Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's All Our Turf

If you're an old man like me you remember the "controversial" 1979 flick The Warriors, in which a very stylized and highly improbable (multiethnic?!?) New York gang fights its way across the city, battling cops and all the rest of the highly improbable gangs in the city. The soundtrack is highly improbable, too -- Joe Walsh from the Eagles? In this century, it would work better as a video game than as a movie.

The McGuffin that gets the plot rolling is the assassination of Cyrus, a street messiah who only appears on screen for just one scene. But those three minutes are an outstanding speech on community organizing.

Can you count, suckas? I say, the future is ours... if you can count!

Now, look what we have here before us. We got the Saracens sitting next to the Jones Street Boys. We've got the Moonrunners right by the Van Cortlandt Rangers. Nobody is wasting nobody. That... is a miracle. And miracles is the way things ought to be.

You're standing right now with nine delegates from 100 gangs. And there's over a hundred more. That's 20,000 hardcore members. Forty-thousand, counting affiliates, and twenty-thousand more, not organized, but ready to fight: 60,000 soldiers! Now, there ain't but 20,000 police in the whole town. Can you dig it? Can you dig it? Can you dig it?

Now, here's the sum total: One gang could run this city! One gang. Nothing would move without us allowing it to happen. We could tax the crime syndicates, the police, because WE got the streets, suckas! Can you dig it?

The problem in the past has been the man turning us against one another. We have been unable to see the truth, because we have fighting for ten square feet of ground, our turf, our little piece of turf. That's crap, brothers! The turf is ours by right, because it's our turn. All we have to do is keep up the general truce. We take over one borough at a time. Secure our territory... secure our turf... because it's all our turf!
It's all our turf. Something to consider when you think about what MY city would be without its 25,000 students, unrepresented in local government for three decades. And the Love The Hawkeyes Hate The Students cohort of townies and self-appointed do-gooders Mr. Subliminal says Dobyns are stirring up the faux fear, just like the 1970s generation of moral guardians (sic) did for this movie.

The reality is about as real and dangerous as the cartoon gangs in the movie. But the Warriors - spoiler 35 years late - do make it home. Can you vote, suckas?

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