At Homeboy Inds. I came across many stories that should be televised on the 8 o’clock news INSTEAD of all those useless fear-tactic, stereotypical stories that they telvise now-a-days. These stories are so amazing that I would love to capture every single one in a documentary or interview of some sort. Maybe that could be yet another project? Hmm??
Anyway, each single Homie and young Homie, have different circumstances that affect their lives. However, our society does not seem to understand that; people usually take the easy route and just judge people by their covers. This is what is called the Fundamental Attribution Error or the Correspondence Bias – a little Social Psychology for you :]. Defined, it is the “tendency to over-estimate the internal and underestimate the external factors when explaining the behaviors of others. This may be a result of our tendency to pay more attention to the situation rather than to the individual (Heider, 1958) and is especially true when we know little about the other person” [http://allpsych.com/psychology101/attribution_attraction.html]. In lamer terms, we tend to look at people’s behavior and attribute that behavior to “who the person IS”. We hardly ever think of the EXTERNAL reasons why they are doing that certain behavior – especially when it is negative behavior, as ‘gang behavior’ is looked at.
When applying this theory to what we see in gang members, there are now hundred of thousands of reasons why a gang member would commit such street crimes – NOT just because they are social delinquents and “should be locked up”. So next time you want to write someone off, please just take a moment and think of some reasons why they might be doing that behavior.