A Pro Gang Professor? Unbelievable.


UIC Flame Tuesday, April 19, 2005
by Vikram Patel

Bobby Gore, who recently spoke at UIC, was a leader of the Conservative Vice Lords gang in the '60s before he was incarcerated for the murder of Thurman Williams, a crime he says he did not commit. Yeah. I don't mean to sound biased, but an innocent plea coming from a convicted felon is not very credible in my book.

Don't get me wrong, I have no beef with Bobby Gore. I have a problem with gangs in general. I have a problem with people like Joliet gang-bangers Juan Santana and Sergio Anguiano who have nothing better to do with their lives than throw Molotov cocktails at houses, killing innocent people including 35 year-old Lourdes Nunez and her 4 year-old daughter, Maray, in the process. Specifically, I have a problem with people who defend gangs, including UIC professors.

A UIC professor of criminal justice claims that "the public stereotype of gangs is one of violence and death." Stereotype? Apu on the Simpsons is a stereotype. The idea that Black people drink Kool-Aid constantly is a stereotype. But you're telling me that the idea that gangs as violent is a stereotype?

I grew up around gang culture in the city's Southwest Side. I understand the complexity and subsequent ignorance surrounding gang culture. I grew up with a number of young gang members who never laid a finger on me, simply because I did not impede on their activities. But that doesn't mean they're not violent. They are violent, no matter what statistical data may tell you or what researchers and unnamed pro-gang activists maintain.

When Bobby Gore visited UIC, he outlined the Conservative Vice Lords' "progress" under his reign, claiming that the gang was successful at implementing a number of social programs aimed at unifying the community. Whether or not this is true is not important. Community advancement is not on the gangbanging agenda. Gangs don't care about anybody. They only care about themselves, and people who support their causes should be ashamed of themselves.

The idea of a professor supporting gangs is deplorable. To support gangs like the Vice Lords (their malevolence lies in their name: the VICE Lords), you must also support gang members. That's people like Juan Santana and Sergio Anguiano who kill innocent people over something as ludicrous as looking at them the wrong way. Bobby Gore himself said that today's gang structure is frightening and that things have changed drastically since his day. I argue that anyone, especially a UIC professor, who supports this domestic terrorism is frightening.

[gangresearch.net comments: don't let facts get in the way of stereotypes. Check out this entire website]








Bobby Gore was influential in the transition of the Conservative Vice Lords from an unruly street gang to a progressive, socially conscience and community minded group. As was presented at the event you speak of, according to written documentation, living testimony, photographs, and a History Channel documentary, Bobby Gore was a leader, activist and hero for the positive work he accomplished in his community. However as a result of a city wide, zero tolerance policy concerning gang-related activity employed by Richard J. Daley, he was controversially imprisoned for murder based on shaky evidence. The subsequent regression of the Conservative Vice Lords to a more traditonal, violent street gang can be accredited to Gore's absence. In response to your article, the particular case of Bobby Gore is indeed important when criticizing the role Professor Hagedorn has decided to play. Professor Hagedorn has never issued a blanket support for the activities of the Conservative Vice Lords. Nor does he condone gang related violence, or any violence for that matter. Instead his goal is to unearth the causation of street gangs, and in doing so has come across the case of a decent man who in attempting to aid the Lawndale community succumbed to the "shoot first and ask questions later" policy of the Chicago Police. We agree that gang violence in unfortunate, but Bobby Gore is in no way representative of such. Because he was associated with the Conservative Vice Lords it is easy to assume that perhaps he is guilty of the murder charge. Yet, one who is sincerely dedicated to researching his plight would find him to be an anomaly within the context of contemporary gang culture, in that his agenda was the well-being of his community. Professor Hagedorn discovered this and as a result has been dedicated to reversing the seemingly irreversible stigma that continues to plague those who are in any way associated with a stereotypically "bad" subculture.

*Read up on Bobby Gore and the CVL at www.gangresearch.net



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