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Dharun Ravi's Support From The Gay Community

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Reuters published an article yesterday neatly summarizing the support Dharun Ravi has received from various members of the gay community. (If you're just tuning in: Ravi is the 20-year-old who, two years ago, briefly used his webcam to spy on his new roommate, Tyler Clementi, during a gay hookup; Clementi committed suicide shortly thereafter, and Ravi's now been convicted of a hate crime. He could face substantial prison time, and will likely be deported.)

Reuters quoted Aaron Hicklin, the debonaire editor of Out:

"Ravi's conviction was a compelling signal that harassment and bullying of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people carries penalties," Aaron Hicklin [wrote] in an article arguing that Ravi be set free.

"Yet the verdict also left a bitter aftertaste, as if what was being satisfied was not justice, but revenge."

Hicklin cited a past comment by Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan that even if Clementi were alive today, he would have presented virtually the same case to the jury. Anyone who believes Kaplan, Hicklin wrote, is "kidding himself."

"Ravi was convicted because Clementi is dead," Hicklin wrote, adding that the suicide "left us reaching for simplistic answers where there are none."

... and gay rights activist Bill Dobbs:

At a rally in support of Ravi outside the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton this week, Bill Dobbs ... told the crowd that Ravi was "overcharged" in the incident.

"The hate crime law in New Jersey has got so many problems that it should be repealed," Dobbs said. "It has become a dangerous weapon that is not necessary."

... and Andrew Sullivan:

Sullivan ... said the hate crime charges, without which Ravi would likely get probation and no prison time, were "tenuous" and "repellent."

"This was a bigoted online hazing, followed by a judicial witch-hunt," Sullivan wrote.

... and lesbian writer E.J. Graff:

E.J. Graff ... said in her column in The American Prospect, "I fear that Ravi is an easy scapegoat for a complicated problem."

... and the head of Garden State Equality, Steven Goldstein:

"Justice is best served by his serving some jail time for the crime committed," ... Goldstein said. "The moderate position is not to throw the book at this young man, nor should he get off Scott free."

... and mentions that Ravi has the support of Dan Savage and New Jersey's gay ex-governor, Jim McGreevey, as well.

 

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Comments

  1. Every single one of those comments not only misses the point, but is wrong.

    The number and variety of charges were brought against Ravi so that the prosecution would have leverage, so that they could make a case, and so that they could obtain a conviction. This is what prosecutors do.

    Ravi had a chance to plea bargain on very favorable terms, but he refused. Gross miscalculation on his part (not to mention his "attorney".)

    To this day, Ravi has never acknowledged wrongdoing or culpability on his part. Until he does, a severe punishment has to stand as society's affirmation that a wrong was committed, and yes...with deadly effect and consequences.

    I think he should see some incarceration, not a long incarceration, perhaps, but some. Minimum of six months, nor more than a year. If he acknowledges the wrongs he committed, then probation. If not, deportation.

    The LGBT community can't get in an uproar when wrongs against us go unpunished, and ALSO get in an uproar when wrongs get punished severely. The severity in this case lies in the fact that Ravi has neither shown remorse nor acknowledged doing wrong. The LGBT community AND the greater society demand that he do so.

    Posted by: Virilene. | May 19, 2012 3:40:22 PM


  2. the columbine and virginia tech massacres were followed by witch-hunts against "goths", marilyn manson music, videogames and movies.

    not gun-culture, and not gun-control laws, not the NRA.

    ravi was guilty of certain specific invasions of privacy and indeed seemed to be bullying, with "gay" being his target...

    ..but what's the moral? don't bully gay classmates, wait until you've grown up and then go into politics and bully every lgbt person in the country with your bigotry, prejudice and incitement of both?

    in essence, cyber-element removed, ravi would be punished for the very things that win GOP politicians votes.

    focusing on ravi and not the grown adult "leaders" of america who fan the flames of bigotry and contribute to a culture of anti-gay prejudice is a distraction from reality.

    it's like focusing on the westboro baptists church when the RCC, LDS , American Evangelicals and Southern Baptists have much-more dangerous and far-reaching bigotry being promoted.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 19, 2012 3:43:30 PM


  3. There are protestors that say the sentence is too harsh. If Ravi filmed and posted video of one of the protestors' 18 year old daughters getting banged by a guy, and she killed herself; the protestors would probably want Ravi's head on a stick. It just seems like protestors to Ravi's sentence view his offense and poor judgement as not being a harsh crime because the victim was a gay male.

    Posted by: Steve | May 19, 2012 3:58:06 PM


  4. I've never felt that he was responsible for someone's suicide, because suicide is a terrible decision that no one can really drive a person to do. But it should be mentioned that many of these comments are from conservative writers. To claim that he has a boatload of gay support is false. He should be shunned and imprisoned briefly, but deportation is stupid.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 19, 2012 4:03:40 PM


  5. Virilene's comments are dead on.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | May 19, 2012 4:07:57 PM


  6. @ steve....

    i dont view it as harsh because to be honest I dont think Ravi commited any crime. Sorry. I just think its all nonsense. He cant really be held responsible for someone elses mental state. Had the victim not committed suicide and sued for various things or filed a complaint of some kind... fine. throw the book at Ravi.

    This has always smelled of a withchunt. but Im against "hate crimes" anyway.

    Posted by: Homo Genius | May 19, 2012 4:07:59 PM


  7. Not only was Clementi gay: also, he was decidedly not a fashionable or particularly handsome gay man. Which might explain some of the lack of sympathy, both outside and under the LGBT umbrella.

    Ah but Caylee Anthony was just adorable... See the difference?

    Posted by: cwm | May 19, 2012 4:08:28 PM


  8. "i dont view it as harsh because to be honest I dont think Ravi commited any crime"

    Yes, he did. It's not a subjective determination you get to make.

