Words From A Sureño Pinto

By ARTURO, a Veterano

When asked the question of how and where I grew up? Where I grew up is easy to answer… I grew up in East L.A. until I was 14 years old. How I grew up is typical for most cholos involved in gang warfare. I grew up in the juvenile system till I graduated to Adult Authority at 18 years of age. On my first trip, I paroled when I reached my 29th birthday. I stood out for 11 months again and went back for four more years; paroled again and was back where I now have eight years down. So I guess you can say, I actually grew up in the pinta. My viewpoint on young Raza claiming one thing or another, considering so many things, what sticks out furthest in my mind are gangbangers doing drive-bys and claiming to be about something. The second thing is our carnalitos and carnalitas claiming Bloods and Crips, talking and dressing like the blacks. Where and when I grew up, we handled our business face-to-face and hand-to-hand. There was no mistaking your enemy rival because you got out of your car, walked up to the vatos and told them to their face to “get ‘em up.” Drive –by shooters are cowards who bring disgrace to their Varrio and their people. Raza never fought long range. That wasn’t our style and we had more class and pride than to settle things from a speeding car. WE are a proud people. We do things traditionally, like the warriors we came from. It is my opinion that the chavalones of today have lost their self respect because they mix with other races and have adopted their ways. I am not alone in my opinion. Right now, anyone driving up to the county jail in East L.A. with a drive-by shooting beef is in big trouble with the Raza, and more awaits in the pintas. There is no respect for anyone who back-shoots and especially if his or her bullet happens to take the life of an innocent baby or somebody’s jefita. When Raza in the pinta have a conflict with a certain gang, they deal only with the gang members involved directly. When the blacks have conflicts with a handful of white gangbangers, they pick a stray gavacho and then call it a victory. Often the whites do the same. Raza did not bring drive-bys into the game, the mayates did. And our chicanitos and chicanitas think that’s the way things are done. If you want to follow someone, mi Raza, follow in the footsteps of your own ancestral warriors, who maintained their dignity and self-respect during wartime and who did not attack from the bushes. That is not our style!

And for those Raza joining the Crips or the Bloods; what can I say to my people that their own skin and heart can’t say a lot better? Crips and Bloods are black gangs and Raza has no business in them. For one thing, the blacks teach Raza nothing about warfare. We’ve been at it a lot longer and we do it better. Another thing is that it is a disgrace to fight against your own people arm-in-arm with another race. To war against your own people is to be a traitor. If you represent Bloods or Crips, it’s turning against your own kind.

In L.A. you don’t see Raza in black gangs, and if you come to the pinta “Crippin” you’ll soon be “dripping” blood—YOUR OWN! To join black gangs is to give up being Chicano or Chicana and soon you’ll notice you are talking like them because you think that’s cool. There’s nothing cool about a Chicano or Chicana talking black. I don’t understand why a Chicano or Chicana would give up their estilo for that of a mayate. All you have to do is stop and think about it for one minute. How would you feel about a black who acted Chicano? Is he ashamed of his own race? Does he think ours is better than his? And how could you trust or respect anyone who turns their back on their people, their very own race? Now, what do you think the mayate thinks of you who tries to be like him? Are you his equal? Can you sleep with his women? Or he just using you for your women?

Am I prejudiced? Damn right, but only to the point where “Raza” begins to adopt their ways and against the threat of Raza losing their identity. Look at the riot in L.A. over Rodney King. You saw mayates attacking Latinos! That tells you where their heart is (where we are concerned). To them, deep down inside, we can never be equals, and you youngsters best wake up to the reality that you are useful to the mayate—but when the chips are down, they will sell you out first because you are not really one of them. I been forced to live with them since I was 14 years old and I’ve met thousands of them, so I guess that qualifies me as an authority. And there’s more. Take their rap music for instance, the music your sisters, homegirls and primas listen to, that talks about their sexuality! What you’re listening to is mayates working on the minds and emotions of your women so that it will be easier to get into their pants. They talk about licking her up and down, entering her from the rear and being able to sex her up all night long. They insinuate through select wording, designed to draw a picture in the minds of our women, that they are sexually superior. If you listen to anything long enough, you’ll identify with it and eventually believe it! Who do you think they are directing their music to? Who are they trying to convince? Anyone that will listen to them. That particular “type of rap” has no class, and you have no self-respect if you allow your carnalas and rucas to listen to mayates bragging about their manhood. You only have to check Raza rappers and compare them to see if Raza shakes their privates at our rucas over the air. You won’t find it, because there’s more respect there.

