Other High School Students Are Trying to Process What the Richmond High Rape Case Means

Over at New America Media, other kids in the Bay Area and elsewhere are trying to make sense of this mess.

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Here are some of the responses at the NAM Youth Media Group and YoBlogger:

The Friend Who Couldn’t Talk

If I witnessed a rape, I wouldn’t let it happen. It’s so sad to know these scary things are happening. I have always hated rape. When I was little, I saw a movie with rape as part of the storyline. Ever since that movie, I became scared of rape, but it never really clicked in that there is such a thing as rape!

I used to know a family friend who couldn’t talk. I felt sorry for her ’cause when she would talk to me, I couldn’t really understand what she was saying. My mom told me the story behind her disability. My mom said she used to be a beautiful maiden back in Laos, many years ago. One day, while filling up the water container, she was kidnapped and raped by multiple men. She was so traumatized that she lost the ability to talk correctly, and her lips also became crooked.

I don’t know why rape is so common. It’s not new. It’s been happening forever. In the case of the Richmond girl, it’s sad how people have stooped down so low to the point where they take pictures of these horrible events as if it were entertainment instead of help try to stop it. I’m still speechless about the whole incident.

-Angelina Thao, 17

Afraid to Be a Snitch

I have strong feelings about this whole rape incident. If I had witnessed the rape, I would have called the police and tried to break it up but I would be scared in case they tried to do something to me. I don’t know why rape is high in Oakland, but I believe there is not enough watching going on or no one is taking precautions. I think those kids took pictures of the rape instead of helping because they were probably scared to help the girl. They don’t want to be considered a “snitch.” I feel sorry for the girl. It’s wrong what these boys did.

-Meme Garrido, 16

It Happened to Me

After my ex-boyfriend raped me, I took great strides to bury the memory. I buried it so deep inside of me that I refused to legitimize it. I numbed my insides and disconnected myself from the memory. I convinced myself the rape happened to someone else, not me. The sound of my own voice yelling “stop” still seems like a distant whisper.

The story about a young girl who was gang raped at her homecoming dance in Richmond makes me want curl up into a ball and block it all out. Words of disgust, words I can’t even formulate, come to mind. It boggles my mind that anyone would voluntarily subject someone else to such cruel treatment. Would the guys who took part in this rape feel just as cool if the victim was their sister or mother? I doubt it.

You don’t live your life expecting you’ll be a victim of rape one day. I certainly didn’t. I believe the issue of rape is low on the spectrum of major issues being addressed these days. In order to make rape a more pressing issue of concern, activists, organizers, media, and government representatives should work together to address issues related to rape prevalence in the U.S. There needs to be a push from the top to make rape just as important as national security. Stories like the rape incident in Richmond need to be more than a weekly news headline. They need to urge us to organize around addressing rape and how we can try to reduce it.

I hope to God I never find myself in a situation like this young woman faced, but in the event that it did happen, I hope someone would call or help out. I can’t imagine going through two hours of such treatment. No women–or man–should be subjected to that.

– Emilya Piansay, 23

It’s a Big Deal to Guys Too

Rape is a big deal to me because I ask myself, why would guys do that to a girl? It’s horrible. I would have called the cops if I saw the rape. I feel so angry, sad as well, because why on earth would people watch a rape happen instead of stopping it?

When I hear that someone got raped, it shocks me, because it’s like killing a life. When there’s a rape, and no one’s there to see, it’s still wrong, but when there’s people watching, that’s just plain horrible. It’s stupid that people would take pictures of it, just for fun. No one should ever go through that.

What I believe is that nowadays, if someone asks you if you’re a virgin and you say yes, they will make fun of you and laugh at you. Another thing is that guys are desperate for sex, so they gather all the guys and hunt for a girl. Also because they can’t get a girlfriend. I think that’s why they rape rate is so high.

Every girl should be aware of her surroundings. That way, the rape rate can decrease. I think all girls should have some kind of legal weapon with them, like pepper spray. Maybe that, or they can take self-defense classes.

