Black Latin and Asian Gangs

Insert surname 11

Question 3. Examine the relationship between political strugglesand gang formation. Please examine the civil rights movement/studentmovement/armed struggles in its historical context (including thegoals, structure, impact, and failures).

This paper focuses on the relationship between gang formation andtheir activities and politics. The paper aims at identifying therelationship that exists between the gangs and the politicalleadership. The paper will seek to find out which aspects leads tothe other and why. In other words, the paper will attempt to find outwhether politics leads to gang formation or vice versa. It will beestablished that from time immemorial, gangs have existed in variouscountries. The gangs are either in support of the politicalleadership or against the political leadership. More often than, asit will be found out, the gangs seek to address the day-to-dayproblems that affect the people. The gangs attempt to push thegovernments to address the major issues that affect the commoncitizens. The gangs were formed in the 19th centurytowards the 20th century when countries in Africa werebeing colonized.

The choice of this topic was informed by various reasons. To startwith, it is clear that there are numerous gang groups across theworld. In the United States, there are numerous gangs which terrorizethe people in the name of protecting them. It has come to therealization of many people that the gangs are associated with certainpolitical parties and or some politicians. This necessitated thisresearch to find out the relationship that might be existing betweenthe gangs and politics. It was also clear that most of the gangs arefighting the political leadership hence there must be a relationshipbetween the two. Additionally, it was also clear that the gangs werealso used during the political struggles as African countries triedto acquire independence from the white settlers. This was a clearindication that there existed a relationship between the politicalleadership and the gangs. It is worth noting that this is a topicthat has not been fully explored and therefore there was need toexplore it fully. It is also worth stating that there were sufficientresources and materials for doing this research hence the choice ofthe topic.

Gangs and politics are two meticulously related aspects of thesociety. The correlation amongst youth gangs and politics is acollective phenomenon in the modern society. Most of the gangs areformed by youths who feel that they have been sidelined by politicalagenda. At times, gangs have been drawn into nationalists,revolutionary, grassroots, and mass religious activities (Wilson andJoan 74). Gangs also play both paramilitary and political roles insupport of dominant elites and have a political organization inprotecting the underground economy. Unequivocally, formations ofgangs may be associated to groups of individuals masquerading ascivil movement fighting against various policy set forth by agovernment. Various politicians, especially in Africa have for longbeen using groups of young people as tools for their campaigns. Theyoung people are rewarded with handouts and they later turnout to begangs. It will also be found out in the paper that there are somepolitical parties and politicians who normally use gangs to fighttheir opponents or to silence them. It is clear that politics ismostly associated with violence (Duran 80). It will be noted that theviolence that is experienced in political rallies is perpetuated bypolitical gangs which are funded by various politicians and orpolitical parties.

Throughout history, three different periods of youth gangs’political involvement can be identified. The first category of theearliest gang political relations is the mafia, triads, hooligans andvoting gangs in different parts of the world. The earliest gangs wereremote rebels Triads in China and Mafioso in Italy whose origin wasas a result of their resistance to the external rule of the Qingdynasty and Spanish Habsburgs respectively (Duran 78). These gangswere not entirely social movements but were combined nationalistappeals with the lobbying of protection and control over drugs,prostitution, and gambling. It is clear that there are some gangswhich come up as a result of the mistreatment people receive from thepolitical leadership. Some of the gangs which in China and Italy werea force that sought to fight the political leadership and to demandfor quality services to the populace. This is a clear indication ofthe connection that exists between the gangs and the politics of theday (Wilson and Joan 92). From time immemorial, people have struggledfor better leadership from the political leadership. Most of gangs,such as the ones mentioned above, come up as a result of the failureby political leadership to provide essential services to the people.It is also vital to state that some of the gangs are wealthy fromevils such as drug peddling and prostitution. The earliest gangs inChina and Italy were known to be strongly against the governments ofthe day.

The influx of immigrants from Europe during the 19th century sparkedperiods of ethnic and class related conflicts (Wilson and Joan 141).The building of urban machines was dependent on ethnic-bound politicsand clashes of the immigrant population were the norm in many citiesincluding New York. In New York, the prevailing Yankees werechallenged by the Irish who moved voting gangs to threaten rivals.Politicians used corner kids to bully Tammany Hall’s electoralopponents. Also, racial discrimination against African-Americans andimmigrants from Mexico facilitated the formation of white organizedgangs who fought against these groups such as the KuKlax clan. TheKuKlax clan was a movement in the USA which started in the 18thcentury. This is a movement which was extremely against influx of theimmigrants. It is a movement that resulted in the formation of gangsthat were fighting the immigrants especially the black Americans andthe Jamaicans (Duran 61). This is a movement in the 19thcentury that was against the voting rights for the immigrants such asthe black Americans and the Jamaicans, as well as Mexicans. The gangswere fighting against any foreigner ascending to political power.This is a clear indication that the movement which formed the gangswas directly to politics. During the civil war Irish gangs assaultedAfrican Americans. Klan and Draft Riots activity helped shun LosAngeles Mexicans mute politically at the beginning of the 20thcentury besides terrorizing blacks in the South (Duran 12). Thepolitics surrounding the immigration laws played a key part in theformation of the gangs in America in the 19th century. Itwas evident that the politicians who supported the influx ofimmigrants from Asia fueled the gang formations. The politiciansopposed to the influx of the immigrants supported the local gangs andincited them to fight the immigrants.