You know here in the pinta there’s ways Raza gets along and reasons why they don’t get along. There’s a lot of reasons and there’s bad reasons too; jealousy, control, power trips and greed. You have to understand that the pinta is a different world and the rules are different for many reasons. Personalities clash inside the walls just like everywhere else outside, but in the pinta the conflict can last for years and spread. It can affect the person simply because he lives in North or South Califas.
Raza used to get along years ago. Conflicts arising would be settled and left alone if it was dealt with in traditional Chicano style—man-to-man, face-to-face. In the past few years, youngsters coming in brought a new mentality to settling conflicts: anything goes and everyone is involved. It’s called North and South War. There are too many reasons why the war is on and one can’t put a finger on any one reason. It’s safe to say that the war is on for every reason you can think of.

My advise to the youngsters just coming up, is to forget about pinta life because this world is not the real world, and so it doesn’t count for nada. The years I spent looking up to pintos were entirely misguided. You see lil’ brothers, only those who get caught come to the pinta! Think about it, only those that get caught come to prison. The smart ones stay on the calles where the real world is. The smart ones get to see a relationship with a fine brown carnala grow and develop into love. The smart ones get to enjoy life and be part of of all the millions of people who do not give up and fail at life because it gets too tough. They also get to make their dreams come true because they were man enough or woman enough to hang with the strong side of our people.

Coming to prison means you couldn’t hold down a funky jale or finish school. It means you wanted something for nothing and failed at getting it. It means your world stops and hell begins—in the pinta.

Yeah, writing letters is the only way I can do my part to help educate La Raza.


Anonymous said...

la pura verdad raza........its the truth.....

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Damn right! Excellent writing skills for someone who spent so much time in the pinta. How about you share some of your experiences with the mayugas while you were locked up.

Anonymous said...

This is from Reynaldo Berrios' book, Cholo Style. And this guy is acting like he's been in the pinta one day too long. He says rap music was designed to lure Mexican women? What is he, fucking nuts? Yeh, Africa Bambatta and those guys from the Bronx were sitting in a room plotting ways to take Latin women from Latin men. After weeks of brainstorming, they came up with this idea of rap music. And to the hop, hop, the hibbity dibbity hip hop drop and you dont stop hopping to the gang bang boogie said up jump the boogie to the rhythm of the boogity beat! Now which one of you raza hynas, wants to be with a nigga like me? I said a hip hop de bop, a scoobidy doo, a guess what, esa, i've got you.

Well, that was the first verse they wrote. Then, they decided to let go of Latin women and just rap for money, instead. And the rest is history.

SMOKEY said...

I'm glad you touched the subject of the Chicano Civil War between the North and South. As you metioned we are all Raza and should be able to settle these differences and put them behind us. I grew up in Northern Califas and was a down Norteno from my varrio. I'm almost 40 yrs old now, and when I look back at all that unnecssary violence that I commited against mi Raza for no reason other than the fact that we are from 2 different regions of Califas, it makes me sick. This might sound weak to some of the youngsters but when you grow up you will see it's all puro pedo. We're just puupets on the Big Homies strings.

SUR.HOBYS13.JR said...



Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

There is a difference between Xicano/a and Hispano

Anonymous said...

Simon que si!
Mexican Demon LocoS
MDLS San Diego!

Anonymous said...

I guess you don't remember Grape Street Watts was black and Mexican and so was Compton various 70
I love my race I hate dummy my look you
Crippin till I die