The violence in Chicago is not just about what police are or are not doing. We have long-term issues. The economic support that we have to give these impoverished areas, the mental health treatment, better education, better housing - all of that stuff matters.
He lived his life in a cruel unjust world, whose laws he doesn’t agree with. To defy the corrupt government nation he lives in, he works outside the law to be apart of the free. He’s a hero to the poor, to the young, and to the non conventional, though he has done nothing but freely defy their capitalist overlords. He’s on the wanted list of every cop in the city, causing mischief and mayhem for simply being free. There are many who follow his footsteps, that the police openly call a ‘gang’. He is a criminal, yes, but the only thing he is guilty of is not conforming to your capitalist ideals. Some call him the Robin Hood of the city, or the Peter Pan of his generation, taking from the rich, give it to the poor, unite the troubled youth against a system that had been built against them from birth. The Renegade makes his own rules, but he doesn’t expect anyone to follow his law either. As long as you do no harm, he could care less.
TAURUS AS THE KNIGHT
The fairy tale Knight applies to him. He’s courageous and generous, and intensely loyal. The Knight’s loyalty to you will not waver, and therefore is the most dependable person in your life. Should you need him to defend your kingdom, or save the princess from the fire breathing dragon, he will do so, and not accept failure unless it is with death. With such a large heart, he will fall in love, but not with haste. It comes slowly as his trust in you grows, and he is patient to wait for you, and would not take flight to next pretty face. Like his armour, his heart is made of steel, and he would endure heartbreak as he endures wars and battles. He’s fiercely loyal as he is prideful and honourable. In a fair joust, he will do nothing but his best, but is chivalrous to the winner, and isn’t a sore loser. The only thing he will beat himself up over is if he failed someone he cares about, like his kingdom or his queen.
GEMINI AS THE ANTI HERO
You will either hate to love or love to hate him. The Anti Hero is a complex individual who’s more selfish than generous, but at the end of the day he is a good person. He’s not your superman or friendly neighbourhood spider man, as he will always put his interests above everyone else’s, but he’s one of the best of what he does. He’s clever and funny, and you’ll find that you enjoy that side of him. Likely he is your favourite hero, even if he does rob banks, kills people, and would probably trip you if you were being chased by zombies. Though at the last minute, when he’s caught between being selfish and doing the right thing, he will always do the right thing. Then hate himself for it the next day, or keep up the appearance of how he should have gone the other way. He will never admit it, but he felt good playing hero, just that once. Though that won’t be the last time.
CANCER AS THE MOTHER
Her children don’t come from her body, like most mothers, she is a different kind of mom that takes in the unwanted, abandoned, and orphaned. Be it human children, or animals, she is caring and neutering. She’s naturally empathetic, and has a soft heart, but like many mothers, she is not weak. Her power and stamina comes from raw love, the kind of love only the bond between a parent and child can have, regardless if they share name, blood, or species. Should one of her children be harmed, threatened, or worse, she will attack with all the ferocity of a giant grizzly bear. She will put your life way before hers, and sacrifice herself if it means that you can live. Do not take her for granted, because she is the only one who stands between you and a world trying to hurt and kill you.
LEO AS THE WARRIOR
When she was a little girl, she witnessed her family’s farm being ransacked by bandits, and she was only able to survive by hiding under the floorboards of their house. Ever since that day, she has found immense regret over not being strong enough to save her parents and her younger siblings, as an oldest shoulder should be able to do. She has spent her entire life fighting, training, and has made herself into a legendary warrior. Her name and reputation has been spoken in taverns and inns throughout the kingdoms; of all the battles she has won, the wars she has led, and the people she has slain in combat. Enemies fear her, and allies admire her. She knows she is the best, and may come off as arrogant, but she has something to brag about. Because of her egoism, she is rarely pessimistic or doubtful in herself, and is always up for a good fight or battle. What she lacks in patience and humility, she makes up with her loyalty and honesty. The day she finds the men who had destroyed her family and home, she got her bloody revenge. The Warrior has no mercy to people like them.
VIRGO AS THE HEALER
She is an essential person in every group or story, and no one would survive without her. Having learned the trade from ancient remedies past down in her family from generations, she has mastered the art of healing. Her parents, their parents, and their parents before her were healers, so she has an arsenal of tools; from herbs to pills, from crystals to scalpels, she has combined old healing methods to new. However, she has an natural instinct to heal, so her expertise does not limit to physical ailments or liaisons, but of the heart and mind as well. While some more narrow-minded individuals would call her a witch — and perhaps she is — she is far from the evil connotations. Incredibly intelligent and prescience, she is able to put together accurate diagnoses by paying attention to all the symptoms. Her dedication to her craft will guarantee you her unwavering determination to see you well.
