Street Gangs / A Time Of Pain And Shame For Children

Set On Fire at 6 Years Old

I remember following the older boys to a street gang fight when I was about 6 years old maybe a year older.  They were called the Torrance Street Gang and they were in their teens. They lived on Torrance Street, but their territory was 4 city blocks east to west and 2 city blocks north to south and I lived within the gangs  territory. They marched through the lanes from street to street, picking up fellow gang members as they went to meet and rumble with the Griffin Town Gang.

 There had to be 20 members in the Torrance Street Gang some I knew and some I didn’t.  They were gathering momentum telling all of us kids not in the gang that if we wanted to be in the gang to follow them and defend our turf. My brother and I joined in the line and kind of got moved along with the crowd. We hadn’t got 2 blocks when we saw what looked like 30 of the biggest meanest white boys we had ever seen.  They had bats, chains and some even had knives. Next thing we heard was a loud roar and everyone started to run towards each other and when the two groups hit in the middle there were screams of pain as bats hit home and chains wrapped around heads and removed teeth from faces.  In under 5 minutes it was clear that the Torrance Street gang was losing and in 7 minutes they were on the run with the Griffin Town Gang in hot pursuit.  Everyone but me got away.

They were at odds what to do to me no one wanted to hit me with a bat or chain, but they wanted to make an example of me, so they hung me by my collar on a barb of  an 8 foot high metal storm fence and dared any member of the Torrance Street Gang to come and get me down.  When they saw that no one would come one guy took out a can of something from his pocket and squirted the contents in my hair and in my face.  It burned my eyes and I began to cry, but no one came. My big  brother, a year older than I, was being held by one of the bigger guys from our gang and I began to cry for him, they were hurting him and I was so scared.

The Griffin town guys were smiling and talking about burning a nigger like in the old days. Who lit and touched me with  the match and set my head on fire I do not know, but I will never forget the pain and my frightened horror as my head went on fire.  I screamed in horror,  more than in pain as the lighter fluid ignited, singed off all of my hair and went out.  I was lucky that day, I suffered minor burns in the hot spots, but had no permanent scars except the hair arround my eyes took a long time to grow back.  I say that I was lucky because this gang usually used oil, gasoline, or kerosene and then threw you in the canal to put the fire out. If they had used any of those I would not be writing about it today.  I was 6 or 7 years old not 12 or 17 years old.

They come for your children early and it is so easy for a child to get caught up in the excitement of it all.  Gangs are mostly made up of soldiers and followers and these members do all of the fighting; all of the dirty work and take all of the risks.   They are expendable,but essential members of the gang, just like in chess.  The president or leader of the gang is usually very charismatic, very ruthless and is usually the most dangerous of the group.  With his chosen few personal council they will stop at nothing to totally dominate your children in every way possible.  Your children will be forced to  do things that get them into trouble with the law, put them in danger of being killed and they will do it because they are scared, but mostly they will do it to be cool, to be one of the pack and at this point you will need professional help to get them back.  Talk to your children, make them feel loved and heard, or lose them to the system, the street gangs and the school gangs.

 That is correct school gangs usually with nice names like, the Greek Club, or Afro Canadian Club, or Jewish Defense Club. Clubs like these all support and recommend keeping the races separate and I believe have no other purpose than to uphold old values and prejudices.  They fuel the fires and supply the man power for the street gangs and the violence circulates through the halls of the schools and trickles right back onto the street; where angry children do grown up things, strike out at everything and anything that is not exactly like them.

The next story tells of  what will happen to you daughters and sisters in gangs and it is not pretty, but it is true.  They will be the lowest members of the gang and  their sole reason for being in the gang will be to satisfy the whims of the males. If the males are considered expendable than the woman are worthless. They will be expected have sex with anyone of the members and will do what they are told without question.  Once a gang has them you will not get them back innocent, or whole. They’ll probably be hooked on one drug, or another, or too ashamed of what they have become to face you.  If you do not know your children’s friends, or do not know where they are at all times FIND OUT! You maybe saving their lives and a lot of grief.

In real life no one comes charging out of the police department, or youth court to save your child. They come rushing out of the police station to arrest and house them in juvenile detention houses, or work farms and little if anything is done to rehabilitate your child while in the care of child welfare.  What usually happens is that they learn to be better gang  members, when they are not being raped and abused by the staff, or the other inmates. Below is the story of one such girl. It is not nice, it is not fiction, but it is fact.

  Street Gangs And Your Daughters

By the time I was in high school 12 years old I was back in another street gang, The Downtown Jacks and this time there was a difference and that was the gang had girl members and they were every bit as deadly as they boys.  We kept a room in a rooming house as a base of operations and a place to make out with girls.  We never really slept with any of the female gang members, they were usually used to carry drugs, steal and hold our weapons in their purses until needed and if a fight involved other girls kick some ass;  but on an occasion a  girl was put through the paces and it was not a nice thing.  These were usually girls who would not be invited to join, but decided that they would do anything to be in the gang and so they were put to the test.  On one  such occasion the test got out of hand.

