Discovery Channel’s ‘Gang Wars: Oakland’ Series Spreads All the Wrong Messages About Poverty and Minorities

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Its been interesting watching the show and hearing the reaction to it.. Most people were kind of thrown because in ‘Tha Town’ we don’t usually talk about people in clicks with the word ‘gang’. Do they exist? Sure just as they do in all cities.. but this show tried to make it seem like Oakland was a mini LA…

Some people had a little bit of pride because so often Oakland is overlooked and underplayed, so any attention even if its one of notoriety is treated is embraced. If you aren’t gonna celebrate how ‘good’ Oakland can be.. then folks will celebrate how ‘bad’ and how ‘tough’ it can be… That’s not unique to Oakland or the ghetto, that’s an American thing. If you don’t believe me ask iconic artists like Toby Keith, our last president George Bush or just tune into any right wing talk show where you’ll find an abundance of blowhards who will tell you how we should torture people, be allowed to carry guns at presidential rallies and refer to anyone calling for peace un-American

Also absent in this series were the large number of people who work tirelessly to help change lives around. Way too many to name.. It ranges from the folks behind the Scraper Bike Movement to Silence the Violence to Nation of Islam to Leadership Excellence etc.. There’s no shortage.  This show made it seem like folks were just kicking back enjoying the mayhem..

Sadly many organizers will tell you point blank that oftentimes the police are the  biggest obstacles. Seemingly everyone has a tale to tell.. but should we be surprised?  Many of these Discovery Channel, National Geographic gang shows are really police shows.. These shows are set up in such a way that it allows police departments to have tangible tool to go negotiate higher contracts..and to justify more cops on the streets.

-Davey D-

Discovery Channel’s ‘Gang Wars: Oakland’ Series Spreads All the Wrong Messages About Poverty and Minorities

by Aimee Allison

http://bit.ly/FOWWk

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. — John F. Kennedy

Oakland-gang-warsThere’s a rising tide of Americans that is challenging the myths that media perpetuate about people of color, violence and our nation’s cities.

While Colorofchange.org challenges Glen Beck’s racially tinged character attacks and bastadobbs.com calls for the ouster of Lou Dobbs from CNN for profiling Latinos, these efforts are the tip of the iceberg in addressing racism in the media.

Take the controversial documentary that aired this week — Discovery Channel’s two-parter, Gang Wars: Oakland, which aired its final episode Monday night.

Yes, Oakland has a shameful homicide rate, like many other American cities. But by multiplying the number of gang members in the city and connecting the homicide rate with a cardboard stereotype, the myths themselves become dangerous and counterproductive.

The show offers unrealistic and simplistic explanations about why killings happen, who the people in the community are and what would make things better. It’s time for Oakland, and the rest of America, to dump the myths that have lead to ineffective approaches to safety — and that means calling out this show that feeds on our worst fears of the poor and of people of color.

Maybe the show’s producers formed their opinions about Oakland by playing the video game of the same name — but our tragedies are not entertainment. And, we all admit, there’s plenty of blame to go around for crime in our cities. We are all paying the price for letting go of the hand of young people.

But all the scorn in the world will not make Oakland, or even suburban areas, safer.

Discovery portrays Oakland from the narrow perspective of a gang task force making busts in the city’s economically disadvantaged east and west flatlands.

The grainy night shots, closeups of semiautomatic weapons, wailing sirens and shot after shot of black and brown tattooed bravado is horror-flick fun to some — but this is a harrowing reality for those of us in Oakland grappling with the persistent problem of violence.

Oaklandpolice-225And to make matters worse, the show claims there are 10,000 gang members in the city — a number refuted by acting Oakland Police Chief Harold Jordan. Since the show producers haven’t come up with where they got the inflated number, one can only guess that they lumped in people based on neighborhood or skin color.

Therein lies the essence of the problem.

If the show was your sole point of reference, you would get the impression that Oakland’s response to crime involves mostly white police kicking down doors, conducting dangerous high-speed chases and stopping AC Transit buses in mostly black Oakland.

