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by Peter Moskos

April 30, 2015

Don't believe the hype

Baltimore has 99 problems... gangs aren't really one. At least not on list of top 5. Batts seems a bit obsessed with them. That's West Coast bullshit.

An article by Leon Neyfakh in Slate.


Thos Wallace said...

The casual talk in Chicago is that the large gangs have been effectively controlled .. at least regarding homicide.

Very speculative is the notion that this left a vacuum filled by small 'gangs' of younger kids that are harder to control, if not impossible.

These 'micro' gangs kill each other over 'Beefs' that are a ghetto version of a Facebook fight. Which sounds absurd but they are using social media extensively. And are Facebook fights .. or tweets or whatever.

The Chief Keef/ Little Jo Jo beef is said to be archetypical. http://kollegekidd.com/news/chief-keef-disses-lil-jojo-he-died-damn-thought-he-was-team-no-lackin/


The truly sickening thing is that Kanye West was involved afterwards to get steet cred. http://pitchfork.com/news/56353-chief-keef-teases-collaborative-track-with-kanye-west-nobody/

Ray Lewis should have a face to face with Kanye.

Does anyone today read books like 'Street Corner Society'? Those old Sociologists could write.

Peter Moskos said...

"Those old Sociologists could write"

Hear hear!

Adam said...

I vaguely remember hearing from intel officers that many Baltimore gangs (such as the Bloods and Crips) are not actually "legit," in the sense that they did not have permission from the higher-ups to hold themselves out as members. I guess it's akin to there being a National Association of Crips, whose permission you need before you open a local chapter. Has anyone else heard this? If that's true, it would help explain how the so-called Bloods and Crips in Baltimore were able to cast aside their differences and form an alliance so quickly during the riots.

Oh, and I'm pleased to hear that sociologists used to be able to write. The new ones (Peter Moskos excepted) really cannot. I love Dave Barry's piece entitled "On College":

[Y]ou should major in subjects like English, philosophy, psychology, and sociology -- subjects in which nobody really understands what anybody else is talking about, and which involve virtually no actual facts. I attended classes in all these subjects, so I'll give you a quick overview of each:


SOCIOLOGY: For sheer lack of intelligibility, sociology is far and away the number one subject. I sat through hundreds of hours of sociology courses, and read gobs of sociology writing, and I never once heard or read a coherent statement. This is because sociologists want to be considered scientists, so they spend most of their time translating simple, obvious observations into scientific-sounding code. If you plan to major in sociology, you'll have to learn to do the same thing. For example, suppose you have observed that children cry when they fall down. You should write: "Methodological observation of the sociometrical behavior tendencies of prematurated isolates indicates that a casual relationship exists between groundward tropism and lachrimatory, or 'crying,' behavior forms." If you can keep this up for fifty or sixty pages, you will get a large government grant.

Thos Wallace said...

Speaking of brand name gangs ...

I am enraged that the media let politicians (and were also complicit) in allowing any and every Islamic insurgency to call themselves.

Al Quada. This is fundamentally dishonest in the same way Bush promoted the idea that Sadam Hussian was part of the 9/11 attacks. The majority of Americans still believe this.

Al Quada isn't McDonalds and you don't get an official franchise. There is no one to say you can't self identify yourself as Al Quada. But how can this be allowed to stand!!!

None of these groups have any personal connection to the Al Quada that blew up the World Trade Center. If I call myself the New York Yankees, everyone would laugh. And if I persisted and sold a tshirt, I would be sued.

Maybe one gang in the US could possibly enforce their trademark across distant geographical regions.

The point being that when a hostile group self identifies in a way that gives them any credibility or engenders fear ... it should not be allowed to stand by a responsible press.

There can only be a war on terror if people are terrorized. And any country that lets a small number of powerless, hostile insurgents to puff up their press by self identifying!!!!!!

The press is either lazy ... especially so. Or stupid. Or complicit with the US Terror Lobby. DC housing prices rocked beginning in 2001 and haven't looked back.


The pathetic perps that have been enticed into agreeing to blow up something or other ... just look at them. Some of these perps would have trouble tying their shoes.