Brand Loyalty, Gangs and Senseless Violence
|Gang life is just like religion, it is learned and passed down from parents to child.|
I’m struggling to understand why on the opening day of this years baseball season the suspect Giovanni Ramirez randomly beat up Giants fan Bryan Stow (currently in a coma) with an accomplice and getaway driver. The San Francisco Giants and the LA Dodgers have a storied rivalry, often times a very intense one. Dude was just going to a baseball game to enjoy himself and support his gang, the Giants, but what he got was jumped. What drives people to to such horrible things to another human being? It has to be more than just cheering for your favorite team…right?
Humans have evolved to support the group dynamic through time. Where we were once singular, we are now part of a team. This group mentality is what has ensured humankind’s survival. Back in the day hunting in groups both increased safety and the likeliness of getting dinner. There are many benefits to the gang/group/team, but to belong to that community one must subscribe to a kind of brand loyalty. If you want the safety of numbers and dinner, then you must believe what the group believes-subscribe to the brand and the beliefs.
Modern society is relatively safe compared to the days of hunting and trying to capture and kill that dinosaur steak the group wants and needs so badly. Now we have new types of groups whether they are called gangs, team spirit, a religion or even brand loyalty. Recently researchers have discovered a relationship between religion and the loyalty of Apple users.
“They compared MRIs of Apple fans’ brains to those of people who call themselves “very religious” and found that Apple and religion light up the same part of the brain. This means that Apple triggers the same feelings and reactions in people as religion.”
It turns out that the Cult of Apple really is a cult. Who wooda thunk? It turns out that even though in 2011 we do not have to worry about predators and safety in numbers, we still participate in the group dynamic. the article didn’t say this, but I imagine that part(s) of the brain that are active when thinking about religion or Apple products, still light up with group affiliation (maybe).
It looks to me that Ramirez belongs to many groups. He has gang affiliations, which is common in the southern half of California, and part of what the gang does is protect the turf. He is on parole which (and this might be sort of a stretch) tells me that he has religious affiliation*. He was wearing Dodgers gear so he defiantly had team spirit (and the home team is always trying to protect the home field advantage) He is a minority and we usually come from big families. Are those groups worth fighting for? Yes, no.
Indoctrination into gang culture is just any other. Geography and parenting play an important role. If his parents were bloods/crips , then it is very likely that he was introduced to that culture at a young age. In LA, sometimes, there are families that are three or four generations deep in gang affiliation. The same goes for education, or lack of. Generally, in the ghetto street smarts are coveted over book smarts. Where lack of education reins, usually, the prominence of religion also takes place. The parents religion, by default, is also the child’s religion. The same can even apply to team spirit. Naturally, because I live in Nor Cal I root for all Nor Cal teams and I suspect that it is the same for Ramirez and the LA Dodgers.
Could the seemingly random beating of Stow be associated with Ramirez’s group affiliations? (Perhaps) through his upbringing and geography he learned the violent way of street life. In the ghetto you can get jumped for looking at someone the wrong way. Might is right, even when it’s wrong. Back in dinosaur times the alpha male, the strongest one, was probably the leader of the group and in the jungle called the ghetto the same still applies. Groups evolved and became prominent to increase safety, but it came with a price: subscribe to our core beliefs, wear our colors, stay out of our/their territory or there will be an arse whoppin’.
In the big picture, in the whole wide world, are not religion, politics and team loyalty the same. Believe what we believe or we will jihad you. The Crusades, both past and present, is just brand loyalty. Believe in this product (religion) or we will make you believe and if you still don’t believe, then we will kill you and take your turf, take your land. There is safety in numbers only if you can be counted on to support the group and tow the line.
So why did Ramirez beat up Stow on the first day of this years baseball season? As of now, we do not know. If it is brand loyalty/team spirit/group association, I wouldn’t be surprised, after all we have seen it so many times from the original gangs…organized religion.
|The original gang, DJ JC and the 12 Pos-Crew.|
* Religious affiliation: US of A has a very high prison population compared to the rest of the world. Latin peeps make up 20% of the prison population but they are only 13% of the general population. It has been demonstrated over and over that the majority of people in prison have religious affiliations. The number of atheist in prison is teeny-tiny.
The American prison system
Does this post even make sense? It took so long to write, I didn’t use any of my notes and because my brain is scattered, I feel like my writing is scattered. I’m so fucking anxious, I feel like my writing is also. Still, I follow my rules: just write, then publish. If it doesn’t come out as well as i would like, then chalk it up to experience. Thanks.