Gang Wars: Oakland would have us believe the myth — as the voiceover in the show says — that law-abiding citizens have only one hope, which is more and tougher policing. The reality is far more complex — with the community itself taking a central role in creating peace.

“Young people are afraid, people want to protect themselves,” offers Olis Simmons, executive director of Oakland’s Youth Uprising. She adds, “the police can’t make the city safe without partnership with the community, and that cannot happen as long as the community feels it’s being infiltrated.”

Fear grows in darkness; if you think there’s a bogeyman around, turn on the light. — Dorothy Thompson

Here’s the biggest myth: That we can arrest our way out of our homicide rate. We can’t, and the Oakland Police Department agrees. Racial profiling and harassment won’t get us there — although the Oakland Police Department has cost the city millions in settlements for just those behaviors.

But here’s what we can do: We can hire our way out. We can school our way out. As a city, we believe that so deeply that we voted to pass Measure Y — to tax ourselves to the tune of $10 million a year to make policing more effective and to expand youth programs and community outreach. The community-outreach workers that make a small cameo in the Gang Wars: Oakland are the cornerstone of Oakland’s approach to making the streets safer.

And if you want reality — how about the fact that many Oakland guns have been traced k to a gun dealer in nearby San Leandro who couldn’t account for more than 2,000 guns in 2006, according to federal authorities. Let’s revive the national gun-control conversation, because stricter federal laws is the only way to impact easy availability of guns in Oakland.

Locally, the myths depicted in Gang Wars: Oakland carry real consequences. Forget about the visceral reactions from suburban coworkers or the couple you met on vacation when you tell them you live in Oakland.

The city’s own efforts to transform its neighborhoods are thwarted in the frenzy heightened by fearmongering shows. Racial profiling proliferates — when cooler heads and a balanced view on safety don’t prevail. Money is funneled away from youth and community programs. Businesses avoid opening in the city, and we lose valuable economic opportunities.

In Oakland, we are asking: Does this show reflect the true story of what’s happening in my city? If it does, what is my responsibility to make things better?

Here’s our reality from the streets of Oakland. Despite what you see on the Discovery Channel, Oakland’s young people, coming from under-resourced communities, have shown a remarkable capacity for success and leadership to transform their peers.

Nick James of Youth Together, an organization with programs in five Oakland public schools, discusses its successful work: “We teach young people how to mediate conflicts and help their peers heal from being exposed to violence and loss. Our youth are becoming change agents and are breaking the cycle.”

False history gets made all day, any day, the truth of the new is never on the news. — Adrienne Rich

“The stereotypes won’t make us safer, but a focus on hopeful efforts to support young people does,” says Xiomara Castro, co-founder of the Urban Peace Movement, an Oakland youth violence-prevention program.

She suggests an alternate ending to the tale told in Gang Wars: “Young people who have experienced violence can turn their lives around. But thankfully Gang Wars isn’t the end of the story. Let’s try a real reality show, where we invite cameras to follow the young people who have transformed themselves.”

Aimee Allison is host/producer of KPFA‘s Morning Show in the San Francisco Bay Area and co-author of Army of None (Seven Stories Press, 2007). She will launch a new local media hub, hellaloveoakland.org, later this year. This article is dedicated to the memory of 17-year-old Oakland Tech Student Desiree Davis, who edited the school’s yearbook and was slain two weeks ago.


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Comments

  1. e-scribblah says:

    i saw last night’s broadcast and felt it was extremely sensationalistic. i, too, question where there stat of 10,000 gang members comes from. According to the show, there’s a 30-block section of East Oakland which is home to nothing but Norteno gang members. That’s not the Oakland i know.

    The sideshow footage they threw in was fairly old–i’ve seen the one scen where the car hits a bystander in at least three other videos before–and didnt begin to address the roots causes for such forms of public entertainment.

    The main point of the show seems to be to get you to believe that Oakland is a place of utter lawlessness and that the poor undermanned police officers are simply doing the best they can to stem the tide of crime and violence.

    not to detract from police who are actually doing their jobs, but Oaklnd: Gang Wars” seems designed to sway public opinion towards supporters of Johannes Mehserle and deflect OPD’s numerous credibility, corruption, and brutality issues.

