Romeo is Bleeding and the Lives it Affects
Social Capital: The youth in this film have to want to be connected and be supported in their education and want to make a difference in the world. For these youth to actually reach the courage of opening up and sharing their stories with their peers without the fear of being judged or looked at differently is incredible. They face many challenges that they need have to confront before moving toward positivity. Their biggest challenge is surviving. These youth are born into this terrible way of living. They grow up being surrounded by gangs, shootings, and that leads to possibly growing up without being raised by a family. They do not see the negative surrounding like people from other areas because their area is what is normal for them, they do not know otherwise. Another challenge they face is just living a comfortable life and not living in fear. Donté had said, “I did not expect to live past 18.” These words are not only representing him, but they are representing a large portion of the youth growing up in Richmond. To face these challenges, these students have connected their talents to their education and have used it to support them by making the play. This play allows them to open up and allows them to have that safe play that they can feel equal and not create a negative identity to them. It gives them a place to escape the outside world and work to make it better.
Navagational Capital: These youth grew were born into this terrible way of living because of their parent. They were not given the opportunity to live a positive successful life. They youth had to find a way to cope with it and learn how to live surrounded terrible people people and a terrible area. They have learned not only how to keep moving forward when people are being killed around them, but they learned to cope with not having a family. It is sad how just going outside and walking on the street is so dangerous. They have to find that safe place that allows them opportunity and many do not find it before it is too late. These people also have to learn good decision making. It is very easy for them to get angry when they lose someone or something bad happens to someone they know, but they have to realize that one bad decision can change their life as well. One example is when they talked to juveniles, they said you have to learn from your mistakes. You can not continue to repeat them over and over again. They have to learn from not only their own mistakes but from others as well.
The first aspect of these stories that are different from my own is the area. I grew up in Livermore, Ca, an area that I consider to be safe. Growing up my parents still didn’t allow me to walk around alone, but that was because they were very protective. Once I was in high school they allowed me to start going outside alone and going for runs without being very concerned where I was. This is different in Richmond because at a young age you should not be walking alone outside although you do. Being outside in Richmond is putting you at a very high risk to be shot. In Livermore, that was a very low likelihood. Another aspect of the Richmond stories that are different from my own is that I grew up in an area were their were not many people of color, and the people with color were not looked at different from us. In school, we did not did have a security officer, but we did not have to be surrounded in police. If their were police at our school for some reason everyone would be curious, but we did not assume it was something serious. In Richmond, their were police everywhere you go and you can never assume you are safe. In Livermore, if we had called the police it would be a big deal and the police would be very responsive not matter what area you are in. In Richmond, they try to keep the unincorporated area crime rates lower then the incorporated. If you are in the bad area and get shot the police are not as willing to come and help, compared to when you are in the better area. They said that depending on the area you die you may or may not matter. This is incredible to be to think that ones death means less then another depending on its location. On another hand, one aspect of these stories that relates to my own is feeling safe walking down the street. Here in San Rafael, I live on Lincoln Avenue, an area that is not the best. I feel for them in the sense that walking down the street you do not feel safe. Last year at night, I was walking with my roommate and we were followed on our street by a man in work van. As we continued to change direction we were walking the man continued to do the same in his car until we took off up a hill and hid. Not being in a safe place to be outside is not a comfortable feeling and something that we have to cope with. Being yelled at and honked at whenever you go outside of your home is not great comfort.
This documantary has impacted my way of thinking about why it is important that our democracy is made of many voices and considers all intents of the people in many ways. It has mostly made me realize that different people grow up in completely different ways of life and that we all have some of the same concerns, but we have many different ones. it made me realize that just because they have grown up into a bad area with lots of crime, does not mean they want to live that way, they may just not be able to afford otherwise. Money should not be a determining factor if ones voice is heard. These youth have not been given the opportunities we have been given in other areas, but they have learned how to cope and move forward with their lives and strive for the best. It is important that our democracy takes these youth into consideration. There are things we could do to make lives better for these people, but it is something everyone has to work towards. Everyone’s voice as to be put together to make a difference. We are all equal no matter what our color, economic status, gender, or sexuality is.