By James “Hollywood” Macecari-Author of New Age of Biking & Brotherhood
“Hollywood, I’ve noticed a lot of gang members flocking to motorcycle clubs, I think this is why you’re seeing more violence between motorcycle clubs. What are your thoughts on gang members in motorcycle clubs?” Demetri Seattle.
Well Demetri, first off thank you for your question. Yes, there are gang members who are in and have been a part of motorcycle clubs. I’m one of them! I’ve been a part of the Simon City Royals since I was 12 years old. Even though I’m no longer active, the set will always be a part of who I am.
I came up in the ranks in the 1980’s, a time that was very different than how things work now. The Simon City Royals were originally a white “Greaser” gang, but in modern times has become all inclusive.
When I was active it was all about the neighborhood. Not like it is today. Yes, we ran the hustles to make our money, but we were protective of where we lived.
I had to get this out of the way because If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be honest with you.
In Modern Times it’s the norm for people to leave street gangs for motorcycle clubs.
Today’s gangbangers, something that is widely used to describe members, are different from what I came up with. It was rare in my time that people would leave the crew to join a motorcycle club. It was rare because you really didn’t make any money with clubs. Regardless of what you hear from law enforcement and media, motorcycle clubs are not gangsters.
I think this is one subject that irritates the hell out of me. Law enforcement referring to motorcycle clubs as gangs. Not to be a dick, but motorcycle clubs don’t come close to being on the same level as many street gangs.
Gangs have a totally different system of hierarchy. Gangs also don’t take votes on everything they will be doing. Gangs act on money and power, clubs do not. Sure, there are turf battles between motorcycle clubs, but nothing like you will find with the gangs. This said, many people don’t want to live the gangster life but still want to be a part of something. Enter Motorcycle Clubs.
Motorcycle Clubs give members of gangs an outlet to explore different types of brotherhood. That is what entices people to leave the gang scene for the mc scene.
When Motorcycle Clubs accept bangers, they get all that comes with that
One thing you will never get a banger to lose is his street habits. I would argue some of the clubs accepting bangers are smart as hell. Gang Bangers are hardened when it comes to the streets and don’t hesitate to stand for what they believe in. Those are the qualities that make a club stronger in my opinion.
Do ex gang members cause issues for motorcycle clubs? To be honest, I’d just say clubs are not used to the mentality of bangers. The scene I came from was made up of straight up bikers, bangers were a rarity in a club. Now, the influx of bangers into a club has to be a culture shock. Bikers and bangers mixing is a weird marriage, but one that some clubs are trying to make work.
I do know one thing for sure, most bangers are loyal to their flag, something many people who get into clubs are not. One has to remember, most members of clubs are blue collar workers who just want to ride and have their brotherhood. Here’s the problem with that. If a serious situation comes down, what direction do you think they will take? Sure, they will say they will defend the clubs colors, but when it comes down to brass tax many won’t. The situation could be facing prison time or having to take down an enemy. Do you really think they will choose a club over family? I would say they would choose family and I’ve seen it many times.
Bangers on the other hand will go down for their colors. Bangers will risk life sentences for their colors. Which one do you think a motorcycle club would want to recruit?
So what you’re saying is motorcycle clubs are indeed motorcycle gangs
No, I’m not saying that and I don’t believe that. The crimes you see in our biker news are usually committed by individuals, not the club as a whole. Motorcycle clubs don’t want or need that kind of attention. Problem with clubs they don’t police themselves. If the clubs policed themselves, they wouldn’t have the problems they are having with members bringing heat down.
Again, you’re not going to change someone’s thinking who’s known nothing but the streets. People who only know the streets will never change, it’s bred in them. Do you really think they will give up their hustle? Hell no they won’t! This type of individual is what brings the heat. There are many old timers in motorcycle clubs who often butt heads with these types of members. I’ve heard it numerous times from many greybeards concerned with the direction of their clubs.
Recently there have been numerous reports of major clubs recruiting members of street gangs, even going as far as offering colors without the normal prospect period. Why? Because they want to expand the club and the best way to do it is using people who have no fear. During a club expansion you’re going to step on someone’s toes. It’s better to have people who will be down for taking care of business, isn’t it? Again, smart move if you ask me. Does that make them a motorcycle gang? No, it makes them calculated and smart!
If it’s the case clubs want people who have no fear, isn’t that hurting the scene?
In the simplest terms, it depends on how you look at the modern day club scene. Do acts of violence bring the heat on all bikers? Yes, it does and that’s unfortunate. If it seems for every step forward bikers rights takes the movement gets set back ten, then yes, it’s hurting the scene.
I’ve long been an advocate for non-violence. I don’t think violence will do the scene any good. Problem is the motorcycle clubs involved with the violence have to face the fact they are hurting themselves. Until clubs realize the actions of a few are hurting the whole club, you will continue to see what we cover in the news.
Unfortunately, motorcycle clubs lose the argument when it comes to the public thinking they are gangs. When the public turns on you, it’s a hard ass road to travel because cops will be all over you. I’m sorry to say this means all bikers, not just club members.
On the other side of the argument, many clubs don’t care what people think. Those clubs don’t think about the whole scene, it’s only about their club and their brothers. This means clubs will take those it feels can help further their goals. It’s unfortunate they think that way, but it’s reality and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.
It’s 2020, why don’t clubs come together instead of fighting all the time?
In short, It’s not going to happen, so why keep asking that question? There is too much bad blood between clubs and there is no path forward. The only thing independents, riding clubs and motorcycle associations can do is try to keep bikers images positive in the public eye. It’s a sad state of affairs but that’s reality.
The most important thing people need to understand is the scene is bigger than any motorcycle club. Yes, motorcycle clubs are an important aspect of it, but they are not all of it. If MC’s want to keep fighting among themselves so be it. It’s sad and I hate to say it, if they want to kill each other then let them kill each other. That’s their business and not what true bikers are about.
So, what’s your take on gang members coming into the motorcycle club scene, do you think it’s bringing a negative light on the entire scene? Let me know in the comment section. Don’t forget to visit me on Motorcycle Madhouse Morning Mayhem Mon-Fri at 8am cst.
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