    Not a single community activist working for violence prevention is interviewed.

    The show doesnt mention either that violent crime statistics are down under Dellums as opposed to his predecessor, current California Att’y General Jerry Brown.

    this is just more racist, distorted propaganda in the name of rating$$.

    Dont believe the hype.

  2. “Don’t believe the hype”? Really? I can understand that in concept only.. the TV show being sensationalistic? Really, are you surprised? The issue that I have is pretty plain, and that is that Oakland is off the hook.. the stretch of land from the Town up to The Rich,.. we KNOW THIS..
    i mean c’mon this whole apologetic angle REALLy pisses me off, because do you think any of these fools from these cliques give a f*ck.. No they don’t!
    Dave and alot of these cats on this board don’t be creepin through deep east or west O’ without riskin getting a mudhole stomped in ’em or worse.
    Those Norte’s.. yeah they will run through you.
    So on one level yes I am sure the show was sensationalistic, but the “O” is off the hook, and the sooner WE know that and acknowledge that .. that IS NOT a source of pride, even though when outsiders listen to the music that comes from there they are sure to think it’s “OK” because “we” think it’s ok.
    I know this can seem like a rant, but I cannot sum up my thoughts via message board, but I guess I would say something along the lines of..
    “Stop getting mad when Mighty Whitey shows us our ass, WE do a great job of doing that ourselves!”

  3. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    Vato, I agree whole-heartedly, Jose. If we said something and made the change they’d have nothing to show. Helping Ignorant People – Hurt Our People – did you kind of witness that when you watched the program? The cops actually glorify gangs if you really check it, it keeps them gainfully employed.

  4. e-scribblah says:

    jose, i dont think the issue is whether or not oakland has crime issues with black and brown folks living in the ghetto. the issue was that this show may have blown the perception vs. reality angle out of proportion by exaggerating things. that sends a stereotypical message to the rest of the nation. i guess it makes for better headlines than “Gangs of Des Moines” or “Gangs of “Tuscaloosa,” but is that right?

    bro Rob’t, let me ask you this: if hip-hop helps bring killer cops like Johannes Mehserle to trial and shines a light of accountability on police brutality, how is it hurting our people then?

    the fact is many of these quote-unquote gang members have nothing to do with hip-hop, which from day one has tried to find a way out of street life. would you rather have artists like the Jacka making records or breaking into your home to rob you?

    do you think it’s just about personal choice? are you really that naive? even if they wanted to, how can people change without jobs and education? and at what point does one look at the revolving door of incarceration without rehabilitation as a failed social policy which has hurt our people far more than its helped them–or anyone else?

    and i dont think the cops glorify gangs–they dont have to when Discovery and BET are willing to do it for them. plain and simple, this is just irresponsible TV which goes out of its way to be sensationalistic. i’m not saying sugar-coating should be applied to problems of the inner-city, but i’m not sure who’s served by the slanted, biased, and exploitative tone this show takes.

  5. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    Honestly, I never saw the show fellas, but based on what I’ve seen over the past 15 years, just a new indoctrination on gang life piece. Still agree with my man – “they showing you all your ass”, “address it”, that’s all that I can add. “Our people” is everyone, in knowing that – for a kid to sit down and watch that program on Oakland gangs – who is it helping? More indoctrination propaganda to spread ignorance. Who benefits – cops, judges, juvenile detention employees, parole officers, hospitals, prison complexes, prison guards, lawyers, the televsion station, ect. – everyone is “helped” instead of whom? Like I said, I didn’t see the program, but I think I’m like years ahead on who benefits the most from programs like that.

  6. In one degree I can agree In concept when you say “these quote-unquote gang members have nothing to do with hip-hop”.. let’s look at that.
    Because on one level yeah they may not be your “true school hip hop” heads yes.. but you know damn well that all the rap music that comes from the Town is laced with this influence.. so if it has nothing to do with Hip Hop, then does it have to do with “rap”.. because it’s evident that it’s part and parcel with it…
    I think also that the conversation is a bit cluttered and out of focus.. when are we going to discuss the conditions of Black People, and leave the Hip Hop out of it,.. leave the Rap out of it.. and quite honestly leave the Brown out of it as well…
    Let’s talk about Black folks and raising them up by the BOOTSTRAPS.
    After all Malcolm X never wanted a record deal.

