Dharun Ravi was found guilty. I don't know how I feel about this. I empathize strongly with the gay victim here. But something inside me says Ravi is just a young, somewhat obnoxious jerk, and maybe that's not something that should have a criminal conviction. I don't know. I actually feel sorry for Ravi. Maybe there's something wrong with me.....
Personally, I have no problem with the verdict. Ravi did something both callous and heinous and for once, justice sided with the victim. If Ravi thought what he was doing was just a joke, now he thinks otherwise, and perhaps others who would consider being that stupid might be a bit more aware of the price of being THAT STUPID.
No brother. Nothing wrong with you. You are responding like a rational, reasonable human. While I'm glad he was found guilty, a part of me is also ambivilent. You just realize that he was being a jerk, didn't mean for it to go this far. I call this the gray area. When we are young, most things seem so clear cut, black or white. But as we get older and hopefully wiser, things get grayer and grayer. I think that makes us able to sympathize with each other easier. Not saying that wrong isn't wrong, but easier to get a handle. Thanks for sharing with us, man. Like the new photo, by the way. Peace.
Someone once said that the opposite of love is not hate, but a lack of empathy. It was Ravi's utter lack of empathy which was at the basis of his actions against Tyler Clementi. He didn't care how Tyler would feel or react. As I said before, it was just a joke, a joke which was notable in its lack of humor.
It is this kind of mindset, lacking in empathy, which perpetuates bullying in schools and gives repeated rise to results such as Clementi's. The question now is whether we can deal with that mindset and alter it before we find ourselves with more such results.
There will probably be more editorials about this. I hope that news will clarify some of the grey zones. In the scheme of things (not that there is a scheme of things), 17 year old black teenager, unarmed, Trayvon Martin is murdered in Connecticut, apparently for "walking while black", and so far there is no investigation. Ravi's trial is big news with a conviction. Not that we can't have both. Loren, I agree with you, but as Tony states, I'm still very conflicted.
I don't have any empathy for Ravi. What he did was reprehensible. Where I'm conflicted is with the law itself, specifically the New Jersey statute on Invasion of Privacy. Each section of the statute, defining the offense, makes an exception if one is "licensed" or "privileged" to make or distribute photos or videos. Private investigators are "licensed" by the state to investigate, in part,
the identity, habits, conduct, movements, whereabouts, affiliations, associations,
transactions, reputation or character of any person, association, organization, society or groups
of persons, firms or corporations (Found here)
Instead of Ravi doing it himself, had he hired a licensed investigator, would this have exonerated his conduct? And before you think I'm being bat-shit here, what of an evangelical parent believing their child has succumbed to Satan, and sharing the information with their pastor and church from someone who was "licensed" to obtain it.
I'm personally delighted with this verdict. It's a small vindication for Clementi (too little, too late, of course) and for his family, but also a small victory for the GLBT community. Hopefully it won't open the door for frivilous lawsuits, but hopefully it will also make some people think twice about harassing someone because they're gay, lesbian, bi or (gasp) trans. Even better would be those same people doing some thinking about the gays and opening their eyes (and hearts) towards acceptance. But the message of the court is quite clear here: It's not acceptable to debase or dehumanize anyone based on their sexual orientation.
It is good to see that at least certain types of bullying put the bully at risk.