*Excerpt from an interview with Chivo conducted by Carmilla Floyd, August
Chivo: I got a job now. Work changes everything, it really does. When your
mind is focused on something else, you don't have the time or energy for
banging. You find that you don't have time to hang out in the neighborhood-you
work, you come home, you're tired, you wanna relax, be with your family.
You ask all the guys, "What will change you?" And they'll say,
"Give me a job. I'll change." And you know what. It does. They
will. I'm a perfect example. One out of ten maybe, they like the lifestyle
of the drugs and the gangs and all that. But, within a year, you're going
to that person's funeral. A job changes your life. My grandfather was a
very hard worker, he used to walk all the way downtown. He was one of them
that worked those skyscrapers down there. He worked real hard and made money,
and bought his own property in East L.A. He was born in 1901. He died last
year. Before he died he made them promise never to sell that property. He
worked so hard for it.
But it's hard for a gang member to find a job or to even get an interview.
Or if you look like a gang member, if you have the baggy clothes, the shaved
head, it's hard to get anywhere. There are a lot of people who're prejudiced.
If my uncle hadn't worked in the company where I got a job, they wouldn't
have given me nothing. They would've given me one look and turned me away.
And fact is, when I started there I didn't have the bald head. I just shaved
it yesterday because of the heat and everything. Bald heads, nowadays, it's
weird. If a cop sees a bald head, boom, he's there. His eyes are on you,
he's checking you out, checking your car, checking who's in the car with
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