Donny Lumpkins, 22, a participant in the YO! Youth Outlook media project, shares his views on the recent gang rape of a 15-year-old in Richmond, CA:

Let me start by saying we are all animals. No matter what you believe in, God or evolution, it is impossible to ignore the nature of man.

We come out of the womb with our eyes squeezed shut, our hands in fists, screaming our heads off, and most of us go our whole lives like that. Blind. Pissed off. And ready to cause harm.

The Richmond rape story makes me feel physically ill. It makes me hate youth. Incidents like these ones make me hate my generation. I hate the apathy we hold in our hearts. In past generations, there seemed to morecommunal solidarity. Now, we all have to protect ourselves.

In my heart, I want to believe I'm a good person and that not capable of committing such a heinous crime. But when I envision myself at this scene, watching this young girl getting raped, the answers don't come straightforward as I would have hoped…

Would I have called the cops and tried to save her? I pray to God that I would have had the strength to be the outlier and not follow the crowd in this situation.

I want to believe we are not monsters. But how do you describe a rapist? How do you describe the people watching? Sick, disgusting, scum, and inhuman. It is disturbing to that these young people enjoyed watching someone else's life being irreparably damaged at the expense of giggles and camera phone clicks.

All I can think about is: What would I have done if this girl had been my sister or friend? Thinking about the possibility of someone I love being a victim of rape makes me want to ball up my fist, shut my eyes real tight, and begin acting out angrily like the animal we all innately are.




This youth perspective on the recent Richmond, CA gang rape is part of a series produced by Youth Outlook, a project of New America Media. This work was originally published Oct. 29, 2009. Republished and reformatted as a series on Oakland Local with permission.

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