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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Good Reason for Selling Gang Caps

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 1:43 PM

I remember once when I was in high school. Before I realized I hated the school, I used to wear a black Duke Blue Devils t-shirt. That’s when I discovered people got upset at me for reasons beyond disliking Coach Mike Krzyzewski or Christian Laettner. With a big letter D on the front and it’s black and blue colors, some guys in my Chicago neighborhood mistook me for a member of the Maniac Latin Disciples gang. They were not too pleased with my attire. On more than one occasion, I had a few gang members approach me to voice their displeasure. One was carrying a .38 snub nose. I got the message. I stopped wearing it. I thought about that shirt again this past weekend. A story in The Plain Dealer brought me down memory lane. It was about how some stores on the East Side were selling caps that represented neighborhoods and carried gang initials. Apparently, some neighborhood activists don’t like the new caps. “These young people are being programmed by market forces to destroy each other,” Khalid Samad, a gang intervention activist was quoted saying. Unfortunately, many of these kids were programmed to destroy each other long before these caps were ever on the market. Most of the kids in these neighborhoods who wear these caps know exactly the message they’re sending out. Take these caps out of the stores, and they’ll be back to wearing ones with the Georgetown logo or LA Kings to rep their sets. Frankly, if you’re a banger and you want to advertise your affiliation to police and rivals, go ahead. It makes it easier on civilians who don’t want to worry about what color they wear in public. – T.K. Kim

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