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« Progress and its enemies | Main | Deathly Hallows »

Jul 26, 2007


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Jeffrey Sykes

The fact that the GNR doesn't have Ahearn and Townshend writing about this everyday is beyond belief.

Don Moore

Gangs are just a way of showing what happened after we pushed prayer and corporal punishment out of the schools and now there is nothing for the kids to do but form gangs.

Ed Cone

There's a logical, straight-line argument if I've ever seen one.

Undercover Urbanist

I have never seen a gang in an elementary school, therefore I posit that gangs are just a way of showing what happens when you disallow recess from high school and junior high.

Why do high schools hate recess and love gangs?


Gangs are formed by those who have nothing to attach themselves to. Gangs are usually formed within cultures that already sxist. It is a way for those who feel scared or unwanted to feel like they have a family..it is a way to create their own success. If they cannot get jobs or be on the important clubs..well..then they form their own..what shocks me is the lack of concern. As recently as three weeks ago the editor of the N&R said that the N&R had sniffed around the gang issue but their wasnt much to it...that was during this month..gangs did not form this month. it is an old problem that obviously is out of control..it is racism..but it is tolerable...wraycism is intolerable..


Ed, post the drive-by shooting pictures again from May 2007. That shooting was perpetrated by an Asian Gang in Greensboro. The property has since been sold and the previous owners have left Greensboro. There was never any mention of this shooting in the Greensboro papers.

Joe Wilson

Gangs are in Middle schools and High schools. I have spoken to a School Resource Officer in my Son's school ( Guilford Middle) and he has assured me that the gang presence is known to him. Once elected I assure you I will bring the facts to light . I think if we attack this problem now with intervention programs and stiff penalties for gang leaders. We have a chance to change the future . Doing nothing, otherwise known as the current solution will only make matters worse. I have spoken to the GPD and the Sheriff's Department and I will work to get them the resources it will take to combat this disease.

Jeffrey Sykes

Gangs I can understand. Julius Fulmore, James Hinson and Brian James wearing a GPD uniform and badge I cannot.


"The fact that the GNR doesn't have Ahearn and Townshend writing about this everyday is beyond belief."

For people like you and me: yes, it is amazing.

For the N&R, no.

Just business as usual.


EVERYBODY needs a group of friends, a comfort zone. Those who never find one can lose touch with society. High school, as we know, is terribly hard on lots of kids and forming a clique or group of comfortable friends is a must or you are totally isolated.

In (some of) our fairly middle-class mindsets, we find our friends, hopefully societal-positive groups (like sports teams, the band, etc.). Groups anchor us. If you are an 'outcast' or worse, believe you are an outcast, gangs are your band or football team.

You can make fun all you want, but gangs serve a purpose, extremely unhealthy as it is. What's worse to me: that we have such disaffected and outside-the-main young people in Greensboro (getting younger every day) who can find nowhere else to turn but to such gangs for the human validation and need for friendship and belonging we all have.

Joe Killian

Townsend's out of town, guys.

I'm working on a series of stories about the gang problem, the first of which ran last Sunday. We're also reporting on these shootings and killings as they happen daily.


I guess those more fortunate have fraternities and hazing....

Gangs are thugs that need to change or join their next logical group...prisoners.

Defending gangs is like defending the school yard bully.

Ed Cone

The social network stuff is interesting and no doubt true and relevant to dealing with gangs, but isn't there often an element of organized criminal activity involved as well?

Danny Wright

Franck Mickens of News 2 reported tonight that the police are partly chalking up this most recent shooting to "hip-hop music" -- actually krunk -- a song at the club was played that encourages people to flash their gang signs. Well they did, then they got in a fight, and then they started shooting . . .

Danny Wright

Frank -- sorry

Ed Cone

No advance there on Amy Dominello's N&R article (see link in original post): "The club was playing a style of rap music called crunk, Bellamy said early Thursday morning. A song prompted some people in the crowded club to throw up gang signs representing the Bloods and the Crips, he said.

"A fight started inside the club and gunshots were fired inside and outside of the club, he said."


If you thought I was romanticizing gangs, heavens, no! They fulfill a human need in those who can't find it *anywhere* else, which is a terribly sad thing. Gangs often are criminal in their core (unlike most other groups, hazing notwithstanding) and should be eliminated.

However, if you're going to eliminate them, what are you going to replace them with? Where are the same disenfranchised outcasts going to go? Who are they going to hang out with? If they are anti-social to start with, they're likely to have a much harder time finding a group to associate with that is socially positive.

