without listing the El Rukins/Blackstone Rangers or the Romeos.

Kids today... no respect for the old school.
posted by psmealey at 10:57 AM on September 6, 2003

Here's a Blackstone Rangers link for anyone who is interested.
posted by psmealey at 11:02 AM on September 6, 2003

That guestbook keeps getting better and better.
posted by pemulis at 11:10 AM on September 6, 2003

Hmm. The guestbook is redirecting to
posted by slipperywhenwet at 11:54 AM on September 6, 2003

slipperywhenwet - I shouldn't have posted that guestbook link as a diary entry at K5. Obviously, someone has decided that the humor wasn't quite subtle enough ...

Damn trolls ...
posted by pyramid termite at 12:13 PM on September 6, 2003

Now it redirects to something much, much worse.
posted by pemulis at 12:23 PM on September 6, 2003

I find this stuff fascinating.

I grew up in a Chicago suburb. The latin kings and a few variants of the disciples gangs were the most prevalent groups there. Students at my high school were always warning one another not to wear particular color combinations or clothes with five- or six-pointed stars on them or to wear hats turned to the left or the right because either the folks or the people would want to beat them up. Which was silly, because the kids who were involved with that stuff only messed with one another for the most part.

Classmates were happy to teach anyone how to decipher the graffiti and hand signals, which mainly involved either five- or six-pointed stars, the rival gang's symbols presented upside-down as a sign of disrespect, little pitchforks pointing one way or the other, crowns with five points either right-side-up or upside-down, etc.

I was pretty bummed out when I came home from grad school for a visit and found one of my younger brothers was scribbling six-pointed stars and pitchforks on everything he owned. Apparently he made some new friends in juvenile detention who treated him better than my parents did (which wasn't difficult at all).

Thanks for the link, macadamiaranch.
posted by boredomjockey at 3:11 PM on September 6, 2003

where did this "Latin" thing come from?
posted by shoos at 3:27 PM on September 6, 2003

shoos: I assume from "Latin America", or from the odd practice of calling people from that region "Latins". (A number of the gangs have primarily Hispanic members, or started out that way.)
posted by boredomjockey at 3:54 PM on September 6, 2003

'k, not to display my ignorance or anything, but can someone enlighten me about the "compliment card" custom?
posted by hattifattener at 4:12 PM on September 6, 2003

People and Folks affiliations are just a regional version of the national Crips and Bloods affiliations (People, by the way, are generally aligned with Bloods, and Folks with Crips.) Basically, just as local street gangs develop as a means of self-defense, pre-empting attacks by other gang members, so do the broader affiliations. Smuggling being ever more a high-stakes game, the national affiliates are able to control the source of contraband and require local gangs to choose one or the other. Much of the violence associated with gang activity is said to revolve around affiliation issues, and it's possible that the drop in related crime is partly due to the completion of national affiliation networks and a kind of normalcy.

btw, Latino is short for the Spanish word latinoamericano (though this may derive as a back-formation from the English Latin-American). Latin as a group designator used to refer to the Latin states of Europe, essentially the non-Germanic areas of Southern Europe that were once Roman, but a century ago it transferred to the Latin states' colonies in South and Central America, which hardly seems 'curious'. Hispanic, by contrast, did not transfer its meaning to Spanish-speaking American immigrants until roughly the 1970s. In the WWII era, it was perfectly natural for these groups to use the word to refer to themselves.

hattifatener: I doubt it was for genteel teas; they more likely served the age-old purpose of any business cards, i.e. identifying a business, its products, and its contacts.
posted by dhartung at 10:49 PM on September 6, 2003

btw, Latino is short for the Spanish word latinoamericano...

btw, I'm fluent in Spanish. :)

I'm familiar with the history of the terms. With regard to calling Latin Americans "Latins", I meant "odd" (not 'curious' -- I assume you were addressing me, though) as in "occasional" or "uncommon", because my impression was that the term had fallen into disuse, with "Latino" being favored instead, despite their being translations of one another (I've seen a number of people wrinkle their noses when hearing "Latins"). I could be wrong, though.

I tried googling to verify my impression but had little luck because the porn industry, for one, still enthusiastically embraces the term "Latins".
posted by boredomjockey at 2:56 AM on September 7, 2003

Note to self - read all comments in a thread before opening links in the thread. Looked in the guestbook before reading slipperyWhenWet's comment...

Stay out of the guestbook. No, I mean it.

Lucky I've got lightning fast mouse clicking reflexes, all I was exposed to was half an image depicting the middle of someones back.

Thank you slow dial-up connection!
posted by backOfYourMind at 4:06 AM on September 7, 2003

ah yes, the ever popular prolapsed colon man, as seen in (the print version of) this week's savage love.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:51 AM on September 7, 2003

« Older Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Mbacké   |   Thick or thin Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments