Friday, January 29, 2016

Why You Should Join a Gang

Are you a bright, ambitious and hardworking young person? Then why not join a gang? In Trinidad and Tobago, joining a gang is an excellent way to enhance your career, increase your financial stability and make Babylon think twice before they mess with you.

 For example, if you’re a young black male from an impoverished and neglected area like Beetham Gardens, Sea Lots or Laventille, you might have already been approached by your friendly community leader, otherwise known as the nefarious neighbourhood gangster to join his gang. No one will blame you if you do; after all in your situation, who wouldn’t choose working for a violent gang over the other only option for young black men from the inner city; holding the security rope for Harts during Carnival. 

You might have heard from local pastors, Master Artists and other nitwits that gangs are the result of children not getting enough licks in school, not finding Jesus or adopting a satanic homosexual lifestyle. But according to research by Economist Steven Levitt and Sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh, inner city Gangs usually attract highly motivated, clever and ambitious people.

That’s because they offer security, money, and most importantly a sense of social status its members might otherwise struggle to attain in mainstream society. Plus, gang leaders in T&T enjoy added perks such as getting millions of dollars from the government under the guise of make work programs, sport programs and getting to meet the Prime Minister in fancy hotels. Which makes being a gang leader in T&T as respectable as being president of FIFA.

Of course, being in an inner city gang means you’re always on the lookout for the authorities. If you would prefer to join a gang that doesn't need to worry about the police, then your best bet is to join the T&T Police Service. You see,  according to a 2010 report by the Switzerland based think tank, Small Arms Survey, the T&T police force isn’t just rife with heart disease and poor grammar but also gang activity.

In their report entitled ‘No other Life; Guns, Gangs and Governance in Trinidad and Tobago’; the Small Arms Survey writes, “elements of the police force operate in ways similar to those of gangs, i.e. they operate drug corners, control the inflow of drugs, undertake large robberies, and commit extralegal murders.” Plus you don't  need to be as bright to join the TTPS as compared to inner city gangs and you’ll be able to drive through traffic by putting on you siren.

If you’re not interested in selling drugs, but would still like to join a gang that makes lots of easy money; why not join a religious group. Religious groups make for an excellent racket. They can lobby for government money while paying no taxes and selling bogus cancer cures on TV.

 If you move up the ranks of a religious gang you can perhaps sit on the Inter Religious Organisation(IRO), make pronouncements on public policy you know little about  and  be treated with unquestionable respect, for no reason. Like current IRO gang leader Brother Harrypersad Maharaj who said this week that pregnant women infected with the Zika virus should not have abortions, even though health experts warn that the virus can cause severe birth defects.

Of course, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, was too scared to comment directly on Brother Harrypersad’s remarks, because any public official who dares suggest abortion be made legal or who uses science to contradict God is asking for a beat down.

If you truly want to get ahead and acquire power and wealth, the only gangs to consider joining are the PNM or the UNC. The PNM and the UNC are socially acceptable versions of the Black Muslim and Rasta City gangs. Like those inner city gangs, the PNM and UNC fight over territory, demand fierce loyalty from their members and live by the street code of “they did it  too,” as in, “We thiefing money is ok because they did it too.”

Joining the PNM or the UNC is a fast track to sitting on State Boards, helping your friends and family  get an HDC house,  being selected to write  state approved history textbooks, and a whole  raft of things you  would otherwise  have no business doing. Be warned though, PNM and UNC gang leaders don’t take kindly to those members who challenge their leadership. Just ask Penelope Beckles, Roodal Moonilal or Vasanth Bharath.

But as long as you’re prepared to do as you're told, never question anything and move with the right squad, there is no telling how high you can reach as a gang member in Trinidad and Tobago. 

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