I have no love for gangs and am not defending them. It's complicated and gang members not simply "a bunch of criminals," although they *are* a bunch of criminals. I hate that so many young people feel that outside the mainstream that a gang is their choice of "social" group.

Danny Wright

Sorry Ed -- I had seen it on the news this morning on Channel 12, saw your link (didn't read it obviously), and tonight on News 2 it was as if they were breaking something, with the reporter right in front of the club, notepad in hand, crime scene tape, etc. I'm the sucker who falls for it every time.

Ed Cone

That's often how it goes in the media foodchain.


Going live with Breaking News(!) from a 15 hour old crime scene is standard operating procedure for local TV news, my own esteemed outlet being no exception. We in the field call them 'Dog-Lick Live Shots' and it's not hard to figure out why. Think you hate 'em? Try fending off crackheads all day just so you can slather a LIVE logo all over fresh calamity. It's enough to make one want to re-think their career path.

The CA

"[B]ut isn't there often an element of organized criminal activity involved as well?"

Yes, oh yes. How much we may find out...

And there are gangs in middle school and high school and it's getting worse. Spend a day in juvenile court and you will see how bad it really is. I represent a lot of these kids, so I see it firsthand.

The reason there is little "hope" as some have claimed is because it's hard to get a job when you are a convicted felon. A real easy way to become a convicted felon is to join a gang. The cycle repeats...


Boy's Club
Cub Scouts
Boy Scouts
Girl Scouts
City sponsored team sports at several rec centers
Church groups

All of the above are available to all youth.

There are places where these kids can fit in. Some provide transportation. All provide leadership.

What if the young person "chooses" to be part of a criminal GANG? Did the young person join due to fear or to feel the sense of power? Did they join to be part of or to control others? Are they victims or do they victimize?

We need to spend our tax dollars creating the law enforcement that can shut down the gangs....which is probably no longer practical....sigh.. How long before our police will not venture into some areas for fear of their safety?

The CA

When you are constantly taught that being a victim is inevitable, you start to lose hope at an early age...

Ed Cone

Sam, if you have the time and the inclination I hope you will write more about this subject. You seem to know much more about it than many of us, and to be both humane and clear-eyed about the people involved.

Could be a valuable contribution to the local coverage.


"How long before our police will not venture into some areas for fear of their safety?"



Joe Wilson

Well at least we are talking about gangs. I've been talking about gangs since March. Now let's do something about it . Take an hour a week to think about how you can help. After a month use your hour to put your plan to work. A journey of ten thousand steps and all that . What better way to waste your time than saving a kid's life ? Try me, I will help you make it happen .

Ed Cone

Anyone got the time and resources to assemble a Google map of gang activity in GSO? Ben Holder has done some preliminary work in that direction.

Seymour Hardy Floyd

"What if the young person 'chooses' to be part of a criminal GANG? Did the young person join due to fear or to feel the sense of power? Did they join to be part of or to control others? Are they victims or do they victimize?"

I don't see much difference between joining the KKK and joining the Crips, the Bloods, or another gang.

But I don't think as many people care to pyschoanalyze the reasons why some people feel inclined to join the KKK.

I know that some will view the KKK as worse since its members like to target specific groups of "different" people.

But other gangs pretty much manage to do exactly the same.

The core motivation for all gangs is wanting to gain power so that you can intimidate, harm, and perhaps kill other people.

If there was blatant KKK activity in our schools and community, how would we respond?

If there is blatant Crips/Bloods/etc. activity in our schools and community, how will we respond?

I'm not guessing a "Death to the Crips/Bloods" rally.


Doug H

"The core motivation for all gangs is wanting to gain power so that you can intimidate, harm, and perhaps kill other people."

This may be the result of fear, fear of a perceived (real or not) threat to one's self, so that he seeks the protection of a group that can protect him, though it may involve actively attacking others.

The CA

Ed, to elaborate a little further, there are two factors that contribute to youths joining gangs more than any others in my opinion.

One, single parent homes with no male father figures or a father figure who is also a criminal/gang member.

Two, gangs recruit juveniles because they are easily fooled and enticed and the gangs can get them to do a lot of the dirty work knowing that they will be prosecuted as juveniles so nothing they do will be on their record. By the time the juvenile is old enough to have a permanent criminal record, they are so involved in the life that they don't care anymore and grow up to be the gangs next group of leaders recruiting juveniles.

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