James “Hollywood” Macecari
Predadores 1991. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was a street kid from the time I was a teenager, running with one of the original greaser gangs of Chicago. Except by the time I got into the crew it was full blown street gang. The roots of the greaser gang was long gone, the whole organization turned into a full blown money making machine. This gang was my schooling, the Predadores was graduation.
Predadores was running under the guise of a motorcycle club. In reality, it was nothing more than a street gang. We had chapters on the outside, more importantly, we had full blown chapters on the inside behind prison walls. I will be the first one to admit it was a bonafide gang and not an MC. The only bonafide MC I belonged to was the Black Pistons.
One of the issues I deal with all the time in news reporting is the term “Gangs.” Many people will jump up and get offended right away when the media uses the term. What’s disturbing about that knee jerk reaction is the fact, they don’t look at the article. The mere fact they made judgement before hearing the story was illogical to me. Before I go on, this is my feelings on the subject. Are motorcycle clubs gangs? I would have to say no. I believe only a few within the club causes the issues. I brought up being logical before. Wouldn’t it be logical with the size and structure of some clubs to be more organized? The answer should be simple. Yes, they should be if they were a gang.
Why is the word “gang” used so much in the media and law enforcement
The reason why gang is used so much is simple. The members or chapters who are doing gang shit deserve the title. There has been stories we covered were whole chapters were caught in Meth distribution. Would any reasonable person believe this would be classified, other than gang activity? If you say the activity don’t make a difference you’re a fool. Here’s the way I see it. Motorcycle club profiling is a big issue right now, and I’ve written extensively on the subject. You can click the link below this paragraph to be taken to the article.
In the opinion piece I argued motorcycle clubs have to own up to their part, for the reason why, motorcycle club profiling is taking place. Anyone who’s followed me for any length of time will be familiar with one of my sayings. “If you’re in the news for doing stupid shit, then we will report it, regardless of how it makes any particular club look.” Basically, if you don’t want to be in the news, keep the members off the front page. Myself, as well as Insane Throttle, are a bonafide publishing company. Our publication wants to do the best we can, to make the biker scene, a better lifestyle. This is why we don’t apologize for putting the news out. The news can be good or it can be bad, either way it’s going to be put out.
The word gang is used because the activities members are caught doing.The media, as well as law enforcement, equate those activities with gangs. Being in a gang for the better part of my life, I can see where they are coming from. The shit some of the members of these clubs are doing, we ourselves did on a daily basis. Here’s the difference though. We never worried about how we were classified, it was what it was. Motorcycle clubs have a different thought process, one that actually pits ideologies of members against each other. Some members in a club think its alright to do gangster shit, while the others do not. What ends up happening, is the ones who think the activities are OK, ruin it for those who do not.
Gangs do not vote
One of the arguments you will see me make when rebutting the gang term, especially to the media, gangs don’t vote. It’s true, gangs do not sit around a table and discuss the next move, that decision is made by the boss. The response is always the same. “Well look at what they were caught doing, what would you term them as then?” Never fails, that’s always the talking point. From that point we have a discussion of how a gang is organized compared to a club. I also get into the LEO argument. I always bring up how law enforcement commit just as many crimes as motorcycle clubs. I ask them, “why shouldn’t LEO be put into the gang category?” It’s at that point they start realizing what I’m talking about. It’s only a few that make the entire organization look like shit.
I’m just stating the facts. Clubs can never be considered a street gang, they are not equipped to be one. A member of a street gang is in the hustle, where a majority of members of clubs are not. Shit, most club members have a hard time making dues. So they sure are not out there being a gangster.
Do some members of clubs strive to be gangsters
Yes, I’ve seen numerous members of clubs trying to be gangsters. Here’s a secret though, many couldn’t come close. There was one idiot whose only goal was to be a gangster. Lets just say he was a laughing stock. This was a guy who would drive a Cadillac and only rode once in a while when it was required. In the meantime he would try an open businesses normally ran by street guys. This dude wanted to be a “G” so bad, he actually made a fool out of himself. Till this day, the people I know from the old neighborhood make fun of his ass. It’s actually sad, especially when dude was running around as a biker.
I’m often asked why I’m not in a club anymore. It’s simple, I had some health issues, but the biggest reasons were there was no money in it. I’ve always worked for myself, I’ve always believed in doing my own hustle, so how the hell would I make any money in a club? I’ve said time and time again, the club I was in, businesses I was used to were not allowed. So there’s your answer to why I’m not in a club anymore. Sure, I’ve calmed down a lot from age, starting Insane Throttle and Motorcycle Madhouse. When I was in a club though, over 15 years ago, I didn’t have Insane Throttle. So I had a choice to make. Make the money or stay broke. Staying broke wasn’t an option for me. I’m never ashamed of the club I was in, but I’m also a realist. Money makes the world go round and round, I want my piece of the pie.
That philosophy doesn’t only pertain to me, others in clubs have made their decisions. Here is the difference between those people and me. I never thought about putting the club in harms way because of my activities. The people you see ending up in the paper didn’t consider that, instead they decided to use their clubs name to further their enterprise. Personally, I think that is pretty fucked up, especially when the club probably wasn’t making its cut.
I’ll be honest, I take a street gang view over a club mindset most of the time
I love the motorcycle club scene, as well as the biker scene. Here’s the deal though, I’ll always be a street kid, something I’ll have till the day I die. I’ve heard many ex bangers talk about going into the club scene, how much it changed them. How in the hell did you do it then, how the hell did you lose the street? Most of the time a street crew member never loses the game. So when I hear some of these people talk about the crossover I shake my head in disbelief.
Do street gang members and club members go hand and hand? Unfortunately, as I grew older, the young members now in clubs are guys from the streets. This is the main reason why you see a lot of the violence in clubs. Street gang members don’t hold back, neither can anyone hold them back, when money and disrespect comes into play. I don’t care if the President of the chapter told them to back off, if they are a bonafide street guy, they won’t back down. It’s usually these types of guys that eventually find a way to become the president, especially if the current president shows weakness. Something to remember when you see the articles with dealing and violence in them.
Are motorcycle clubs gangs? The answer is all about how you look at it. Do some instances warrant the title? Yes, I believe they do, especially if the club doesn’t distance themselves from the activity. Do I think street gang members are infiltrating motorcycle clubs? Without a doubt this is happening. Again, just look at some of the activities happening with particular clubs. If you see street activity resembling gangs, you will know 100% street gang members are infiltrating.
If the motorcycle club and biker scene is going to help itself, first it must be real with itself. Without self reflection nothing can move in a positive direction. One thing I never understood about clubs fighting clubs, don’t we all have the love of riding a motorcycle in common? How about the want for brotherhood? If the answer is yes than why all the fighting? I’ll leave it at that. Don’t forget to go over to the YouTube channel as well as Motorcycle Madhouse Radio. Catch a variety of subjects having to deal with the biker scene and more.