The rap duo, Insane Clown Posse, have been battling with the FBI for quite some time now because the FBI has labeled there fans (the Juggalos) as a loosely based hybrid gang. This all coming about because of actions of some of the younger fans committing crimes in the name of "being a Juggalo.) But does this warrant the FBI labeling anyone who likes this music as being affiliated with a gang?
It has already been noted that since the FBI made this classification, that several individuals were detained and questioned for having ICP logos on their personal vehicles or tattoos on their body:
According to one of the plaintiffs, Mark Parsons of Nevada, Tennessee state troopers detained him for displaying the ICP’s “Hatchetman” logo on his truck, “which depicts a person with wild hair running with a butcher cleaver in his or her hand.”
“Parsons considers himself one of the original fans of ICP, having attended shows and supported the band for years. In honor of the band, Mark named his own trucking company Juggalo Express, LLC and decorated his big rig with the image of a Hatchetman,” the Michigan ACLU said in a statement when the suit was filed in January. “While Mark was hauling cargo in a tractor-trailer emblazoned with an ICP logo, he was detained for a safety inspection by a Tennessee State Trooper. When Mark asked why he was stopped, the Trooper replied it was because the logo was associated with a gang ‘according to the FBI'.”
Another of the suit’s participants, Scott Gandy of North Carolina, said he was forced to spend hundreds of dollars concealing his Juggalo tattoos as a US Army recruit after the military deemed them “gang related” body art. There are some that hold the view that the FBI's actions will only serve as a deterrent for the younger fans of the group from acting out in public and displaying destructive behavior. However, The cases of Mark Parsons and Scott Gandy prove that profiling by local authorities is not, and will not be limited to unruly teenagers who commit random crimes on the streets. If individuals are pulled over, questioned and detained today, what happens in the months and years to come? Will people simply be arrested, fired from their jobs, suspended from school and persecuted in other ways just because they choose to listen to a certain kind of music? Some may scoff at this idea, yet it happens every day where certain religions, races and lifestyles are not tolerated by others... And sadly, it even happens in America!
One online article, (which I have borrowed material and quotes from in this blog,) said: “Among the supporters of almost any group — whether it be a band, sports team, university, political organization or religion — there will be some people who violate the law,” the suit said. “However, it is wrong to designate the entire group of supporters as a criminal gang based on the acts of a few. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened here.”
If Juggalos are considered a gang for the acts of a few, then members of churches, mosques, local authorities and even government officials should be labeled as such also. After all, the stories of police brutality, religious violence and government corruption in the news FAR out numbers that of Juggalos who break the law! As one online commenter stated:
"Law enforcement all dress in the same police style, and a lot of police officers have been found guilty of crimes over the years. Shouldn't all law enforcement agencies be considered gangs if we follow the Juggalo's decision line of thinking?"