I remember the police officer saying, “she must be a disappointment to her mother” and “these kids are always getting into trouble”. I started getting into trouble in middle school and I think it was because I didn’t have good communication with my family and often felt lonely. Getting into trouble was a cool thing to do like you were a badass until you were in a room with other “bad” people watching videos on why you shouldn’t do drugs, smoke, steal…etc. At one point I really thought that I was meant to be in this cycle, but like James Anderson I had a lot of people who believed in me.
“Is a criminal beyond redemption?” Anderson asks his audience . Throughout the video James Anderson a UCLA student and business owner of Los Mayores, explains how youth such as himself do not understand how certain situations can lead to consequences which then lead others to label them as criminals…etc. Anderson grew up in an abusive family, around drugs, and this lead to him and his brother to think of committing suicide. All of this resulted in Anderson getting into trouble and joining gangs, but it took one person to make Anderson believe in himself and achieve his dreams.
The following lines, “And everyone said forget about him he’s never going to change” in my opinion are the most powerful in the video. I feel that when someone is automatically labeled a criminal that person whether they are young or old will feel that that is truly who they are. This creates a problematic social identity which derives from social comparisons from other groups and individuals. This labeling or stereotyping also creates an image inside an individual which then makes it hard for that person to think of themselves as anything else.
I’ve have had the pleasure of meeting James Anderson, and everything that he does is so inspirational. Giving back the love he learned to receive to other young men who are going through what he went through must be an incredible feeling.