  7. Oh I forgot.. it’s “Rap” when they posturing, and “slangin’ dope, and pimpin dem hoes”, and “keepin it real” but it’s Hip Hop, and “we just tellin stories” when they get arrested.

  8. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    Word’s bond!

  9. e-scribblah says:

    “but you know damn well that all the rap music that comes from the Town is laced with this influence.. ”

    no way jose. see? you believed the hype. the Oakland you are describing is the fictional one shown on the TV, not the one i live in. Now i’m not going to front, you have your keak da sneaks, j stalins, beeda weedas, bavgates, etc. but you also have your Hieros, your F.A.B.s, your Kev Choices, your Ise Lyfes, etc.. Even $hort has some message-oriented material every album. Too bad you never heard the Town Bizness album, it was like, a whole LP of positive, mature Too $hort material.

    oh, what’s that? what about Latino rap? what about BRN BFLO, they rep the town–and the Chicano farmworkers movement. oh, you never saw them on BET or MTV? hmm, wonder why.

    see they got you conned with the okie-doke into thinking an entire city is only capable of making negative gang-related music (which is what i assume you meant by “that element” but that’s just not the case, in reality.

    let me put it this way: if you take all the hip-hop and rap out of oakland, you still have black and brown people squabbing over drug turf because there simply arent enough jobs. that’s why it’s not about hip-hop, brah. let me amend that: it’s bigger than hip-hop.

    fyi, you’re the reason the conversation is “cluttered”

    fyi (2) you’re funny. X’s speeches were put out on vinyl back in the day.

    so, you want to have a “black people” convo without reference to hip-hop or any other race? why? do you live in a world with only one race? do you only interact with one color your entire life? if so, i feel sorry for you.

    and bro Rob’t, you thought i forgot about you. you sound hella tired pontificating about a show you aint even seen. i had to go back and read your last post like three times and istill have no idea what you’re saying. maybe you can explain it in a coherent way, so it actually makes sense?

  10. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    For so much to say you don’t say nothing, man. Jose, handle my “light weight” Jose sounds like a “latino” name, sounds like a brown guy. What does the name es-cribblah that drinks “latee” know about a people’s struggle in Oakland or anywhere else? People like this guys will defend anything against “Our People”. Everybody that “supports” Hip-hop ain’t our allies, that is for “shizzle”, and I’ve been teaching this for 15 years. Word’s Bond! (that’s an old school NY Black and Hispanic expression, es-scribblah, try goggling it like you normally have to do for all your other info.)

  11. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    And if you down for the “cause”, be down for the “cause” – stop trying to blow smoke up the people’s ass, e-scribblah. Your allegedly concerned about televisions stereotypes of Oakland, but have no concern for the world global “stereotype of a the Black Man”. Interesting. When “you” start defending people that look like me, I get scared.

  12. e-scribblah says:

    “What does the name es-cribblah that drinks “latee” know about a people’s struggle in Oakland or anywhere else? ”

    WTF? i live in Oakland, fool. where you live?

    you keep trying to make this personal.

    stick to the topic, brah.

  13. E-scribblah… my boy, my boy… you definitely try to make this personal.
    It’s comedy actually… so here’s mines one mo’ again…
    You say “you believed the hype. the Oakland you are describing is the fictional one shown on the TV, not the one i live in.” What-the-fuck-ever! I live in the Bay, and I used to (past tense) handle bizzness all through the “O” and The Rich… My hustle went from Mid-Town in EPA through the “O” up through the Rich and actually ran through Sac hittin off my Garden Block homeboys.. so that being said.. you can’t talk to me like I speak fiction.
    The Town is off the hook, that’s all I’m saying .. you can dress it up all you want.. don’t change nothin’ Life aint taken seriously in Oakland, that’s truth.. and Black life specifically aint worth much out there.
    That’s the truth.
    You want to dress it up and dress it down and look to the left and to the right go head..
    Walk with the blinders all you want.. it’s all good.
    Me, I’m enjoying the sunshine.. and the sunshine is TRUTH!

