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When we bless the homies

Misael Juárez  |  Issue: July 2020

Blessing is the antidote to curses.

Some gang homies, like most working-class people, have a mind to make ends meet, but some evolved to be of service for the greater good. However, under this capitalist economy, wealth and opportunities do not trickle down to gang neighborhoods. Because of the system’s negligence of youth, homies are put in a situation where they must survive and compete in life-or-death situations. But even some homies dream of a better world to organize for peace in the streets. It only takes the blessing of opportunities to activate a homie’s psyches to do good work.

Gangs are pressured by the surrounding poverty and economic inequalities to come together like gases consolidating into a star. A constellation of gangs is now on the map and sometimes instead of going along with territory disputes, they call for a gang truce.

Gangs know the system is corrupt and have learned to accept life as fatal and risky in order to become economically viable. Gangs are proof that the Hunger Games already exist, while America’s rulers turn their back on these barrio and ghetto youth, some homies have proven their potential given the right opportunities.

Although the money gangs make is cursed by the system as illegal, some gang members are using this money to help their families and friends make ends meet. They even pay taxes like the undocumented migrants and some go the extra length to give back to the neighborhood children without media coverage. The media spends a lot of propaganda energy to make gangs look evil to hide the fact that some of the homies are strong and solid to respond to economic injustice by organizing to live with dignity.

Street warfare can be seen as a microcosm of a capitalist system that seeks to demonstrate military superiority all over the world, but when an aware homie looks at the country’s wealth, they know it took some kind of violence to attain that wealth. As the system uses the media to blame street gangs for insecurities, somehow the system ends up attacking even the poor youth by stripping them of opportunities. It’s a contradiction, but a tactic to deviate the spotlight away from corporate elites who live lavish and gluttonous lives while children are starving and forced into gangs to try to survive.

Under the current system, a lot youth are cursed to live in conditions that push them to make decisions to join gangs. The system has forgotten to bless these youth with opportunities. My world of gangster life was turned into community service because of a blessing I received from my own homies. Poverty, violence, and inequalities are cursing young people to live in pathological ways, but if we as a community can bless our youth to do good work, we would transform the world for many generations. A better world is possible when we make the intention to serve youth with blessings instead of negligence.

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