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White Gang Bangers
Det. Hauk: White boys, I love em, I fucking love em. Dumb as a box of rocks. (Lists a bunch of ways that the white dealers made mistakes or made it easy for the cops to bust them) And then when you make the deal, there's no runner, no nothing, just the guy himself walking up to you in the parking lot shouting "I brought the drugs, did you bring the money?" If white boys wanna sell drugs in Baltimore, they have to make different laws for it, like even it out for them.
Det. Greggs: Affirmative action?
Hauk: Leave no white man behind!

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.

This trope is to be expected in areas that are mostly white to begin with.

Compare Equal-Opportunity Evil.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    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 cast (three white kids, an Asian-American girl and an African-American guy) 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.
  • Prevalent in many superhero comics in general, since most superheroes tend to be white, and the writers don't want to come off as racist by having said superheroes beating up evil black and Latino gangsters.
  • In Shaman's Tears #6, a gang consisting of two whites and a black attempts to mug Joshua Brand in a Mugging the Monster moment.

    Film 
  • The Spider-Man films didn't have a non-white street thug until halfway through the second movie.
  • Pest is the only white member of the street gang in Attack the Block.
  • The Dark Knight. There's also a Cosmopolitan Council for the organised criminals.
    • It should be noted that the gangs tend to self-segregate when not meeting together. Sal Maroni and the Chechen seem to be pretty tight and close together (even seen having lunch together when Gordon rounds them up after Lau's capture), but Gambol and his black associates tend to keep to themselves. They do all rely on Lau, a Chinese accountant, to handle laundering.
    • It should also be be pointed out this is a sign of their desperation, all the gangs are suffering and they have to team up in order to focus on their new enemy: Batman, but also to an extent, they also have enemies in the form of Harvey Dent and the Joker - Dent for shutting down all of the other launderers, and the Joker dislikes the mob's interests in money (he kills one of Gambol's guys with a disappearing pencil, later kills Gambol, and also burns Lau and the mob's money).
  • 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 (1976) 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.
  • In Pulp Fiction, Marsellus Wallace's gang seems to be very ethnically diverse; Wallace (Ving Rhames, so black), is in charge of Vince (John Travolta) and Jules (SamuelLJackson) (amongst others), and has connections with both black and white criminals.
  • Harry Brown, taking place in England.
  • RoboCop (1987), which takes place in Detroit Twenty Minutes into the Future has only a few black criminals amongst the dozens shown.
  • On the other hand, 8 Mile depicts a Detroit where a few poor whites hang around in black gangs. The whites are depicted as almost culturally black, though, so it's hard to determine if this trope is being evoked.
  • 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 & 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 - but then, almost nobody in Sunnydale is black, as Mr Trick points out.
  • CSI: NY had the Tanglewood Boys, white guys from Staten Island.

    Music Videos 
  • The videos for Michael Jackson's songs "Beat It" and "Bad". While the black gang members in the former were actually from L.A. gangs, the white ones were professional dancers.
  • The Arizona-based white rap group Woodpile were involved with street gangs and later prison gangs in Phoenix, Arizona before becoming rappers. Because of their thuggish demeanor and shaved heads, they're often mistaken for White Power musicians, when in truth, they're basically gangsta rappers.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • For a period of time, the black power stable Nation of Domination had a pair of white gangbanger hangers on in PG13 (JC Ice and Wolfie D).
    • Heck, while there were several black 'actors' (one of whom, D'Lo Brown, did eventually become/emerge as an actual wrestler), for the first third of the NOD's existence the only black man who actually wrestled for the group was the leader, Faarooq: the other main wrestlers were a white man and a Puerto Rican.
  • When Too Cool (Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor, formerly the Ambiguously Gay tag team Too Much) returned after being off TV for a few months, they used this as a gimmick. However, after only about a month they joined up with Rikishi, turned face, and became Pretty Fly For White Guys instead.
  • Of course, the runaway success of new World order proved once and for all that colors, robbery, vandalism and gangsterism is one of the best ways to get results in professional wrestling, or at least you'd think that way by the number of times the stable has been imitated. Since most of their spiritual successors are in WCW's home country, USA, where most professional wrestling promotions have an overwhelming roster of European ancestry, this resulted in the 1990s to early 2010s having a lot of white gang bangers in wrestling (ECW's parody,The blue World order, for example, NWA's fWo for another)
  • In ads for the 2005 Royal Rumble, WWE played on the double meaning of the word "rumble" by riffing on West Side Story, with the Raw Superstars as the Jets and the ones from SmackDown as the Sharks. This was probably because at that time, SmackDown featured almost all the promotion's Latino talent: Eddie Guerrero and his nephew Chavo, Rey Mysterio Jr, and Carlito Caribbean Cool (who actually was Puerto Rican). However, the Raw gang, while mostly white, did include Batista (half-Asian, half-Caucasian), so WWE obviously weren't trying to be too literal.
  • Al Snow was a self proclaimed example on WWE's Sunday Night Heat. Chuck Palumbo was more of one who let his actions do the talking, though Chuck had more of a "biker" gimmick when he moved back to Smackdown.

     Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Dave Chappelle discusses this in one of his specials, saying that the white thug is probably the worst out of all of them, since he had to do something to gain the black members' trust. He also says that the white gang bangers are there to talk to the police when something bad happens.

    Theater 
  • The Jets from West Side Story, though the Sharks are a Hispanic gang (Puerto Rican to be exact).
    • Amusingly, though, theatrical groups will often cast a Latino as a Jet or a Caucasian as a Shark if they have too many actors from one of those groups. One of the Shark girls, Consuela, is sometimes portrayed by a blonde actress, although it's not clear whether this is to evoke Dark-Skinned Blond.
    • This Troper saw a production where Caucasian (Polish, to be exact) Tony was played by an actor named John Garcia
    • In The Film Ofthe Play, a couple of the Puerto Rican Jets are played by African-American actors.
    • Didn'tDoTheResearch People who do not know that it's a Polish name have wondered why one of the Jets' girls has the somewhat Hispanic-sounding name Graziela
    • In the script of the play, The Jets' Noo Yawk accents are carefully rendered phonetically, while the Puerto Rican Sharks, most of whom are fairly new to the United States and generally portrayed with accents, are written in standard English (except for the occasional Spanish word.).

    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 (Non-specific 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.
      • And of course the last game features Asha, a British-Asian, in the Saints.
  • 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 (except ethnically Hmong, not Japanese) 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.
  • Killing Floor: Kevo the Chav is more of a delinquent than a gangster, but he's still as competent as the other player characters, to his surprise as much as anybody else.

    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 
  • The Purple Dragons in the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon play the trope straight; once it becomes The Syndicate, it upgrades to Equal-Opportunity Evil.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Excellence in Broadcasting" Brian is confronted by a street gang consisting of several youths, each of them a different ethnicity.
    Gang Member: Let's beat him up! But not because of his color, because that doesn't matter to us!

    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. The Italian Mafia, meanwhile, remained a powerful worldwide (yes, worldwide) force until the 1980s.
    • There's also "Polish mafia" and whatnot gangs in Chicago's southwest side. Though apparently they work with Mexican gangs.
    • This trope got the 1965 film The Pawnbroker in hot water for depicting a black Mafia-like group (which is Truth in Television, and has been so at least since the Great Depression). Although black Americans weren't bothered by the supposed inaccuracy of the existence of black gangsters as they were by the portrayal of blacks as criminals, period.
  • 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 the 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.
  • Public-service pamphlets issued by police and sheriffs' departments often employ artists who depict whites, blacks, and Latinos in equal measure as both lawmen and lawbreakers, regardless of how inaccurate this may be in a given area. (Native Americans get shortchanged because they're viewed as culturally invisible, and Asians don't show up often probably because it's hard to quickly sketch an Asian without making him look like a caricature.)


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The Triads and the TongsOrganized Crime TropesYakuza
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