Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri: Violence doesn’t produce respect

Editor’s note: Letters to Rhonda and Dr. Cheri come from around the U.S. via our website and are not necessarily from Prescott.

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

You said I bullied a girl. No, I didn’t.

We’re in the same high school and she knew I was seeing a guy. I told her to stay away from him but she laughed and started talking to him anyway.

She disrespected me, so my friend and I jumped her. She was smaller than us, but she can handle herself. She’s no victim. She gave me a black eye but I got over on her.

Where I come from, I can’t let this punk-girl disrespect me without getting down on her. I warned her and she didn’t take me seriously. I had no choice but to put her in her place.

My mom used meth and heroin. I was taken away from her when I was 2 and went through a lot of foster homes. I never saw my dad, because he is a registered sex offender.

My brother disrespected me and now he’s in jail.

I don’t have family except for my OG and he’s loyal to me and he’s family now.

As far as I see it, the punk-girl got what she deserved and we’ll do it again if someone doesn’t respect us.

You have to make people respect you cause no one else will if you don’t.

Signed,

Juvenile OG

Dear Juvenile,

We understand you lost your family. Your natural desire to belong to a group is evident through your letter and signature of OG or Original Gangster.

These people are no family.

You’re looking for protection, however, an OG will not be loyal, treat you well or protect you. Someone will die or you may be the “someone” who dies.

You cannot beat someone into respecting you. What you call respect is fear.

That kind of “respect” never lasts, because it’s a lie. The gang-family that you think will lift you out of poverty and make you feel secure, cared about, and loved is based on the OG controlling you. You’ll do the dirty work like selling drugs and using weapons and violence to make your OG money. You’ll go to jail, too.

An OG is nothing but a thief, a pimp, a dealer, and someone who acts like he is looking out for you. He’ll fool you into thinking he’s loyal and respectful of you.

Wearing a black eye like a badge of honor isn’t what we think you want out of life.

Think about the girl you jumped and how you felt when you were betrayed and hurt as a child … be it emotionally, physically, sexually or mentally. Don’t betray yourself for fake respect.

We’re sorry that your foster families didn’t make you feel loved, but don’t give up. There are wonderful families that want to help you feel successful in discovering your talents and overcoming victimhood.

You can choose not to serve a violent guy like an OG. You can choose to become someone with purpose.

Go to college and choose your own family of friends who are good and dedicated to good causes like helping others in your situation.

Choose to define yourself and work towards stopping violence. You’ll find true respect in becoming a gracious and giving person.

Signed,

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

Rhonda Orr is the president and founder of the Prescott-based Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation. Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Send your anonymous questions to Rhonda@rhondastopbullying.org. Find out more about Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation at www. rhondastopbullying.org.