LIBRA AS THE PRINCE CHARMING
Prince Charming grew up with a of expectations on his shoulders. From the day he was born, everything he did had to reflect his family and his future, as he would soon one day be king. The Prince takes this seriously the older he gets. While he learned ways of fighting with sword, as well as basic battle technique and strategy, Prince Charming has no will or want to fight or for war. He’s more of a diplomat and a lover, preferring negotiation and compromise over battle. His hopes are as high as his heart is big, and that is why he falls in love easily. Though since he is a natural romantic, his feelings would not fray away or move to someone else, unless given a good enough reason. Unlike Romeo, Prince Charming doesn’t fall for just another pretty face in the crowd. When he meets her, she is a mere milk maid at a farm, who had high morals and ideals, that reflected his own, that challenged everything he knew.
SCORPIO AS THE VIGILANTE
The law states that vigilantism is when you take the law and justice in your own hands, which in itself is illegal. However, the Vigilante takes it one step further. He doesn’t do it for glory, fame, or for himself; he is a merciless killer, the bloody hammer of raw justice. He moves and acts outside the law, and instead obeys his own law and sense of justice based on basic human rights. He has taken down thugs, and entire mafias; robbers and bank heists. He has avenged deaths of the innocent, and has taken down cooperate scammers who has stolen money from their employers. The Vigilante has no superpowers, but has trimmed and trained his body to be a weapon, like the many he already uses. Of course, he is public enemy number one… because the Vigilante doesn’t discriminate, and a lot of his prey are the filthy rich. They paint him as a murderer in the news, but the people know better. No one knows who he is, and that makes him all the more terrifying.
SAGITTARIUS AS THE MENTOR
From afar he was just an ordinary old man, and like many elderly, people tend to ignore him. He did not have any glorious jobs, but boy did he have a long life. A life that has bestowed him a lifetime of wisdom that he wishes he could give to his children or grandchild. Unfortunately, he hasn’t seen his son and daughter in seven years, and his grandchildren don’t even know his name. He made a lot of mistakes in his life, and there is probably a reason why that is, but alas, he cannot change the past, he could only offer this knowledge to someone. As it turns out, the neighbour’s kid is a punk teenager, who thinks he knows how the world works. As rebellious as youth is, naturally this kid snubs and insults the old man until theyre forced to spend time with each other, in which case the kid is force fed some nuggets of wisdom. From then on, the Mentor has found the pupil that he had been lacking his entire life, which is also shared with this kid who’s life changed the day he spoke to him.
CAPRICORN AS THE SECRET AGENT
There is a certain stigma against women in the CIA, however she is entirely different. She breaks those false connotations of female spies the moment she walked in the office with her black heels and pencil skirt. Many jokes were made by her expense, calling her obvious show of femininity at the workplace an attempt at “being a Bond girl”. She proved them wrong on the field, that she was no Bond girl, but Bond himself. The Secret Agent used her looks as a weapon, as well as her intelligence and raw skill. Ignoring the sexist remarks, she does her job better than anyone on the force, not needing any partners to have her back, save for the voice in her earbud that guides her through her missions. However she is highly strategic, always thinking a step ahead. Enemies of the country don’t realize that their plans are often foiled by the same woman time in and again, because she is that good at being a spy. No one outside the office knows her name or her face.
AQUARIUS AS THE REVOLUTIONARY
She wasn’t given much of a chance at a better life growing up, like most people in the country. As a girl she helped her single parent support the family, and as a woman she has grown angry and restless at the state of the country she grew up in. And so, she comes the Revolutionary, showing the world that you do not need money and resources to make a difference, all you need is a voice and strength to keep going on. Behind her marches an army of the nation, the shamed, the poor, the robbed, holding signs and flowers in their hands, and masks on their faces. The privileged will fight back, but even though they have the weapons, they do not have the numbers. Freedom isn’t free, and so it isn’t without sacrifice. Most will be captured, a lot will be injured, and some will sacrifice themselves for freedom. And even though she may be one of those people that gave up their life to the revolution, the Revolutionary will always be remembered, and her name and face will stand with everyone forever.
PISCES AS THE MARTYR
Wars for religion and faith has been happening for centuries, but even though they try to erase such things from history, everyone still remembers the Martyrs, as they do with her. When men invaded her kingdom, and forced upon her people a new god and new pantheon, it was either bend the knee or be executed as a heathen. Fear drove the people to submission, and love of their children forced them to choose life over sacrifice. But she didn’t. The Martyr refused to denounce her gods and the gods of her foremothers and fathers. She refused to bend the knee to those who raped her land and people, and kiss the rings of their false god and idols. She sacrificed her life and body so her people would not have to. Her blood and body soak the soil of her once free kingdom, and there where her body decayed grew a massive weeping willow tree, a monument and reminder of what was taken away.
