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In reaction to the mainstream stereotype (justified or not is beside the point) that most members of "street gangs" are black or Latino, TV shows aimed at children sometimes go to great lengths to depict gangs as consisting mostly of other ethnic groups, or at least as an evil Five-Token Band.


Compare Equal Opportunity Evil.

Examples of White Gang-Bangers include:


Anime & Manga

  • Any protrayal of American or European street gangs in manga or anime. Examples include Banana Fish, FAKE and Gunsmith Cats. Any work portraying Asian gangs will sometimes also show them interacting with The Mafia, though rarely with common street thugs.


Comic Books

  • Parodied in Marvel Comics' Runaways, when the ethnically diverse cast tries to go undercover, Nico comments that their disguises make them look like "those politically correct, multi-ethnic gangs that only rob people on bad TV shows."
  • In Batman: Gotham City Evolution, the five main criminal syndicates operating in Gotham were identified as the Italians, the blacks, the Columbians, the Chinese and the Russians. The Cosmopolitan Council from The Dark Knight (see Film below) was probably based on this comic.


Film

  • The Spider-Man films didn't have a non-white street thug until halfway through the second movie.
    • The thugs he saves MJ from in the first one, just prior to the iconic upside-down kiss, seemed Hispanic, albeit pretty güero.
  • The Dark Knight Saga. There's also a Cosmopolitan Council for the organised criminals.
  • Used to humorous effect in the So Bad It's Good Stephen Seagal vehicle Exit Wounds. He beats up a multiethnic gang consisting of an Asian who knows martial arts, a Latino Knife Nut, and a black guy holding his gun Gangsta Style.
  • The Death Wish series.
  • Several gangs from The Warriors. The eponymous gang is mixed, and gets a white leader early in the film. The director intended for The Warriors to be be all Black/Hispanic, but Executive Meddling made most of the members White.
  • The Street Thunder gang in Assault on Precinct 13 is multiracial, and its most coldblooded member - the one who shoots a little girl in the chest point-blank - is a white guy. The multi-ethnicity is noted, since most street gangs in real life often consist of one race.
  • Harry Brown.
  • RoboCop, which takes place in Detroit Twenty Minutes Into the Future has maybe two black gang member characters out of the dozen or so shown.
  • A white supremacist gang plays an important role in American History X.


Live Action TV

  • The Wire features a smattering of white drug dealers in the white neighborhoods of Baltimore, and they are mostly portrayed as posturing phoneys. "White Mike" is a higher level dealer who has contacts with the corrupt Stevedores Union.
  • Criminal Minds had an episode where a serial killer was slaying the members of a street gang in Los Angeles. One would assume they were Latinos because of the setting. They even 'looked' Latino. When the gang's leader was named, though, his name was Glen Hill.
  • Degrassi the Next Generation had a group affectionately nicknamed the Candy Bandits. Yes, they are as lame as that implies - their modus operandi revolved around theft of candy and office supplies. There are two token minorities in the group, though.
  • When a dead Hispanic girl is found in Detective Falco's apartment in Law and Order, she is found to be a member of a multi-ethnic heist group. Notably, the members include an ex-skinhead, a ex-member of a Thai street gang and a ex-member (and the son of the founder of) an exclusively black gang. The details on how the diverse group got together are left unclear, but a connection is made to the black member's father's book about rehabilitation and racial unity (which turns out to be a Red Herring).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The criminal element, usually vampires, is rarely black. Almost nobody in Sunnydale is black. One of the few black characters to show up comments on this.
  • CSI New York had the Tanglewood Boys, white guys from Staten Island.


Music Videos

  • The videos for Michael Jackson's songs 'Beat It' and 'Bad'.
    • Justified in that they went out and hired real local gang members for 'Beat It'.
      • Nope, played straight; the white gangbangers were professional dancers.


Professional Wrestling

  • During the WWF's "Gang Wars" period there was a black gang (the Nation of Domination), a Puerto Rican gang (Los Boricuas), a (white) Biker gang (DOA), and a white elitist gang called the "Mean Street Posse" consisting of Shane McMahon's friends from when he was growing up on the "mean streets" of Greenwich Connecticut, who dressed in sweater-vests, dress pants, and topsiders.
    • It should be noted that the Nation of Domination at least had some token nonblack members throughout their history.
  • Come to think of it, Professional Wrestling itself exemplifies this trope. With gangsterism being the quickest and easiest way for a heel to advance his agenda, and with over half of the locker rooms of both WWE and TNA having Caucasian ancestry of some sort, this trope becomes inevitable.


