Kudos to the government initiative that will ban gang insignia from all state premises.
This means the gang patch ban will extend to all schools and will take some of the stress off staff who fear reprisals. It also removes the pressure from impressionable kids, it begins to marginalise gang membership in a country where it has become the norm.
The announcement was discussed in this article in stuff.co.nz.
Note how some schools already chose house colours with great care so as to prevent gang affiliations from being glamorised any more than they already are.
Naenae College principal John Russell said gang members associated with the school already had enough respect to keep their patches and colours at bay.
Bandanas, house colours and uniforms associated with red and blue were stripped from the school years ago, he said.
“Frankly we’re careful about how we choose colours for houses and uniforms.
“They’re purple, yellow, green and orange for a reason.”
Over the years there have been violent retributions against kids who wore the ‘wrong’ colour off their home turf – usually red, blue or black. Then there was the dog walker who was threatened for having the wrong colour (red) lead.
From an editorial in the Taranaki Daily News:
The colour of stupidity
Some weeks ago, further north, a young boy was assaulted. The reason for his punishment? He was wearing the wrong coloured shirt, its red deemed offensive to gang members who live, die, rape and steal for the blue…
Even places like New Plymouth, it would seem, are not immune from gang violence
It seemed like the kind of disgusting and stupid crime that would occur elsewhere, and certainly not on New Plymouth’s largely gang-free streets. But even here, people are being intimidated and killed simply because they choose to wear the wrong colour.
A man innocently walking his dog is lambasted and accosted by a drunk Black Power associate because the animal’s leash is red, the colour of rival gang the Mongrel Mob. That follows the killing of Peri Niwa, who was not a gang member but had the misfortune to work for a team of scaffolders run by an out-of-town Mongrel Mob member.” read the rest here
New Zealand is a rainbow nation for all of the wrong reasons.
- Maori hardest hit by gang patch laws – Workman (radionz.co.nz)
- Man shot dead in Mongrel Mob stoush (stuff.co.nz)
- Mongrel Mob arrests not a ‘major victory’ (stuff.co.nz)
- Gang patch ban to hit schools (stuff.co.nz)
- Mongrel Mob targeted in police raids (nzherald.co.nz)
- Law change to stamp out gang insignia (nzherald.co.nz)