The Gang Scene in Detroit- An Insider's View
As a longtime veteran of Detroit (I even live on 8 Mile Road, for those of
you unimpressed with my credentials- though I used to live on 10 Mile), I
feel I can give my unique insight on the Detroit gang scene. The creativity
and ingenuity displayed by the local gangs in naming their groups is simply
staggering. I have, prepared, a list of local gangs I know of, and reasons
why their nomenclature is so astounding.
1. Bloods and Crips
I think they have chapters here, but I don't know since I don't really watch
the news. My window of the world consists mostly of Iron Chef and the A-Team.
2. Latin Counts
Not only a gang, but an education-centric one to boot! The Latin Counts, I
imagine, go about extolling the virtues of that most scholarly of languages.
If only more gangs could take such a civic bent, when thinking up a name. Cum
catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.
Sort of a gang, for old people, on small motorcycles. They're a branch of the
Freemasons, a worldwide conspiracy group, and the power and influence they
exercise over the city is palpable. A sample 4th of July parade:
1:00- Fire trucks, police car, mayor.
1:30- Shriners with monkeys.
1:45- Shriners on small motorcycles.
2:00- Shriners in trucks.
2:15- Shriners in small cars.
2:30- Shriners with small children.
2:45- Shriners with small aliens.
3:00- Shriners with Jesus Christ.
4. Shiawassee Posse
The Shiawassee Posse is a bunch of kids in about 8th grade or so. They used
to ride their bikes around the neigborhood and try to squirt people with
their supersoakers. They may not seem very potent of a force, but their name
rhymes, and one time they tried to put bleach in their supersoakers, and
ruined them. I think this demonstrates that they are willing to go to nearly
any extreme to satisfy their ambitions. When I was in 5th grade, I hit their
future gang leader in the head with a shovel, so I suppose I'm feared and
respected among them. In the savage streets of the neighborhood, only force
5. Abraham's Gang
Back when I was in high school, I once heard some kids whisper about
Abraham's Gang. Maybe I misheard them, but the idea of somebody named Abraham
having a gang is pretty cool.
6. Boy Scout Troop 179
Not a very exciting name, I know, but maybe the 179 is some sort of gang
number. The 1-7-9 pleases their constituency with many community service
projects, but once a month, the whole gang will vanish for the weekend. Where
do they go during these three-day-long jaunts? What are all those patches
for?!? I buy a christmas wreath from them every year, hoping I won't have to
7. Church of Ismism
This isn't technically a gang, but something me and my friend Andrew made up
in eighth grade. Basically, it's a church devoted entirely to hating Sabin, a
guy neither of us really knows, but lives in New York. And he's also a
cannibal. I was the Assistant High Priest.
In summary, the wealth of diversity in gang names in Detroit is nothing less
than mind-blowing. This is a tiny fraction of the possible gangs and mobs in
Detroit, since I don't leave my house too much besides going to work to see
any of them. I do, however, get "vibes" from the "street", because I live on
8 Mile road, and I interpret them as best I can.