It takes some stupid fuck bringing a literal knife to a gun fight for Gavin to learn more about Michael.
They were racing through alleyways together, fleeing police, fleeing rival gang members, laughing at the chaos being dropped at their feet in the form of bombs and bullets. Somehow, someone got the jump on Michael. Swinging a knife widely, cutting his shirt, just barely cutting into his side. The attacker didn’t last long, Gavin putting a bullet in their brain as he helped Michael out and they continued running.
Michael had stopped laughing after that. Gavin didn’t think much of it, but did note how Michael help his chest tight the rest of the time they ran.
They’re in one of the safe houses when Gavin catches Michael trying to wrap up his chest again. A mess of bandages on the bathroom counter besides him, ripped ones on the floor. Michael starts wrapping the bandages over his chest, over breasts that Gavin had no idea where even there and Gavin finds himself blurting out before he could think to stop himself.
“Don’t do that!”
Michael whips around, eyes wide at having been caught. He covers his chest with his arms and screams at Gavin. “Get the fuck out of here!”
“You’re going to hurt yourself!” Gavin says, stepping in. “Are those ace bandages?! Michael! You’re bloody stupid, boi.”
Michael’s face falls from fear to confusion. “What are you-”
“Have you been binding with this the whole time?!” Gavin continues, picking up the bandages in horror. “We are getting you a proper binder. Do you like gold? I’m getting you a gold one. And skin tone one. Maybe we can even get one with our logo-”
“Wait, wait, wait,” Michael interrupts. “You aren’t… disgusted? Or mad or something?”
“Disgusted?” Gavin says, his own confusion showing. “Why would I be disgusted? Because you’re trans? I know I’m a prick, Michael, but I’m not that horrible!”
Michael cracks a small, shy smile. “I just… I figured maybe…”
Gavin shakes his head fondly, pressing a chaste kiss against the other’s cheek. “You don’t need to worry, boi. Now,” Gavin claps his hands together. “We’re going binder shopping. No more ace bandages, you hear me?!”
Fuck the police they’re gang control We’ve gotta tear it down Everyone get up and let’s go around the globe it’s outta hand from the states out to iran across the ocean, back again England, Zaire and Japan.
So. I’ve been watching some streams and debates regarding BLM. In particular, the last one was Sargon’s debate with a black radio host. And they eventually get on the topic of how can black communities pull themselves out of poverty.
Sargon was talking about things like black communities accepting that they have autonomy and taking responsibility for what they do. So, things like black communities taking charge of forming two parent families to reduce single parent households. Or changing the viewpoint of drugs, police and gangs in the black community.
The other guy went off talking about how black communities have been plundered for generations, about how America was built on the back of black people, how black people can’t gain wealth like white people can. He doesn’t really touch upon how black communities can get out of their current rut.
So, I’m well aware I’m not a black person. I’m not an American. I’m coming from this from a point of ignorance and I’m looking to have something clarified.
And I’d like to also preface this by saying I KNOW lots of black people have move out of poverty and into the middle class. Or there are black people who live in suburbs. That isn’t my general point.
So. My question is this.
What is the difference between Asian-Americans and Black-Americans? Asian groups were heavily discriminated against for generations, used for menial labor (especially with things like the rail lines) and, in general, were shat upon for similar reasons and for similar periods of time.
And yet, we don’t see the same problems. We know that Asian Americans are now some of the top earners in America, demographically. And we don’t see the same sort of ghettos, nor the same level of violence and the same level of generation to generation stagnation.
“Since we were children, we have witnessed these scenes–scenes that never end, that come every day. There are deaths, bodies thrown out, decapitations,” says Marvin González, 32, who leads a faction of Mara Salvatrucha in the town of Ilopango, a few miles east of the capital, San Salvador. “We are killing among poor people. It’s a war without sense.”
Mara Salvatrucha got its start on the streets of Los Angeles in the early 1980s. El Salvador was then riven by a brutal civil war, with leftist guerrillas fighting a U.S.-backed dictatorship. Thousands of young people fled to take refuge in California. To defend themselves there against established Mexican-American and African-American gangs, they formed Mara Salvatrucha.