  14. Davey, I’m so glad you addressed this show. I wanted to puke watching it. One, because of how bad Oakland is (which is something I’ve known for some time now), but more so because of something they said in the show. They said this police gang unit was the “only hope” (I paraphrase, either that or something similar to it). I’m glad you pointed out the organizations in Oakland designed to provide alternatives to the street life. It’s disgusting that this show only shed light on one side of the story. But then again, I expected it. It’s basic cable. Not exactly known for being an educational medium. It’s entertainment first, period. And, of course the police are using it for political reasons. This show did NOT capture the whole scene of Oakland that leads to, surrounds, or is a result of the gang violence they showed. It’s real, but it’s not complete. Thank you for rounding the edges with this blog entry. But its’ too bad that most couch potatoes watching this show for entertainment purposes will never read your blog. Sadly, they still do vote, too….

    As far as the guns go, one of my biggest political positions on inner city gang violence has always been to crack down on the guns! These guns are not being purchased at some chain retailer. I asked somebody at the Oakland Tribune’s message board (IBA.com), who walked, talked, and quacked like a cop, what they are doing about the guns. He said that it’s not their jurisdiction, that’s it’s Fed ATF. He went on to say that he believes most of these guns were just stolen from older relatives. I replied: AK 47s? Stolen from Grandma? There is zero motivation by the law enforcement community to address the gun problem. Also, I don’t see much zeal to nail the top level drug dealers, either. Seems to me that people in high places like this gang problem because it compliments their political agendas.

  15. e scribblah, thank you for putting this Jose fool in check. I was going to get him myself when I read his bullshyt about all rap from the town being violent. You beat me to it, and put it well. Thank you.

  16. Um,.. I’m not “in check”..lol
    Look, I think you guys might be missing my point here… If you want get bent out of shape because I say that “all rap from the town being violent” so be it, that’s your business.
    Bruh none of y’all can put me check..
    The fact is that if I write that, then all you guys get your panties in a bunch.. I think that’s funny. Meanwhile the mainpoint is Oakland is off the chain, I think at the least we can agree on that.
    “This show did NOT capture the whole scene of Oakland that leads to, surrounds, or is a result of the gang violence they showed.” Dude, it’s not supposed to!
    LOL!

  17. BTW, Jose, I’m from Sacramento and I know that Gardens is a a deep Crip hood and it’s hard to believe that some dude claiming to be a Bay Area hustler had a pass in the Gardens.

  18. Jose I know the show’s not supposed to show all sides of the story. Just expressing my frustration about it. I think shows like this send a dangerous message as far as politics go. It gives the impression that the only hope to defeat gang violence is more police and stricter laws (they even say on the show that the gang unit is the “only hope”, which is pure bullshit). I’m just giving my opinion on it, that’s all. But at least I’m not making up a bunch of bullshit about myself to make people think I have more street cred than them.

  19. Rob, .. OK let’s back up a bit. Maybe we can just agree that there is a level of frustration that happens here when this topic pops up.
    Agree?
    You’re expressing your frustration about it, and so am I, maybe in two different ways, and clearly with two different ideologies. I would like to think we both want the same end result, a Better Oakland.
    As for making up the bullshit, c’mon man, we don’t need to go there… I’m a leave that alone.

  20. e-scribblah says:

    jose, i’m not sure what your point is. you say you want a “better Oakland.” you also say your “main point” is “Oakland is off the chain.” and you claim all rap from Oakland is influenced by gang elements. i’m sorry but your argument contradicts itself and is at cross-purposes.

    we’re not going to get a better oakland with this garbage, that’s for sure. holding Mehserle and other killer cops accountable for their actions, providing jobs and education, and spotlighting violence prevention efforts by community activists will lead to a better oakland, however.

    it’s not personal with you–i was referring to Bro. Robert, who tends to lash out and make personal attacks whenever he is challenged by his lack of actual knowledge on a topic–so if anyone has their “panties in a bunch,” it’s you. it’s funny how the two most-ignorant dudes in a room will always co-sign each other, as if that lends their weak arguments credibility.

