As a bus driver one see very many people in a day, and very many enters the bus in different styles. One can also see in the media and on the streets many adopt the Gangsta look with sagging clothes and prison tattoos without even thinking of what it really means. Some seem to think that it is just a fashion statement and do like the ones who play the music they are listening to. This can in fact put you in a really bad position.
Gangsta look tattoos is actually prison tattoos. And they got a message to other people about the wearers criminal life and gang association.
Prison tattoos tell a story from the life of the person wearing them. It tell who the person is. Ornate lettering spelling out the inmate’s person’s real name, but more often it is the street name the person goes by. Prisoner inmate numbers tattoo also pass for identification on the street. The tattoo also tell what the person has done. This is usually related to crimes the person has committed, about the persons gang home turf, the jails the person has done time in or even a combination of both.
Prison tattoos can symbolize toughness or refusal to accept authority. They can also be gang symbols or racist signs.
Many prison tattoos represent racist beliefs, gang affiliation, or violence.
Racism. The double lightning bolts is a symbol borrowed from Nazi Germany. The number 88 is HH and stands for Heil Hitler. It is made of the eighth letter of the alphabet that is H, and two 8 makes HH.
Drugs. The number 13 stands for the letter “M” (the 13th letter of the alphabet). It’s sometimes used as a reference for marijuana use, but this design has also been linked to a street gang called MS13.
Chains and locks. represent loss of freedom or jail time.
Hourglass. stand for doing time, being in prison.
Barbed Wire: Meaning the person serve time in prison.
Baby Jesus and Mary: Worn by lifetime thieves to indicate they have been criminals since childhood.
Daggers: The tattoo of a sex offender, sometimes put on the inmate forcibly by other inmates.
Occupational Tattoos. In the world of the Russian prison system, a cat means one is a thief while an executioner denotes one who commits murder for hire.
Gun. A tattoo of a gun generally means the person carries one. The position of the gun gives more specific information. If the gun is pointed outward, so you can see right in to the barrel, it means the person is a shooter. If the gun is in a side view, it means the person usually wear a weapon.
Tear drops. They are usually used to indicate prison time served. Tear drops also relate directly to death. An open tear drop is similar to the notch on a gunfighter’s belt. It means the person wearing it has killed someone. The number of open tear drops indicates the number of victims. A solid tear drop speaks of another kind of death, that of someone close to the person wearing the tattoo. This could be a family member, a close friend or another gang member being killed or murdered.
Dots. Three dot tattoos: These tattoos consist of three small dots positioned like the points of a triangle, and they can have one or more meanings. Sometimes the dots mean “Mi Vida Loca”, or “My Crazy Life”. The dots may indicate membership in gang Los Vatos Locos. Five dot tattoos: This set of dots looks exactly like the face on a dice – The five. This tat can also signal gang membership. The center dot represents the person wearing the tattoo, while the four surrounding dots represent friends or other gang members who have that person’s back (eg. example: if you mess with him, they shoot you).
Gang tattoos mark a person as part of a street gang or a prison gang; they symbolize membership and represent the wearer’s beliefs. Sometimes they also record acts of violence or even murder.
Gang tattoos cause trouble in a number of ways. Local police where you are going, who are trained to recognize gang markings, may take your “fashion statement” more seriously than you intended. Rival gang members may mistake you for an enemy. Members of the gang whose symbols you borrowed may resent your use of them and react violently against you.
Plenty of people know what these tattoos mean, and they are going to assume you are good for the message your tattoos are speaking out. That could lead to a dangerous situation.
Before you adapt a style, check what it stands for. It only took me a few searches on the net to find out. It might not be as innocent as you think.
One of those who inspired me to write this, used to travel with my bus in the area I used to work, a young music fan. Here we do not have those street gangs like in the US. But this boy always entered the bus in saggy gangsta clothes and also have a tear and other tattoos on his face a.s.o.
What is your message?
Read more and view photos. http://www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/gangs/prison.html
Read about Saggy clothes and Prison Bitch Syndrome: https://anneliemolin.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/sagging-and-prison-bitch-syndrome/
I also found a site that tell about the look on tattooes from the historical and spiritual side. I do not say I agree with the look of it, personally I think that a tattoo is what you make of it. Many people now a days got tattoos even thought they are as kind as an angel and would never hurt a flie. But it is a interesting reading to see the historical view and how many and then specially Christian and Jewish people look upon Tattoos.