When the guerrillas laid down their weapons in 1992, the U.S. deported many Mara Salvatrucha prisoners. Back home, the gang members began to play out the Los Angeles street war in Central America.The recent surge in killings has become a problem for the U.S. Gang violence has prompted many young people in Central America to flee their homes, leading to U.S. authorities’ detaining record numbers of unaccompanied migrant children crossing Mexico’s border with the U.S. last year.
President Salvador Sánchez Cerén has promised a renewed offensive on gangs, with new battalions made up of seasoned soldiers who will specialize in fighting the criminal organizations. That could mean more bloodshed, but Salvadorans, desperate to see an end to the gangs’ dominance, are likely to welcome the campaign. If it doesn’t work, the gangs are likely to take control of more of Central America–and more migrants will flee north in search of a safe haven.
Photograph n°1: A police officer from a special unit patrols the streets on May 21, 2015.
Photograph n°2: Police investigate a murder in the capital, on May 21, 2015.
Photograph n°3: An older woman cries in the district of Soyapango while police conducts a night raid in search of Mara Salvatrucha gang (MS 13) members on June 11, 2015.
A member of Mara Salvatrucha gang is arrested for allegedly belonging to a criminal gang during a police raid in the district of Soyapango on June 11, 2015.
You never imagined yourself to be the one to sneak out but here you were, quietly slipping on a hoodie over your tank top and slipping out of your sleeping shorts and into a pair of black skinny jeans. The house was quiet since your parents had finally gone to bed and your brother was locked away in his room in the basement. The floors creaked slightly under your weight as you tiptoed down the stairs and towards the front door. You would stop and hold your breath every few seconds keeping an ear out for any sounds of your parents or your brother. You were finally able to breathe properly after you had very slowly and quietly shut the front door behind you and jogged over to the black BMW sitting beneath the large oak tree a few houses down from your own.
“Took you long enough."
You buckled yourself in and looked over at Calum. His attire was much like he always dressed; a black jacket worn over a black t-shirt with black jeans. This boy really needed some color in his life. His hair was messy in a dangerously sexy way and you were tempted to run your fingers through the thick strands to make it even more messier than before.
Calum started the engine which was, thankfully, really quiet and started driving with one hand on the wheel and the other perched on top of the gear, dangerously close to your thigh. You wondered what it would feel like to have his hand shift onto your thigh, to feel the warmth seep through your jeans and for you to trace the smooth skin underneath his jacket.
You were brought out of your daydream when Calum leaned over to your side and reached in front of you to open the glove compartment. You were highly aware of how close he was to you. The temperature suddenly seemed to go up and you couldn’t help but hold your breath as Calum scrounged around for something, his body only inches away from your own.
“Finally.” Calum leaned back in his seat allowing you the chance to breathe and slipped a cigarette between his lips. Lighting the end, he inhaled before slowing letting the smoke out between his lips. It was an attractive sight even though you were repulsed by the thick smell of toxins.
The rest of the ride went by in comfortable silence much like it always was with Calum. Ever since your official introduction in the grocery store, you had talked to Calum a handful of times about anything and everything. You had shared your embarrassing story of your first kiss and even though Calum had teased you about the “way-too innocent’ peck, you felt comfortable telling Calum things that you were afraid you would be judged for.
Calum talking about himself was another story. Even though he seemed comfortable enough to joke around with and tease you, his story still seemed a mystery since he never spoke of his family or past experiences. You had subtly tried to ask about his “gang”, if it was one, but he just laughed and changed the subject. Even after not knowing about his past, you felt comfortable with Calum because he had no trouble talking of his future. He admitted to wanting to travel the world and making music and supporting his family so they wouldn’t have to worry. His ambition was attractive and you knew you were falling for this guy no matter what he could have done in the past.
Twenty minutes later, Calum stopped the car in the middle of the driveway of a small, brick house. All the lights were off except a lone porch light illuminating the cracked steps leading up the army green front door.
“Stay close to me.” Calum spoke authoritatively once you had both stepped out of the car and walked towards the sketchy house.
As soon as the two of you walked in, the different smells hit you. The air was humid and slightly smoky as you followed Calum down a flight of stairs into what appeared to be the basement of a very old home. There was a group of people sitting on old, worn couches, some making out, others with either a drug or drink in hand and others doing both.
Calum got a very nice welcome by everyone who immediately dropped what (and who) they were doing to greet the dark-haired man. Calum’s face was calm as he greeted everyone, until he saw a man sitting across from Calum at a round table with a beer bottle in one hand and the other wrapped around the waist of an unknown girl.
“What are you doing here?” Calum snarled at the man who merely smiled back mockingly.
“Just having a drink with my fellow friends.”