Theater

  • The Jets from West Side Story, though the Sharks are a Hispanic gang (Puerto Rican to be exact).


Video Games

  • Also, some of the gangs from Jet Set Radio. Poison Jam are a good example, and they also worked for an Asian boss for a while. The main characters are a mix of ethnicities, including White, Black, Japanese and possibly other kinds of Asian (Beat is Korean, at least according to a popular Fanon theory).
  • Pretty much all of the gangs in Saints Row, though membership in these seems to be more a factor of the part of the city one is from than ethnic heritage.
    • Despite the Mooks being diverse, the gangs' tended to made up of certain groups:
      • In the first game, there was Los Carnales (drug runners, mostly Hispanic), the West Side Rollerz (car nuts, mostly Caucasian) and the Vice Kings (stereotypical gang bangers, African-American).
      • In the second game, there was the Brotherhood (the "dregs", mostly Caucasian), the Ronin (Japanese), and the Sons of Samedi (drug runners, mostly Haitian).
      • The Third Street Saints were the sole group whose diversity extended to the upper ranks: in the first game, there was Julius (African-American), Gat (Asian), Lin (Chinese), Troy (Caucasian) and Dex (Afro-Carribean). In the second game, there was Gat (again), Pierce (African-American), Carlos (Hispanic) and Shaundi (Caucasian), as well as whatever ethnicity was chosen for the player character from a choice of Caucasian, Asian, African-American, and Hispanic. Or zombie.
  • The Grand Theft Auto series.
  • The gangs of Paragon City in City of Heroes tend to be racially diverse, except The Family, which is essentially every mob boss and his cronies under one name, and the Tsoo, which is the Yakuza with magical tattoos.
  • The Kid, a character in Tomb Raider Anniversary, has his background showing that he ran a small time gang before being hired by Natla. His dialect in the cut scenes and quick time events are filled with gangbanger vibe.


Web Original

  • In The Allen and Craig Show, Episode 12, the cameraman (nameless, referred to as "camera guy") is kidnapped by two white thugsters with their eyes on the camera and "a guy to hold it".


Western Animation

  Gang Member: "Let's beat him up! But not because of his color, because that doesn't matter to us!"

    • Of course, they could be accused of being speciesist, because they're humans beating up a dog.


Real Life

  • Truth in Television - White gangsters (that is, white criminals who operate for profit, as opposed to the ideologically minded neo-Nazi skinheads) do exist, though they are few and declining in number. There are also some plain multi-ethnic gangs. The Los Angeles Times ran into accusations of bias after its article on a violent crime did not describe the perpetrators' group, The Slick Fifties, as a gang due to their white, middle-class background.
  • During the 19th and early 20th century, immigration to the US consisted largely of poor whites such as Poles, Jews, Italians and Irish (the law didn't allow much non-white immigration). As a result, ghetto gangs were made up of whites. There are still white Irish gangs in certain cities.
    • There's also "Polish mafia" and whatnot gangs in Chicago's southwest side. Though apparently they work with Mexican gangs.
  • White gangsters often crop up in Latino gangs such as the Mexican Mafia. Joe "Pegleg" Morgan, the non-Mexican cofounder of La eMe, was Croatian-American, but grew up in a mostly Mexican neighborhood. White members helped Latino gangs negotiate deals with skinhead gangs who would not do deals with non-whites. Today, white and Latino gangs traditionally ally against the blacks. And technically, Latinos and whites are lumped together in racial studies anyway.
    • Infamous leader of the Los Angeles-area Tooner Ville Rifa 13 and condemned murder Timothy McGhee would be another example.
    • Latino is not a race as much as it is an identity; While the average Latino is half white/half native, Asian and White Latinos who are also members of gangs aren't unheard of.
  • The prison-based Aryan Brotherhood, Nazi Lowriders, Public Enemy Number 1, and similar prison gangs tend to be more this in real life than ideological white supremacists, at least in many states. The AB in California had a long-standing relationship with La Eme to sell drugs and to ally against the blacks, and NLR accepts light-skinned Latinos as members.
  • Russian gopniki are mostly this. And the Russian racial minority with an attitude is actually Caucasian (as in, actual people from Caucasus, who are generally white but with darker complexion than most white people).
  • Both members of Insane Clown Posse were this in real life, in the gang Inner City Posse, which was also the former name of their rap group.
  • Those chavs may be posers, but on occasion you get one that's a tad more psycho than usual. Watch out for that one.
  • Maryland based gang Dead Man Inc. started out as a non-white supremacist prison gang for white inmates, and became a street gang as members were released.
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