It was the day after she had slept with all the other guys that I met her. I asked her if she wanted to leave the closet and she said no. I asked her if she wanted to go home and with tears in her eyes she said no. Was she ashamed of what had happened, or what was the reason for her not wanting to leave I do not know. We had rented a room to use as a clubhouse in hopes of attracting girls and the guys told me that we now had a live in girl everything. I think I knew then that something wasn’t right, or I should have.  After all did I not have a sister and a mother?   Well when I got to the room I didn’t see the girl and inquired as to her whereabouts. I was told to open the door to the closet and if I liked what I saw there to try it out.  Inside there was a young girl who I’d seen around the neighborhood.

She was lying on a mattress, looking nervous, confused but not afraid.  I asked her if she was all right and she said she was. I know that for an hour I felt very funny about everything, then I reverted back to being one of the guys. In the first few days she was having sex with anyone of our gang that wanted her and in the beginning it seemed that she never got out of the closet.  When the enjoyment of having sex with her ended, which was somewhere in the first week, she became a decoy for us when we went stealing in the Eaton’s store located at 2020 University.  As soon as we returned to the room she went back into the closet.

It was near the end of her stay with us that a Greek boy came for a visit. He was from another gang we had been fighting with at school and he had come to parlay.  We discussed terms of peace and the prospect of doing business between the two gangs. Our leader at the time offered to seal the agreement by allowing him to have sex with our girl in the closet.  She did not seem to mind, but something about this act made me say something about her going back home and how her family must be worried and looking for her by now.

Within a couple of days we heard that her parents and older brother were combing the neighborhood for her and we decided that it was time for her to go home or at least away from us.  We told her that we were going downtown and that she had to leave and go home.  She complained and said she wanted to stay with us and that she would do anything we said.  We explained that she could get us into big trouble if she revealed where she had been all this time, or if the cops found out she was here instead of home.  She said she would never get us into trouble and that she would leave, but that she would not be returning home.

 That night we dropped her off downtown and without even looking back, left her in the street to do, as she would, alone and probably very frightened.  In the upcoming days we heard that she had indeed been found wandering around the neighborhood by her family and was refusing to say where she had been and what had happened to her. I don’t know about the others, but I didn’t give much thought to the girl in the closet, or what had transpired for a long time after that. Although I never had sex with the girl in the closet I knew in my heart that something was wrong and made an unconscious choice to do nothing about it.

Watch your daughters and keep them close, peer pressure and a desire to be loved and love drives them into the hands of street gangs. Hormones rage and young girls often make mistakes. No one needs to force her to join the gang, she will most likely seek them out as this girl did, but once in the gang the line between, willing participant   and trapped mouse becomes blurred.

 One day many a year later when I was going to college and living with my girlfriend I bumped into “the girl in the closet” again.  My girlfriend was counseling girls that were in a home for battered women and she happened to be attending. They were having coffee and cake, their meeting having just ended when I entered.  Her eyes and mine met for the first time in all those years and it all came rushing back like it was only yesterday. Although nothing was said and nobody else caught on, I was filled with a great sense of shame and guilt. Her eyes were filled with sadness and sorrow. I kissed my girlfriend, said hello to everyone and made a quick exit from the room.

My girlfriend later told me that the girl in the closet was a heroin junky.  I never saw, or heard any thing about the girl again, but I have often thought about her, with sadness and shame. Did we cause her to falter and go downhill? I will never know the answer to this question for sure, but I now know that we didn’t help. I hope that where ever she is that she is okay.  As we get older and we have the wisdom of hindsight, we wish we could change the mistakes of our youth, but we know in reality that there is no going back.  All we can do is forgive ourselves,hope to be forgiven and move on trying to be better and live a more righteous life.

Street gangs put young kids in the wrong places at the wrong times.  Children get abused by other children and coerced into doing the wrong thing.  All kids like to live on the edge and the gangs are in no short supply of willing volunteers. Guard your children from gangsters.  The gangs biggest recruiting tool is the need of the child for love and acceptance and the child’s sense of needing a sense of family. I was in the wrong place looking to score drugs when I was drugged and raped. The girl in the story was not raped, but how would you like your sister, or your daughter to be used in this manner, whether she agreed to do it, or not.  Every minute of every day a child gets abused and it is not always by an adult.  Look after your children, or the gang will do it for you.

Crips and Bloods what a joke, by the time your children get into one of these street gangs if you are in Montreal, or Canada for that matter, they probably are well on their way to a life of gang banging and juvenile delinquency.  Most Canadian children do not end up Crips, or Bloods; they end up in small street gangs that control schools and streets. I know I was in them and fought hard to keep my children and grandchildren out of them.

About archemdis

I try to say what is on my mind and not hurt others, but some things need to be said whether they hurt or not and I do just that. I try to listen as well as talk, but my opinion is just that mine. You need not take it as your own, just respect the fact that I am entitled to it, as you are yours. I do read all comments, but will only answer, or allow to be displayed those which adress me by name, refer to the post by name in the comment, or that have been sent through the proper channels. In this manner I can tell whether the comment was meant for me and that it is not just spam.
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