During the construction of the railway line in the US, the Chinesecommunity trickled in the US in search of job opportunities. However,the Chinese community started getting mistreated by the US native andwere poorly paid. The natives had a perception that the Chinese weretaking a job that they believed belonged to them and as a resulthostility grew between the two communities (Duran 33). The US nativesformed gangs that were constantly terrorizing the Chinese community.In retaliation, the Chinese also formed their gangs to protectthemselves and the war took a new twist. These gangs were laterstarted to get targeted by politicians to execute theirself-interests and continued to grow in number due to theirinfluence. It is essential to note that the construction of therailway was a project of the political leadership during this period.This is point where the formation of the gangs against the Chineseworkers and politics starts. It is extremely hard for the commoncitizens to gang up against certain foreigners without politicalinfluence from the leaders. The USA natives who formed the gangs tofight against the Chinese were supported and funded by politicianswho had personal and self interests (Wilson and Joan 99). Thepoliticians enhanced the spread and growth of the gangs by using themto gain political mileage. The politicians would use the gangs duringcampaigns to silence their opponents and even to attack theirsupporters. It is essential to state that the gangs cannot survivewithout the support of the politicians who offer them protection fromthe government and legal systems.

Gangs, politics and social movements between 1960’s and 1970’sused to oppress people across the world as part of revolutionarystruggles and national liberation. For example, in South Africa youthgangs in the slums of Soweto and other cities collaborated with thewhite rule opposition parties of ANC and PAC in mass demonstrationsand resistance to the apartheid empire. Nelson Mandela categoricallycalled on the ANC to win over the gangs for liberation. The whitesettlers in Africa who wanted to politically rule Africa relied onthe gangs to advance their mission. It is clear that there is sstrong relationship between the gangs and politics. The gangs startmostly as movements seeking to fight for the rights of poor but laterturn out to be gangs that oppress and steal from the people. Sincepolitical alienation appeared more hopeful, the integration of thepoor youth was directed into political parties like in New Zealandand Northern Ireland. Gangs, as street organizations primarilyremained active in the underworld economy (Wilson and Joan 89). Theseinvolved bank robbery and extortion adopted by revolutionary groupsfrom Irish Republican Army to Uruguay’s Tupamaros. The dualcharacter of youth gangs is evident in Chicago in the U.S. TheConservative vice Lord Black Gangster Disciples, and the BlackstoneRangers began to systematize multi-neighborhood branches by themid-20th century. Whites resisted black residential mobility, and thewhite/black gangs continued to fight in schools and on the streets.Black gangs participated in petty hustling as well as in civil rightsmovement. By the end of 1960, all major Black gangs in Chicago wereinvolved in running businesses, social programs and in politics(Duran 74).

Most of the gangs are structured and formed by people who havevarious aspects in common. The gangs are formed by people of the samerace, country, region, and religion or business partners. Whereas theformation of these gangs may be based on certain ideologies, it iscritical to state that most of them end up becoming criminal innature. It is evident that some of the groups succeed in theirmissions but most of them are faced by very strong force from thegovernment forces hence end up failing miserably. The gangs normallyrecord successes for a while but most of them end up failing (Wilsonand Joan 48). This is because most of the gangs are formed by a fewpeople who total to not more than 2000 members. These gang groups areas successful as the funding of these groups. These gangs get most oftheir funding from illegal businesses such as sale of drugs andstealing from people.

Finally, gangs and politics are seen under the banner ofglobalization, the drug economy and the influence of identity. Asorganizations of the streets and players in the drug economy, gangsplay a critical role in the global era. The state of nationsthroughout the world has been jeopardized as multinational companiestransfer vast sums of money by the click of a computer, destabilizingindividual countries or regions (Wilson and Joan 105). For instance,the demise of USSR insinuated that countries could not anymore playone superpower off against another. Donations from western economiesand the World Bank are usually predicated on reducing domestic socialspending in nations with considerably poor populations. Similarly,the huge profits of the illegal drug economy made the mighty Mexicanand Colombian cartels main political players in their respectivecountries. To work for drug cartels is usually a well-paying job foryouths in ghettos, barrios, and favelas.

