LA gang tours

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LA Gang Tours offers high-end bus tours of gang hot spots, historic and current, and crime scene locations in South Central, Los Angeles and vicinity. Also on the agenda are the birthplace of Raymond Washington's East Side Crips, the county jail, Los Angeles Black Panther Party hangout, Watts Arts Gallery, and the Firestone Sheriff Station where the National Guard set up their HQ during the Watts Riots in 1965. LA Gang Tours was founded by gang member-turned-minister Alfred Lomas. According to the Web site, "The objective is to create jobs for the residents of South Central, Los Angeles; to give profits from the tours back to these areas for economic growth and development, provide job/entrepreneur training, micro-financing opportunities and to specialize in educating people from around the world about the Los Angeles inner city lifestyle, gang involvement and solutions." Tickets are $65 and include opportunities to chat up reformed, er, gangstas. From AOL News:
To make sure tourists get a taste of the gang life without all the pesky violent crime that can mar a rating on Yelp or TripAdvisor, Lomas has negotiated a cease-fire agreement with the gangs, guaranteeing that the tour bus can roll through the streets of South Central without risk of a carjacking or drive-by shooting.

"I was able to do this through my humanitarian efforts," Lomas said. "I went into the housing projects of the different gangs, and when you're feeding someone's mother, you earn the right to be in the area."

So far, academics and law enforcement officials have been the main demographic, but Lomas is starting to see locals from rich areas, like Bel Air and Beverly Hills, take the tours.

"They want to see this area that they've heard so much about but have never been to, even though it's close by," he said, adding that he hopes to attract more out-of-town tourists this summer.

"LA Man Creates Tour of Gangsta Hot Spots"

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  1. I’d much rather take a tour through the same neighborhoods to meet the young people who have chosen to stay out of the gangster lifestyle, thank you very much.

    1. “I’d much rather take a tour through the same neighborhoods to meet the young people who have chosen to stay out of the gangster lifestyle, thank you very much.”

      Why? There’s a lot more to learn from someone who was in it, then had balls big enough to actually get out of it and do something positive. The tour would be fascinating. There’s a lot of history involved, and the perspective of the people involved would be useful in understanding it.

      Though, if it gets too infested with Beverly Hills types, it might get a bit too White Guilt-y for me. Or too braindead.

  2. It occurred to me on a trip through Tombstone, Arizona that we’ve already made tourist attractions commemorating what were essentially 19th-century gang wars. I figured that people would one day do the same with our generation’s turf battlegrounds, I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon.

  3. This also serves to answer that timeless question:

    “YO, where the white women at???”

  4. As a former resident of gang-infested parts of Long Beach (where I often visited a girlfriend in nearby Compton), I have my worries about this. If a 17 year old kid with an itchy trigger finger and one too many 40s in his gut wants to shoot up a bus load of white people with cameras, he will do that.

  5. @Rick

    If a 17 year old kid with an itchy trigger finger and one too many 40s in his gut wants to shoot up a bus load of white people with cameras, he will do that.

    Holy wow. You’ve never really interacted with any actual people in those “gang-infested” areas you claim to have lived in, have you?

    1. Um, yep. Befriended them in school. Threatened by them at parties. Mugged by them on the street. I’ve met every kind. And the kind I’m talking about don’t give a shit about cease-fires.

  6. “…guaranteeing that the tour bus can roll through the streets of South Central without risk of a carjacking or drive-by shooting.”

    Tell me about it, I can barely walk into the backyard without being assaulted by 10-foot tall crackheads with handgrenades.

    1. “Tell me about it, I can barely walk into the backyard without being assaulted by 10-foot tall crackheads with handgrenades.”

      It’s the risk that makes life worth living. In this part of the country it’s tweakers. They’re quicker, but their aim is worse.

  7. Why not do golf cart tours at County jail if they wanna see some real bad boys? This is just so stupid. Very zoo-ish. Although Watts Towers is great. Anyway, I think Watts is more cholo than black nowadays.

  8. I’d totally go on this tour. I’m sure it would be educational, and its for a good cause. Speaking of good causes, have you all been following these guys? http://www.homeboy-industries.org/ Sadly, it looks like they had to lay off a bunch of staff. Hopefully they get some new funding and can keep going. As they say, “Nothing stops a bullet like a job.” Word. >> Where the white women at? LOL :)

  9. As a former gang member turned geek, I see both good & bad in this. Mostly bad. And I can’t help but get pissed when I see shit like this. As a kid growing up in Cali, I never ran into a former gang member turned preacher/christian (Or mentor, or teacher…or what have you) that did not at some point glorify the lifestyle. Not one. These idiots do nothing to deter kids from joining gangs. Nothing. Unless they tell kids how fucking stupid they look with their pants sagging below their ass and how ridiculous & ignorant they sound when they talk,…especially once they enter adulthood…they aren’t doing anythign positive. Kids are relatively stupid for the most part. And when you tell them stories about the shit you did and why gangs are bad…believe you me, you’re only making them more curious and fascinated with the idea.

    The only thing that got me to move and leave the gang I was in was having my own kid. I learned real fast that most gang members are out for themselves. The concept of belonging…family…whatever…is all well and good when everyone’s partying, drinking…and not doing shit. When people start going to jail, ratting on each other…broke….their true colors show. It opened my eyes. And I was not going to end up like those other pathetic assholes.

    Sorry….this is a serious subject for me and I don’t like seeing these guys being made out to be heros.

    1. I’m fascinated by rappers who become preachers, still sing about murdering everybody and then get arrested for violent crimes. I guess that this is a fatal flaw in a belief system that says that you can be absolved of all your sins (crimes) by repenting.

      1. Absolutely agree. I was a pretty good graffiti artist in my youth and I was invited to do backdrops for this Christian organization doing gang-themed plays to help “spread the gospel” to the misguided youth…and a lot of the same guys that went to church with these guys were still very active in gangs and did crazy shit. Oh but on Sundays, they cried and talked about how they were saved by Jebus! I honeslty could not understand how a lot of my friends weren’t seeing what I was seeing. But I guess the idea that your saviour is going to forgive you no matter what because afterall, you’re human. Poor you. You are flawed. You can’t help but do wrong. Original sin and all…is appealing to people who are too lazy or don’t want to be bothered to simply turn their lives around and stop being assholes!

        A 64′ Impala on gold Daytons with a glowing cross airbrushed on the hood…driven by a 300 LB asshole with tattoos on his neck, isn’t doing a hole lot to teach our youth that gangs are a bad thing.

      2. It’s simple economics. Organized religion is a safer way to make money than organized crime. And if you were once popular enough to sell records you just parlay that popularity into filling pews.

        Also, I agree with Elite Hacker, they aren’t going to change Compton into an It’s a Small World boat ride anytime soon and someone will shoot up a bus just keep up a “buck wild” rep.

        1. And you make the most money if you do both.

          This is nothing but a nice way to look at slumming.

  10. This is very reminiscent of the guided Five Points tours of New York in the late 19th century.

  11. I would dress especially white and touristy to go on this tour.

    Flip-flops, knee-high socks, button-down hawaiian-themed shirt, sunglasses, un-absorbed sun screen, fanny pack.

  12. The city tour of Belfast was very interesting and took you to both parts of the sectarian divide.

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