Calum growled out a response before wrapping an arm around your waist and leading you over to the other side of the room. His scowl was present for the rest of the night as he kept on shooting dirty glances at the other man.
Somewhere between having a beer and the onslaught of dirty comments from the other man, did Calum get up from his seat and crossed the room to land a punch in the other man’s face.
That was only the beginning. The other man tried to fight back but Calum was restless and his punches were powerful. You had never seen Calum like this and it did scare you, but you were also fearful for Calum’s sake.
Majority of the others were egging on the fight while you were trying desperately to be heard over their nonsense and get Calum to stop fighting. You were terrified by now and the only thing that finally got Calum to stop his attack was the distant sound of sirens.
“Shit!” He turned away from the bloody body on the floor and looked around with wide, frantic eyes.
“Calum, you need to get out of here! You’re on probation!” You could this coming from another one of the guys but didn’t register who it was since you were still trying to make your way over to Calum through the crowd of panicking people.
You felt a hand wrap around your wrist and tug you towards the exit. You raced behind Calum all the way to his car where you hurriedly buckled yourself in before Calum was speeding off away from the sirens.
Now, not only did Calum smell of smoke but the smell of blood and sweat was mixed in as well. Calum was still breathing heavily from both the fight and the mas dash and his knuckles were ripped and bloody. His face was clean except for a little splotch of swelling on his right cheekbone.
The ride to your house was silent except this time the silence was tense instead of comfortable.
“I’m sorry.” he finally spoke once he parked the car in front of the large oak tree, houses down from your own house.
“A lot. A lot has been going on with that fucker…in the past and I just snapped. I’m sorry.”
“Why are you on probation?”
This time, he didn’t bother an answer at all.
Turning to leave, you stopped with one foot out the door when Calum’s hand held your arm. Despite his violent actions only half an hour earlier, his touch was gentle now against your skin.
“I told you to stay away.” his voice was low but you heard him in the tense silence of the car.
You didn’t really have an explanation for what you did next but you leaned back into the car and planted your lips on Calum’s. His lips were slightly dry but you didn’t care because you had been wanting to kiss him ever since the first day he called you to hang out. The kiss was slow but still held a sense of urgency as you tasted the remnants of Calum’s anger and his gentleness towards you. Calum’s hand was holding your face as you made out for a long time in his car.
You finally pulled back, out of breath and got out of the car.
Before you could walk off, Calum leaned over and looked up at you through the open window, “Now, that’s what you call a first kiss.”
“Crews that didn’t know her would poke fun at her large makeup bag and
the overly “girly” kitty kat keychain on it. They just couldn’t take her
seriously, this girl in glittery eye shadow with gems on her nails
and cute clips in her hair. This was the chick who had caught the eye of notorious street boss Ego? She wasn’t like Griffon or Meg who wore their
deadliness on their tattoo sleeves. Hell, she couldn’t even sound
intimidating with that sweet, pitched voice of hers. A lot of them
misjudged her, and a lot of the time it was frustrating, but she would never lash out with harsh words.
it was way much more fun to see their faces when she took the cap off
her tube of lipstick, and put her fingers
through the holes of her keychain…”
Raised by my Xingona mama and abuelita. Grew up with my father in prison. My mom worked 3 jobs throughout my childhood and still we sometimes struggled to put food on our plates, had to figure out which bills wouldn’t get paid certain months. I have witnessed so much death in my community as a result of gang violence, police brutality, health disparities and mental health issues. I am a survivor of violence (institutional, community, and partner) and battle anxiety and trauma every day.
I was the first in my family to go to college (I almost didn’t even go. My ballet folklorico instructor in high school pushed me to apply & I saved up my lunch money for 3 weeks to afford ONE college application.)
In 2011, after experiencing a severe mental breakdown, suicide attempt and academic dismissal, I returned & graduated with a double major in Chicanx Studies and African/ African-American Studies and minor in Social and Ethnic Relations. Went back to my community roots & put in hella work just like I had set off to do when I started this whole journey.
I am now the first in my family to also pursue graduate school and will be receiving my Masters degree in Chicanx Studies with a concentration in Comparative Ethnic Studies THIS WEEKEND.
I have dedicated my life work to creating healing praxis in which Ethnic Studies, art, and culture are tools for trauma informed approaches for educators working with youth of color who navigate systems of violence.
“It takes a long time for women to feel it’s alright to be chingona. To aspire to be a chingona!…You are saying, ‘This is my camino, this is my path and I’m gonna follow it….”- Sandra Cisneros
For all of the muxeres in my family, my first teachers in Chingona-ness… This is for them.