    thanks for listing your resume–i’ll let you know when Wal-Mart is–but what does that have to do with the reason for this post in the first place, namely that the Discovery Channel showed an exploitative, not necessarily factually-accurate, depiction of Oakland which reinforces stereotypes, exaggerates the situation, and serves as pro-police propaganda?

    in reading your posts, Jose, i hear your frustration and it seems you are trying to articulate that but havent found the right words.

    however, i dont think anyone was saying the show was complete fiction, just that it exaggerated the truth. again, i question where the stats for 10,000 gang members come from. are you including grandmas, cats, infants and “homiez” toys in that? the show didnt cite its sources so i guess we’ll have to wonder.

    why is this problematic? discovery channel reaches 430 million homes in 170 countries. you never see black or brown people on there, except in reference to criminal activity. what message does that send?

    quiet as its kept, there’s probably more actual gang violence (or at least more murders per capita when you look at population density) in SF’s Mission, which is a much smaller area. but they try to keep that under wraps because of touri$m. so again, the black and brown in the Town get the blame while the Fat Cats get fatter.

  21. ^^^ Whatever… I’m cool.. real cool…^^^

  22. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    Dude, you are so weak it doesn’t make sense. Everything that’s against people of color you are in favor of, e-scribblah. The only thing that you ever take a stand for is “jews”. Let’s be honest. This is real! Its never an argument with you. You’re like a walking “google machine”, you don’t know nothing. Especially about Black people. I say something and people repeat the same thing “I” said as if they are “original”. Stop perpetratin’! “Subliminal Perception” in hip-hop and television, can’t talk about that, because now were back to who owns “the media” and benefits most from the stereotype. I’m like 15 years of where you “want ” to be, son. You ain’t got no arms.

  23. Robert, in the program, the narrator, what have you, says that the Oakland Police’s gang unit is the only hope. Do you agree with that? That the police are the only hope? that’s the kind of shit that me, Davey, and Scribbla are complaining about. Saying the police are the only hope by default dismisses the good will and moral resolve of everybody in Oakland. Everyone. To say that the police are the only hope is to say that everyone but the police are hopeless. If you sign on to that, you don’t think any better of black people than your status quo Jewish hip hop producer.

  24. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    I stated earlier “the cops actually glorify gangs…keeps them gainfully employed”. What I think of all people of color and what the jewish people do are two different things. The fat guy Michael Moore has a movie coming out and he said as long as I make these people (jews) money, I can say whatever I want, but if the people ever start listening to what I’m saying, my career is over. All that I ever say is know who controls the “propaganda” and look what it always does to people of color while these people reign “supremacy”. Control the media, control the minds – that was learned from Adolph Hitler and they’ve been doing it to my people ever since the Bible was translated. That program is nothing new, just understand whose pushing this subliminal propaganda to adfvertise and perpetuate gang activity for the prison complexes. You can say its all about money, I say its all about exploiting and oprressing “certain” people.

  25. Ha wow you have no idea what your talking about, the fact that you said the right wing wants war and death shows how much of a pin head you are get over yourself. Persionaly I dont like hippies they live in a fantasy world that doesnt exist and never will, there will always be war where people exist. We are fighting in the middle east because it is filled with a bunch people who hate America and want to destroy us. That will never change over there its part of their culture. I dont care if we have to torture and kill everyone over there if it saves one U.S Marine it was worth it. we didnt start this they did.

  26. Staurt M, you’ve been indoctrinated pretty well. “After” you get out of the military and that jar head brain-washing “killing machine” brain-fuck you’ve been through wears off, you will see the light. Let’s stop the “military welfare”. That’s all that it is. This who war was created to give failing white parents a sense of victory for being failing “parents”. It ws designed to give loser white parents a feelig that they raised “patriotic” kids, when all the while there little “wigger” hip-hop listening to kids didn’t amount to shit until uncle sam brought them in, gave them a job and medical benefits. This is “military welfare”, when you help white America its patriotism, when you help anyone else – its just plain wrong or un-American. STOP THE “MILITARY WELFARE”, PEOPLE! AREO SHARONE, A JEWS, STARTED THIS, WAKE UP!