    Posted by: Nat | May 19, 2012 4:17:04 PM


  9. Oh yes, CWM, this is definitely all about looks. I know that looks are important to perceptions, especially in the gay world. But come on.

    Posted by: Paul R | May 19, 2012 4:46:54 PM


  10. Yeah, twelve people have already decided exactly which crimes Ravi committed.

    "Had the victim not committed suicide and sued for various things or filed a complaint of some kind..."

    Dead people can sue? WTF are you on about?

    This was not like the instance of Trayvon Martin's family and supporters having to mount a campaign of protests and publicity before it became even possible to proceed. Ravi was indicted by a grand jury. If you believe it was a politicized process, you've got serious paranoia issues.

    Posted by: cwm | May 19, 2012 4:47:37 PM


  11. Th man acted reprehensibly. I agree that he could not have know that Tyler would commit suicide. One theory of the law is that you take your victims where you find them. Thus, by picking on such a mental case, he is responsible for all of the consequences. More personally, I would support one full year in jail, followed by one full year serving gay and lesbian youth.

    Posted by: Ken | May 19, 2012 4:51:58 PM


  12. Th man acted reprehensibly. I agree that he could not have know that Tyler would commit suicide. One theory of the law is that you take your victims where you find them. Thus, by picking on such a mental case, he is responsible for all of the consequences. More personally, I would support one full year in jail, followed by one full year serving gay and lesbian youth.

    Posted by: Ken | May 19, 2012 4:51:59 PM


  13. Paul, I couldn't agree more that it's ridiculous. My opinion is based on a lot of victim-blaming talk I've encountered in the comments on gay blogs. Much of which trashed Clementi for being a violin-playing nerd: as if that (and his suicide) made it obvious: well, the kid was already circling the drain anyhow. Devaluing the victim went hand-in-hand with making excuses for Ravi, who after all was just a kid engaged in hijinks right?

    Posted by: cwm | May 19, 2012 4:53:19 PM


  14. It might seem karmically perfect upon first consideration. But given Ravi's history with Clementi--and his post-conviction media appearances, in which he attempted but failed to sound repentant--I don't think LGBT youth should be subjected to Ravi's help.

    Posted by: cwm | May 19, 2012 5:00:30 PM


  15. I just go with what Clementi's father said: We want justice to be done, but that doesn't mean the punishment has to be harsh.

    Posted by: Demian | May 19, 2012 5:12:38 PM


  16. These ppl are idiots. It's not just state sanctioned homophobia we have to be wary of,it seems. Tyler did not commit suicide. He was murdered. Next these morons will be holding vigils for Matthew Shepard's murderers. Truly sickening.

    Posted by: Molc | May 19, 2012 5:13:55 PM


  17. Dharun Ravi deserves nothing less then many years in prison and deportation the moment he is released. That is justice.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | May 19, 2012 5:37:09 PM


  18. Maximum sentence and deportation. None of those supporters speak for Clementi or his family; they can go f*ck themselves.
    Of course, kiwi misses the point, and turns it into something all about his own political statement. This isn't about his view of Republicans. How self-centered can you get? I hope he one day realizeds not everything is all about him. What a dope.
    I know, kiwi, I have cappers the size of testes. Hahahaha; I slay myself.

    Posted by: NullNaught | May 19, 2012 5:41:30 PM


  19. What a bunch of “Uncle Tom.” It's because of people like this that gays are still second class citizens.

    Posted by: calvin | May 19, 2012 5:47:04 PM


  20. How many gay kids killed themselves since the Rutgers case? Has anyone been convicted? Why the why the media ignores them and still focuses on Ravi?
    Sorry for my english.

    Posted by: calvin | May 19, 2012 5:53:45 PM


  21. WHY ARE WE SUCH DOORMATS?!!!!

    WHY ARE WE SO WILLING TO "FORGIVE" THOSE WHO WOULD SLIT OUR THROATS AND ORDER LUNCH???!!!!!

    or to cut to the chase

    WHY DO WE HATE OURSELVES SO MUCH???!!!

    (Props to Virilene )

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 19, 2012 6:00:10 PM


  22. I am so disappointed in these gay leaders defending Ravi. He deserves to serve jail time. His arrogance in refusing to accept an overly generous plea deal shows an appalling lack of remorse for his conduct. He may not be totally responsible for the death of Tyler Clementi, but he certainly contributed to it. He also needs to be deported.

    Posted by: Jay | May 19, 2012 6:04:48 PM


  23. It is particularly outrageous that these self-appointed leaders of the gay community are saying that the hate crimes bill should be repealed. How many gay people have to die before crimes against us are taken seriously?

    Posted by: Jay | May 19, 2012 6:07:38 PM


  24. And where is the support for the Clementi family?

    I'm sorry but I can't understand this wave of support for Rhavi. He didn't show any remorse for his actions and never acknowledged his part of responsability for what happened to Tyler Clementi. In my opinion justice has been served. He should be deported.

    And WTF is wrong with "gay rights activist Bill Dobbs"???:
    "The hate crime law in New Jersey has got so many problems that it should be repealed," Dobbs said. Really?!!
    We are in deep trouble if our activists start to sound like Teabaggers.

    Posted by: Peter M. | May 19, 2012 6:23:45 PM


  25. Give him jail time.

    And, then deport him.

    Snotty, unpleasant man who thought it would be great fun to broadcast his gay roommate's sex life.

    It is interesting to remember that Tyler had requested a room transfer before this incident, so it's not hard to imagine what other tortures, deriding comments, etc Ravi was perpetrating.

    He did the crime, now let him do the time.

    Ravi gets no sympathy nor hand wringing from me.

    Posted by: Continuum | May 19, 2012 7:12:21 PM


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