Why Are We Any Different?

What does society in general fail to recognize about the Homeboys and the Barrio sub-culture?

From my perspective, society in general tends to view the Homeboys and our Barrios in a criminal aspect. Society believes what the media and law enforcement portrays La Raza to be. It views our sub-culture as a scourge that needs to be dealt with by imprisonment. It denies their culpability in the creation of such an attitude developed in so many minds. It fails to understand that we are a resistance to the system that enslaves minds into a life of dread. It dehumanizes our being and the reasons why we are who we are. What good can come out of a sub-culture that thrives in warfare and violence they ask? Little do they realize that the Varrios present so many with a sense of belonging and a way to survive in a world that cares little about an individual. Why do so many adhere to such a culture they ask themselves and it boggles their mind. They can’t find no logical answers to the question. They build jails and create laws that they think is the answer to the problem. They fund programs and studies to try and curve the so-called problem. But they really don’t want to understand the causes and reasons, because they’re afraid to come face to face with their shortcomings. When someone really takes a deep look into what’s going on, they come to realize so many truths as to how it all came to be. American culture is in reality one of ingrained violence to solve problems. American culture is one that instills in people a mindset that in order to belong, the individual must drop all vestments of being different from mainstream. An immigrant must not speak his language. An immigrant must act and behave like an “American”. And if he/she refuses, then he/she must be criminalized and incarcerated. A Vato Loco is not looked upon as a role model; neither can he be a respectable father or caring family member. A Vato Loco cannot be a contributor to positive thinking, nor beneficial to society is the average American thinking. But why can’t he? Why can’t he be looked upon as a reasonable person? Why can he be looked upon as a provider? Why can’t his world be recognized as a benefit to society at large? Why must he be a criminal?

Lets analyze the world of the Vato Loco. . .

The Vato Loco who belongs in a neighborhood doesn’t necessarily have to be a “gang member”. He lives and schools in a neighborhood where there’s all kinds of negative and positive forces working around him, and he does his best to make something out of nothing. He loves his folks and he loves his community. The Homeboys are but an extension of his blood relatives. He doesn’t want to grow up and be a drug addict or a failure in life. He dreams and longs for security just like everyone else in this world. His world is made up of people that at one time or another can help him get by a hardship. Some of those around him offer him protection. Others offer him advice. Others offer him connections to services or material needs. Still others offer him comfort and companionship. If a Vato Loco has a problem at home with his Jefitos, what happens? There’s always a Homeboy who will let him crash out for a few days. There’s always a Homeboy who can steer him to where they’re hiring. There’s always a Homeboy who will listen and give some words of advice; there’s always a Homeboy who cares.

A Vato Loco goes through all the ups and downs that everybody else goes through. He is no different than anybody else. He has heartbreaks and aspirations just like everyone else in this planet. He is no different than Cain or Abel. He’s a Sinner that has pains and bleeds. He feels both love and rejection. And so he acts upon what he feels. He deals with his world the best he can. He is no better and no worse than anybody else. He is a Lost Soul seeking redemption. Some find it sooner, some find it later, and some never find it at all. But why criminalize him? Why cut his chances short? What benefit is there for society if you bring a man down and tear down his soul by rejection and defamation? Absolutely none whatsoever!

El Vato Loco is labeled like a cancer, and treated like one too. He can be beaten, he can be wounded, he can be dehumanized, he can be denied his rights, and he can be demonized and be incarcerated for life, yet still he refused to surrender his soul. He refuses to give in to a system that takes away a man’s identity and submerges him into a matrix of irrelevance. For what good does a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?

That soul of the Vato Loco has lived a life full of discrimination, poverty, and filled with a history of violence, yet still survives. So there must be something he understands which is greater than all the money, all the power, all the guns and all the rhetoric that mainstream society wishes to validate itself by. There must be something for which he is willing to lay down his life for another that validates his existance!

The Vato Loco lives according to the same rules that govern all the worlds’ societies. Whether you look at what a Professor, a Minister, a Political Figure or anyone else does, the same things that make them tic and makes their world go-round, these are the same things that make a Vato Loco tic.

Think about it and analyze his world, and you’ll see that his society is but one more amongst the many, legit or otherwise!

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