It is unfortunate that in today’s age the term ‘gangster’ seems to have taken on a completely different meaning than it had years ago. When I was growing up to me it was a man of great moral integrity, who may or may not always be on the right side of the law. But no matter which side of the law the man was on, he always stood his moral ground no matter what the consequences. Today it seems to me that a ‘gangster’ has become twisted into a phrase to use to describe a man that infects his community with anger, drugs, and/or many other forms of needless criminal activity.
I think of this topic today because I have been riding alot of public transportation recently and have witnessed a few men who verbally claimed to be ‘gangsters’ however their actions were not in line with what I believe a ‘gangster’ truly embodies. I speak in a public forum on this because I have always thought of myself as ‘gangster’ however I am personally ashamed of having thought of myself that way at all.
One of the situations I will describe here briefly. A twenty-something black man was riding the public but sitting in front of my. He leans back towards me and asks me if I “know anyone that fucks with that Ice cream?” I just said “No” and placed my headphone back in (I never listen to music in public because I would not be able to hear what is going on around me) thinking to myself how much of an idiot this guy was and how its men like him that don’t deserve their freedom. A little while later an older white man gets on the bus, and sits across from the black guy. The black man leaned over towards him and asked him the same question, the white man replied “Man leave me alone with that shit.” I cant understand how the black guy got upset, but he started whooping and hollering, at one point saying “I’m a gangster, I’ll shoot you right here mother fucker.”
I tend to mind my own business and not get involved in situations like this until the escalate to a point where the innocent party can’t handle it themselves. However in this situation the white man went to pull the string to stop the bus and get off, in the middle of nowhere in the snow. I had to stand up and put my hand on his shoulder and sit next to him. I simply told him “I’ll ride with you to your stop, your safer here.” The angry so called gangster looked at me like I was insane. I suppose he expects people to be scared of him due to his lack of forethought or moral code, however I was in a position to walk away from that situation very happy if he had attempted to harm anyone. His behavior seems to be indicitave to me of the general philosophy of the aspiring youth ‘gangsters’. I feel that it is important to make examples of these men when possible and when possible leave them alive to possibly learn from their actions and help to change the ‘gangster’ philosophy in their communities.
A gangster is a man you should know that you have no reason to fear, but you have every reason to respect. He earns his respect by his positive actions within his community. An example would be if an old lady was needing some help loading groceries, the man you see dressed well and assisting her to load the groceries is a true gangster. This man is also most likely the man to be carrying a weapon on him at all times that he will not display or brag about, a weapon is for subduing threats not talking about. A gangster could have a wife and children, however he could also be a single man. But if he has a wife and children they will be well cared for. If a gangster is in a position where he must do something against the law, it will be well thought out so as to mitigate any risks and also will not unnecessarily harm any innocent people. A gangster will stick up for the innocent, because it is not acceptable to allow idiots to strike fear in or harm innocent people.
To summarize the real gangster you might run into in the street is not going to be someone that you immediately are watchful of or worried that he might rob you as you walk pass him. He will not be the man on the buss screaming that he is going to kill you, nor will he feel the need to tell you he is a gangster. He is however the man you should have respect for and he is also someone that you should be extremely fearful of if you are harming innocent people. Don’t expect a warning from a gangster, you knew the rules when you started to play the game.