The amalgamation of these factors led to the strengthenednongovernment sectors including gangs who often showed active socialdominance over rural and urban territories of affected states.Uncertainties of globalization, as a result, triggered a crisis inidentity. Revolutionary and secular identities of the youth werereplaced by conventional notions of race and religion (Herbert 112).Youth worldwide over were greatly influenced by Gangster Rap musicfounded on gang life in American slums.

In conclusion, gang formation and political activity are two closelyassociated aspects. The world over, politics and gangs have closelyworked together to achieve their objectives. Gangs influence voting,business activities, social, political movements and even economies.The three aspects of gang-political relations reflect the influenceof gang activity and politics in different time periods and places inthe world (Herbert 88). Civil movements may at inception claim to befighting for the rights of individuals, but may end up becoming agang group. Undeniably, politics contribute highly to gang formation.This is because they provide the gangs with funding, breathing spaceand protection from the state security agencies. Political partiesand politicians ensure that they support gangs which are on theirside. They do this through aiding their businesses and providing themwith funds. It is clear from this discussion that gangs start associal movements fighting for the rights of the poor people (Wilsonand Joan 145). This attracts numerous poor people who join the gangswhere they are promised good life and money. These social movementsare associated with opposition political parties which advance theirpolitical agendas through the gangs. The relationship between gangsand politics is extremely clear.

Annotated bibliography

Duran, Robert J. Gang life in two cities: an insider`s journey.New York: Columbia University Press, 2013. Print.

This is a seven chapter book that provides insight into the ganglife from an outside source. The book provides clear insight byfollowing life of a former gang member. It is a very useful booktowards the research of gangs and their operations. The authorprovides vivid evidence of the operations of the gangs through 32interviews with gang members. The book provides an insider’sresearch into the life of the gangs and their operations. The book srecommended for any university class that is studying gangs. Theauthor has even done interviews with gang officials and also archivalresearch played a major part. It is therefore clear that the book iscritical in the research on relationship between gangs and politics.

Herbert, Covey. Street gangs throughout the world.Springfield: Charles C Thomas Publisher, 2010. Print.

This is a book that addresses the spread of street gangs across theworld. The book is critical in this research in that it addresses thereasons why gangs spread such as income inequality from the politicalclass. The book also clearly states the activities which the gangsare involved in and the common factors that these identify with. Itis therefore abundantly clear that this book addresses the majorissues that associate the gangs with politics and the reasons why thegangs are formed. It is critical book or reference in this research.

Wilson, James and Joan, Petersilia. Crime and Public Policy.New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.

This is a book that seeks to connect the criminal activities ofgangs with the public policies that are made by the political class.The book addresses the upcoming gang crime and its causes. The bookhas attempted to address the causes of crime and why gangs areforming in the recent past. The authors attempt to address the issuesthat surround the policy formation and why the policies may not leadto the decline of crime. Political class forms policies which areoppressive to the criminals and they end up forming these gangs tocounter the political class’s policies. It is therefore abundantlyclear that the book is useful in this research.


The information in this paper has focused largely on therelationship that exists between gangs and politics. The paper haskeenly ascertained that there is a strong link between the twoaspects and politics has led to the formation of numerous gangsacross the world. Gangs started being noticed as early as in the 17thcentury when gangs in Italy and China were opposed to the rulingpolitical leaderships. Gangs have evolved over the years and nowthere are gangs even in the street. It is clear from the discussionthat the gangs are formed as a result of the inefficiencies by thepolitical leadership (Herbert 51). The research has also indicatedthat some of the gangs are sponsored by political parties and orpolitical leaders who have selfish and personal political interests.It is essential to note that majority of the gangs have a closeworking relationship with the opposition parties in most countries.

Although most of the gangs are formed with the intention ofaddressing issues affecting the common people, it has beendemonstrated that the gangs are involved in various criminalactivities. Some of the criminal activities include prostitution anddrug’s business. The white settlers in Africa triggered theformation of gangs especially in South Africa where the gangs wereassisting the white settlers to establish political leadership(Wilson and Joan 64). It is also notable that some of the gangs startas social movements but their activities turn around to becomecriminal. It is notable that these gangs have great control of thevoting patterns and even the economy, as well as business (Herbert110). The gangs have increasingly become common in many countriesincluding African countries. It is however clear that most of thesegangs do not survive for long as they are apprehended and suppressedby the government and the law enforcement officers.

Works cited

Duran, Robert J. Gang life in two cities: an insider`s journey.New York: Columbia University Press, 2013. Print.

Herbert, Covey. Street gangs throughout the world.Springfield: Charles C Thomas Publisher, 2010. Print.

Wilson, James and Joan, Petersilia. Crime and Public Policy.New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.