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Monday, May 21, 2012

Dharun Ravi Sentenced in Clementi Case

The gay blogosphere is full of arguments today over the 30-day sentence, plus community service.  Your Head Trucker expected something more like 90 days at least; but it's a hard thing to judge, and that's what we elect judges to do on our behalf, with all the facts laid out before them, and after hearing both sides of the story in depth.

One might argue that 30 days is too light in the balances against a young man's life.  But on the other hand, Ravi had no way of knowing that Clementi would kill himself.  He did not say, for example, "Why don't you go jump off a bridge, faggot."  Which would be a very different case.

As the judge said, Ravi was indeed guilty of "colossal insensitity," to say the least.  Nobody, but nobody would want their private love life - behind closed doors - broadcast to all and sundry in the dorm.  Eighteen is pretty goddamn stupid as a rule - but even at 18, we all know that's totally crossing the line.

Well, whatever people may think of the verdict, and the judge's recommendation that Ravi not be deported back to India, it is certain that he is paying a tremendous penalty above and beyond what the law has imposed:  I find it hard to imagine that he will ever be able to complete college, much less get some high-paying job, in this country.  Maybe back in India, or somewhere else in the world, but not here.  So even if you think he should do more jail time, just remember that he will be paying for his callous cruelty the rest of his life, in notoriety and lost opportunities.  Bad karma, for sure.

Nevertheless, fellas - it's important to retain a sense of balance, and to remember that there are degrees of sin.  If you want to see an indisputable hate crime in process, look at this horrific photo of thugs jumping on the spine of the leader of Kiev Pride, who is already on the ground and helpless after being blinded by pepper spray to his eyes - and this happened just seconds after he called off a planned Pride march, in full view of the press and the police:

And too, for an example of perhaps more sheer willful ignorance than sin, consider this clip, described at Towleroad this way:
In a sermon blasting President Obama for his same-sex marriage support, Pastor Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina, offered a novel — and horrific — solution to the so-called gay scourge: build an electric fence . . .

Which is so horrendously backwoods ignorant, it almost seems like a parody - I can't help chuckling, thinking what Leslie Jordan could do with this role, you know?

Notice that what would have come out as "nigger lover" fifty years ago has been updated to "homosexual lover." But even fifty years ago, and I was there, no preacher would have ever said the former in church, at the pulpit. Nor "I'm gonna preach the hell out of it." Uhn-uh. Would have been totally unacceptable in the House of God - which shows you how far manners and mores have sunk, even among the "saved" in this day and age.

It does remind me, though, of an incident back in the mid-90's, and I may have blogged about this before - I used to have a standing lunch date with a lesbian friend once a week at a Shoney's convenient to our places of work. One day while we were eating, a great crowd of sheriffs in coats and ties, dress boots and 20X felt Stetsons came in and filled the joint - there was a statewide sheriffs' convention in town - and while they were waiting to be served, one of them near us loudly observed to his tablemates: "They say homosexshuls are born that way. I reckon if we lined 'em all up against a wall and shot 'em, we'd find out in another twunny years or so if that was true." Which clever remark was followed by a great burst of laughter and nodding of heads and "that's right!"

My friend and I just looked at each other. What can you say that would make any difference to an asshole like that?

Update:   Another Baptist minister rebukes Worley on Anderson Cooper's show:

But Worley's parishoners stand behind him, saying he speaks nothing but the truth, and is just trying to save your sorry, puke-inducing gay soul from Hell:


Stan said...

The Ravi case was tried right here in Middlesex County NJ where I live. I lot of folks were looking for blood in this case but not me. Nothing can bring back Tyler Clementi now. God knows what was going through his head the day he jumped off the George Washingtom Bridge. Poor kid. I agree Ravi should have gotten more time. But the Middlesex Couty Adult Correctional Facitity is no picnic! There are some very bad people in there.

Frank said...

Concentration Camps, an idea that has not been forgotten. Frightening.

Davis said...

Stan's right - nothing will bring back Clementi to his family now. RIP friend.

I can't help think that Ravi's life is forever damaged by this - I hope he can live with himself.

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