By James “Hollywood” Macecari
I know, many critical articles on motorcycle clubs lately from me. I believe this though, without honest discussion about motorcycle profiling, club rights will never move forward. For those who are actually interested in club rights, you might want to pay close attention. I know there will be many cheerleaders who read this article who want to blame the government, especially with all their conspiracy theories. Here’s the thing though. Most of the time it’s the motorcycle clubs that bring the problems on themselves.
Everyday subscribers and followers of Insane Throttle Biker News will see the club on club violence. Besides the club on club violence in the news you also find criminal activity by members of clubs. What’s everyone expect is going to happen with cops, when public opinion, is influenced by these types of events? The key to this discussion has everything to do with public opinion versus law enforcement views on clubs. Let’s explore what public opinion of clubs has to do with profiling.
CLUBS WALKED INTO THE TRAP
The 3rd street crew of the Hells Angels just made a move into the Bronx. In various news media reports the neighborhood wasn’t pleased with the club setting up their clubhouse there. Why ? Because they feared the club bringing violence into the neighborhood. One individual who appeared in those reports predicted the violence would come. Guess what happened? Yes, the clubhouse was sprayed by 14 bullets. Admittedly, no one knows if it was club related, but the fact it happened fed into the neighbors fears.
Texas, one of the places I believe the profiling issue is at a critical point. Here’s a question for all those who are serious about profiling. What effect did the 2015 Waco/Twin Peaks shootout have on the state of club profiling in Texas? I get it, many bikers like to blame LEO for all the problems they are having and don’t want to hear the other side. I’m here to tell you the lack of serious reflection is hurting the cause you so much want to win.
The Waco/Twin peaks shootout is the catalyst that began everything Texas clubs are now facing. Let’s be real, the clubs involved in that incident are responsible for what is happening now. Many will argue it was LEO that started the whole thing, I’ve argued this point many times in the past. The argument has merit, especially when they knew beforehand this event could happen. The argument is thin at best. The argument that should be looked at more, is why did the clubs have to settle the differences through violence? Why did clubs think fighting in a public space would help their causes?
So what happened after Waco? The event was plastered all over the news worldwide. What did that do to the LEOS? Well, it put them on the offensive. Motorcycle clubs turned public opinion against them. How? By having a shootout in a restaurant where families with kids were eating. Clubs gave the LEO all they needed to put them in an enhanced category of criminal gangs. Basically, they walked right into the trap.
Those members caught in illegal activities
This has to be the second most important issues clubs are going to have to start dealing with. When only a few members of a club are caught doing stupid crap, something which could hurt the club by the way, clubs need to kick them to the curb. If you look at it logically, clubs who support the illegal activities of a few, bring the attention of LEO down on the club as a whole. What do clubs think is going to happen when members are dealing? The fact that an individual is a member of the club is going to project to the public the club is involved. My question, is it worth it for the entire club to be put in the mix because of what a few do?
Brotherhood is a subject I’ve spoken on extensively. What do many people on the outside see when it comes to this idea of brotherhood? To be honest, people see so-called brothers turn on each other when the heat comes rolling down. Club members have to open their eyes, I believe. Allowing people within the club to participate in illegal activities will lead to not only the cops tearing the club apart, but also their own members. Members facing significant time will turn on the brotherhood they profess in. Knowing this, why allow it then? This is a valid question, especially when you compare the positives and negatives.
Times have really changed and clubs need to evolve
Let’s face it, times are against motorcycle clubs. Motorcycle clubs of old have no place in the technology era. Technology has wiped out what motorcycle clubs can get away with. The old days of taking care of business without getting caught are long gone. Without evolution motorcycle clubs cannot, and will not, win the public over.
Why the need to win the public over? As I explained earlier the public holds all the cards. Public sentiment is going to direct what the cops are going to do. Let’s not forget the public are also the ones who sit on juries and elect the politicians who make the laws. I believe it’s a necessity to win the public’s trust, especially if profiling is to stop.
Independent bikers have now turned for the most part against motorcycle clubs. When I first put out a poll on this subject I was amazed at how much opinion from this group went against clubs. The first thing I did was ask myself, “how could this be?” I was stunned because when I was coming up everyone loved the clubs, most wanted to be in clubs. Now, people choose not to get involved because they like staying away from politics. Let’s be real, who wants to be involved in something that could put you in a situation you don’t want to be in? Common sense will tell you, people don’t live that way anymore. This could be the reason why clubs have such a hard time recruiting, especially the mid 30’s and up guys.
So let’s sum it up. Motorcycle clubs are going to have to make a decision. Will motorcycle clubs start remaking themselves or will they continue down a road that won’t end well? Time will tell if clubs get the hint. Much needs to be done on the part of motorcycle clubs. Until motorcycle clubs understand the situation, their part in it, profiling will continue to spread throughout the country. Worst, the reputation of all clubs will keep taking the heat from a small segment of the lifestyle.