  27. I am currently watching the Discovery Channel: Oakland. I live in the midwest but always search for articcles about the shoes I watch. I must say that the show does not do Oakland any justice…..I wish peace to the people of Oakland.

  28. e-scribblah says:

    “Everything that’s against people of color you are in favor of, e-scribblah. The only thing that you ever take a stand for is “jews”. Let’s be honest. This is real!”

    WTF?

    time to take your meds, Bro. Rob’t.

  29. Robert, everything that’s against people of color you’re in favor of, except for negative commercial hip hop. That/’s all I’ve seen from you.

  30. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    E-scriblah and RobThomas is the same person aren’t you?

  31. Accusing people of being the same person….the white towel of internet debate. Maybe next time, champ.

  32. Robert, yeh, you’re right. Me and E Scribllah are the same person. There’s only one person on the planet who disagrees with you, and it’s the guy who posts under RobThomas and E Scribblah. And if there’s anyone else who ever disagrees with you in the bloosophere, make no mistake, it’s me. Because I’m the only person on the planet that would ever question your logic. Everyone else on the planet agrees with everything you say, Robert. Sure, bud.

  33. e-scribblah says:

    We are the same person.

  34. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    Save that shit for Hiltler and the Romans, I ain’t buying it. I know “who” and “what” you represent. It ain’t never been nothing positive for Black people. !5 years of “truth”, one day some young Black person is going to catch on, and when they do…

  35. I laugh and cringe because this type of BS is everywhere. From Oakland to Miami to pick a city Philadelphia or Chicago. Regardless what are we going to do to fix it ?

  36. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    Finally, another voice of reason – “If we said something and made the change they’d have nothing to show”. I believe me and a guy named Jose tried to say that in the very beginning of the post, milliondollarmindz..

  37. I happened to catch moments of both episodes the same night I also caught the American Gangster profile of Felix Mitchell on the Biography Channel. I thought the promotion of “legal” drugs were bad when turning from a channel showing one drug, to the next station showing the exact same or similar drug. It’s on the same level of the faux-outrage over ACORN: you mean to tell me a “pimp & ho” caught-on-camera moment is bigger than Blackwater and Haliburton?!
    ROFL!!!

    “They said this police gang unit was the “only hope” (I paraphrase, either that or something similar to it).”-RobThomas

    LMAO!
    I caught the intro where they said only 8 dudes were a part of that unit…yeah, right! Like the sheriff in “Jaws”, we’re gonna need a bigger boat! This is to take the “word” of the narrator. If that’s the case, those cats went to the wrong region of the planet to “spread democracy”.

    “the fact is many of these quote-unquote gang members have nothing to do with hip-hop, which from day one has tried to find a way out of street life.”-e-scribblah

    Good point! On the piece I saw of Felix the cat, they had Too $hort on there and even said something similar. He wasn’t a part of that life, but that’s how he sold his records…to those IN that lifestyle. Capitalism is somethin’, ain’t it?

    “The cops actually glorify gangs if you really check it, it keeps them gainfully employed.”-Robert Jr. James McClendon

    I’ll have to co-sign this as well. You’d think the History Channel was bad enough during their Hitler fetish. Now, they got “Gangland” showing gangs that aren’t worth mentioning, but devote an hour to them.

  38. flavorblade says:

    The History Channel did go from being the Hitler Channel to focusing on gang and criminal lifestyles as entertainment. I didn’t see the Oakland show. Seems to me every black and poor section of cities in the nation is just as bad. Seems to be ebb and flows usually determined by how stable the drug turf are. Usually when a drug turf becomes destablized by arrests violence goes up until a dominant organization flourishes. The cops are in a perpetual catch 22. Lock up the top dealers street violence goes up. Gangs add more bullshit to the equation because now you have killings that don’t even have a profit motive. Emotional children with guns, poor judgment, and a manufactored enemy; themselves.

    It’s really fucked up all the way around. Hip-hop; everybody knows you have all types in every area. The question is what is the cream of the talent pool doing and who’s getting the resources to make it.

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