Par Toula Foscolos
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Article mis en ligne le 25 octobre 2006

A message to my local gang members

Dear Crazy Ass Delinquents,

I know that, being busy with all things criminal, you may not have time to read my column, but perhaps you’ve heard about recent newspaper articles written, lamenting the trouble you’ve been causing in the borough. It appears you’ve managed to instill fear in some residents and rising concern among many of our police officers. Bravo! Nothing like the satisfaction of a job well done!

I don’t know how long your gang has been operating in Verdun . I know it’s been a while and I know that local officers inform us that you go by the giggle-inducing gangsta name “Crazy Ass Delinquents”. Since your activities are of a serious nature, I wonder why you didn’t opt for a more menacing moniker, instead of one that makes you sound like a second rate rap group, fronted by Kevin Federline?

I’m sorry. I know you desperately want to be taken seriously and I’ll do my best to accommodate you. After all, I don’t want to hurt your already sensitive feelings. It’s a well known fact that people who join a gang are people who don’t feel that they have any power as individuals and are therefore inclined to follow the “strength in numbers” life strategy. Cowards believe themselves brave in groups. Think about it... One of you is just a disillusioned young kid with a scowl on his face, a chip on his shoulder and a world to blame. But throw 6-7 of you together, add a couple of illegal weapons into the mix, and I can see how everything changes.

Being the C.A.D.s that you are, you do disagreeable things to pass the time, like destroying other people’s hard-earned possessions, scribbling illegible and unintelligible markings on private and public property for all to see, marking your territory by throwing a pair of running shoes over a power line to delineate the borders of said territory -- if only the Jets and the Sharks had thought of that in “West Side Story”, they wouldn’t have had to do all that dancing!

It’s all so juvenile, I want to laugh. But I can’t. Why, you ask? Because the Quebec government is spending $7.5 M over the next three years to fight rising street gang crime, like yours, and, as a taxpayer, that simply makes me want to cry.

Of course your activities are not limited to petty crimes and destruction of property. Being the enterprising young men that you are, you’ve expanded your activities to include drug trafficking, taxation, prostitution, credit card fraud, and the occasional murder.

This year alone there have been eight street-gang related murders and 29 attempted murders in our city. While Montreal ’s crime rate has dropped 37% in the last 15 years, you’ve managed to remain focused and post steady growth.

Congratulations to you, hard-working delinquents, for not buying into all that self-improvement quackery! In this brutally competitive society of ours, kudos to you for having the courage to demand so little of yourselves, rebelliously shouting to the world that, how it can define you, can be summed up in three glorious words: Crazy... Ass... Delinquents... Hey, if you don’t shoot for the stars, who will?