-Luis Mendoza, 17

Visit the link highlighted above. See what the kids are saying about their inner values and how they would or would not respond to such a incident because of fear, because of confusion, because of courage. There is more than just I’ve transferred here. Then comment or take it with you to your friends and to your families and talk this out.

Just saying they were animals and she was stupid is not enough. In this case, there are more than just simple answers.

~ by blksista on October 30, 2009.

4 Responses to “Other High School Students Are Trying to Process What the Richmond High Rape Case Means”

  1. I was horribly upset before I thought of her race, especially so because this reminded me of the time I was chased by a gang and got away. It brought back their laughter and contempt, and added terrifying consequences that I had never imagined in my worst nightmare.

    I am not sure what I think about the racial aspect, if there is one. I don’t like it that the media seems to be repressing that. Her girlfriend on tv was white, the guy she knew in this group of rapists was white. Knowing high school racial clumping, it seems more likely than not that she was white.

    Yeah it was a gang bang and that’s always terrible. But I don’t remember reading of a mob rape that went on for 2 and a half hours and in which there was a lot of beating and cell phone photo taking and video taking. Maybe that comes with the territory of gang rape. Or maybe it was worse, because it was a racial hate crime, as well as a sexual hate crime.

    Should we know the truth about that? I think so. I think we need to deal with what is real and how people actually think. When I talked to my son about this, who goes to an extremely diverse Bay Area public high school, he wanted to know right away about the race of the attackers and the race of the victim.

    If you pussy foot around stuff, you never get anywhere with teens.


    • The first time I heard about this incident, I thought she was Latina, because it seemed to be perpetrated by Latino young men in a predominantly Latino neighborhood and high school. Now it is trickling out that she may be white. And you are right; the young man who lured her to the spot was white, and her best friends were white. But then again, she could still be Latina or black.

      The local media probably does not wish to be accused of leading a lynch mob. The victim’s identity is always masked if she is underage, while the perps are not.

      It’s a good thing that you were only chased in the episode you relate. Perhaps that was all they had in mind–to scare you. For any residual pain you may be experiencing I think you should see a therapist. She is not you. And those consequences which never occurred were things that were either planted or inculcated in you or were magnified by your horror.

      You do not relate the background or the context of the story, either; whether it was at a high school or in a neighborhood that was predominantly people of color. I know that Oakland and Richmond and San Jose schools had recurrent problems in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties regarding blacks, whites, and Latinos and fighting among these groups. But being chased and being caught are two different things. And to be real, I was nearly attacked by a young black man, long ago. I scared him, because I caught him in the act, and he ran.

      The girl had had problems “fitting in” among her peers. Add to that she’s a girl with “Christian values.” So why would she want to go away with this Cody youngster, who was white? Why would she go to drink with this guy? Did she know that was happening? Why didn’t she leave when she saw that there were no other young women present there? She never said goodbye to her friends at the dance; they thought she was returning, and not leaving the dance. We don’t know anything else about this. We do not know the whole story. We only know what the cops have pieced together. It changes each day.

      BTW, the young white man put in an immediate not-guilty plea. The others have not pled, and another young Latino man may be released soon for lack of evidence. There were others, I don’t doubt.

      We do not know yet whether it was racial or not. It would be a different thing if the perps were all Latino or all black. Or if the girl was Latina, and the perps were white. Instead, it looks like a mixed group of young, drunken, jealous, aimless, semi-literate young men who have less respect for themselves than they do for other people, much less women. And women are far down the totem pole in their estimation. That’s what IS real.

      I don’t know what “truth” you are aiming for, but it may not be what you think.


  2. The[re] is a rumor that the girl was white.


    • So? What are you trying to say here? That people shouldn’t care about her because she is white? Latina? Black?

      Or that people of color shouldn’t speak on these issues because it was perpetrated by young men of color?


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