Montgomery, Ala. - A site which spoofed the New York Times claimed that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announced that extreme fans of the rap group Insane Clown Posse, known as ‘Juggalos’, would be added as a recognized hate group in 17 states.
A Juggalo (male) or Juggalette (female) is the label given to fans of the rap group Insane Clown Posse, commonly referred to as ICP.
While the SPLC never actually called ICP fans a hate group, the are classified as a gang by the FBI.
As ridiculous as it sounds, the Juggalos were classified by the FBI in 2011 as a criminal organization. ICP sued the FBI regarding the classification but lost the lawsuit. It must be noted that no organized crime specialists we spoke with, relayed to the Free Thought Project the potential threat of Juggalo violence as being a priority in their city.
The Juggalos, a loosely-organized hybrid gang, are rapidly expanding into many US communities. Although recognized as a gang in only four states, many Juggalos subsets exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence. Law enforcement officials in at least 21 states have identified criminal Juggalo sub-sets, according to NGIC reporting.e
- NGIC reporting indicates that Juggalo gangs are expanding in New Mexico primarily because they are attracted to the tribal and cultural traditions of the Native Americans residing nearby.
Most crimes committed by Juggalos are sporadic, disorganized, individualistic, and often involve simple assault, personal drug use and possession, petty theft, and vandalism. However, open source reporting suggests that a small number of Juggalos are forming more organized subsets and engaging in more gang-like criminal activity, such as felony assaults, thefts, robberies, and drug sales. Social networking websites are a popular conveyance for Juggalo sub-culture to communicate and expand.
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By this same logic of grouping an entire fanbase into a gang classification, one could argue that since some people commit violence with a New York Giants jersey on, that all Giants fans are a gang.
This is the level of absurdity to which our government has risen. They have criminalized an entire fan base with a blanket label over anyone displaying typical rabid fanatic behavior… hence the term fan, short for fanatic!
The implication that any of the aforementioned features have anything to do with gang/organized crime membership or being part of a hate group is patently ludicrous!
If someone engages in illegal behavior, perhaps they deserve to be held accountable for that action. The idea that we can judge and classify a group of people, based on a few arbitrary stylistic details, is completely unjust and should be shunned societally.
When we start criminalizing entire groups of musical fans, rather than identify and punish specific deserving individuals, we tread dangerously close to a fascist state.
This article has been updated to reflect the fake NY Times article on the SPLC.
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, freethinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay's work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.