May 20, 2012

"In the two months since he was found guilty of using a webcam to spy on his roommate, Dharun Ravi has gone from being a symbol of antigay bias..."

"... to being something of a folk hero, with rallies of his supporters urging the court to 'free Dharun.'"

The link goes to a front-page NYT story about how prominent gay rights advocates are championing Ravi (as he faces sentencing tomorrow).
Mr. Ravi could face deportation to his native India if he is given a prison sentence. Many Indians have been among his biggest supporters. At a rally on the State House steps in Trenton last week, some waved signs with the headline on [former New Jersey Governor Jim] McGreevey’s article: “Don’t Make Dharun Ravi Our Antigay Scapegoat.”


rhhardin said...

Derbyshire on the matter transcript

audio .mpe

Appeasing the mob.

edutcher said...

The homosexual "rights" movement has been acting like an abteilung of Storm Troopers when it's come to going after anybody who disagrees publicly or stands in their way, and getting away with it.

This is the sort of thing, however, that's going to expose them and bring them down.

RC3 said...

"As repugnant as his behavior was, they say, it was not the blatantly bigoted or threatening actions that typically define hate crimes."

Do not support subjective laws, and then cry when subjective laws are applied subjectively. Maybe we need 1,000 more Ravis until these protestors see the light. This is what hate-crime enhancers look like. Protestors can protest the entire concept of hate-crime multipliers, and advocate straightforwardly punishing the underlying crime, or walk on.

(btw, Ravi was offered a plea-bargain. He turned it down. Face the music.)

Luke Lea said...

You're the law prof. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

"As repugnant as his behavior was, they say, it was not the blatantly bigoted or threatening actions that typically define hate crimes."

IOW, this wasn't some dumb white Christian Cracker beating up a gay guy. No, Ravi is "one of us" and an immigrant to boot. Therefore, it's all a big "never mind" and he must be forgiven, just like Obama is forgiven for not supporting gay marriage until now.

Automatic_Wing said...

IOW, this wasn't some dumb white Christian Cracker beating up a gay guy.

Not only is he not a dumb white Christian Cracker, he didn't even beat anybody up. He just played kind of a douchey practical joke on his roommate.

Ken said...


What law, exactly, did Ravi break?

Dave said...

Yeah - please explain why determination of premeditation seems a legitimate exercise in discerning motive for a murder but "hate-crime" isn't. If the court in Norway hadn't found the killer of all those children in Norway to be insane, his actions would have been both premeditated and a hate-crime as he planned to target a specific group. Determining motive is part of the process. Why should "hate" as a motive be excluded? Why not an enhanced punishment for someone who targets a group? The group might be gay men or it might be Orthodox Jews or Catholic Nuns or lawyers, or... Hate crimes don't just harm the individual attacked. The group and society at large suffer consequences from violence based in prejudice and ignorance.

Rosalyn C. said...

Either the case was worth prosecuting or it wasn't. Since when does the mob get to decide after the fact whether to accept the judgement of the court or just dismiss the legal system?

Not that the legal system always makes sense: see Google for "Florida woman sentenced to 20 years in controversial warning shot case" or the Trayvon Martin case where Zimmerman is being investigated by the DOJ for profiling. Heaven help him.

Those gays who are afraid of carrying out the punishment might want to question why they always have to identify as victims and with victims. If you don't want to be victim forever you have to confront your bullies and win, and accept that yourself as a victor. As RC3 says, we either accept the concept of hate crimes or we should scrap it. Personally I find the whole concept too subjective.

Michael said...

Hate can be a motive, of course. But no life has more value than another and "hate" sentences give more value to some lives than others.

Hagar said...

I don't think "gays" are nearly as much of a problem as the "gay lobby," which is largely "straight" as can be.

Same with the "Trayvon Martin case" and the reporters that were mobbed in the other Florida city; "Black" people may not have been very helpful, but they are not the ones driving those cases.

David said...

Want the cynical view?

This is just a smokescreen to deflect responsibility from having instigated the witch hunt in the first place.

Ravi was and may still be a jerk. But what would the prosecution and punishment have been had the young man not committed suicide? A slap at most.

The jumper is responsible for his jump. That's harsh but it's also true. But I don't see anyone saying that the sad young man was the perpetrator of the violence against himself and his family.

And no I'm not blaming the victim. He victimized himself.

pdug said...

“But there was something disquieting about the prospect of retributive punishment being meted out on behalf of a gay young man.”

So is that saying there is something distasteful about gays using 'retribution' in punishment? Why? is retribution too 'masculine' or something?

The article in general just calls into question why we put ANYBODY in jail

KCFleming said...

Kelo means all property belongs to the state, and hate crimes mean you can be imprisoned for whatever offense the state deems necessary.

We are serfs.

RC3 said...

"Hate crimes don't just harm the individual attacked. The group and society at large suffer consequences from violence based in prejudice and ignorance." - Dave

Society at large suffers consequences from violence not based in prejudice and ignorance.

We need whatever punishments are necessary to deter and incapacitate criminals from committing crimes. If punishments need to be enhanced to more adequately stop a type of crime motivated by hate, they need the exact same enhancements for the non-hate version.

MayBee said...

Their pound of flesh wasn't as satisfying as they had imagined.

Trashhauler said...

Need we ask what the reaction would have been if his roommate had been taped having heterosexual sex and subsequently committed suicide?

Apparently, political success is managing to become a specially protected class of person.

MayBee said...

Here's the thing about Ravi and all the circumstances around Clementi's suicide:

They wanted to call what Ravi did a hate crime because Clementi was having a hard time dealing emotionally with coming out. Therefore, spying on him was, supposedly, more awful and criminal than spying on a straight roommate might have been.

But if it is a given that a young gay man may have difficulties coming to terms with his own sexuality, it must be equally a given that a young straight man may have some difficulties in knowing exactly how to handle being thrown into an intimate living situation with a gay man.
Ravi was not really familiar with this situation.

Clementi was embarassed, and Ravi was juvenile. Two men responding awkwardly and inappropriately to something neither seemed quite able to handle (Tyler's sexuality). Yet Ravi is held more responsible for both his and Tyler's response and actions. That doesn't seem right.

Anonymous said...

“Don’t Make Dharun Ravi Our Antigay Scapegoat.”

We already have Republicans for that.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

So it's true about the prison sex thing?

damikesc said...

Why not an enhanced punishment for someone who targets a group?

Outside of it making certain people's lives more valuable than other people's lives in the eyes of the law?

You're aware that the concept of "thought crime" has always been that it is a BAD idea, right?

Hate crimes don't just harm the individual attacked.

It's not the job of courts to make amends for perceinved slights by groups.

"Sure, blacks kill way more blacks than any other group does...but when whites kill blacks, it just means a little more" seems like insane legal theory.

Also, no concerns that somebody can be railroaded into a jail cell based on somebody feeling insulted? If Ravi's roommate was straight, would this have gone to trial? If everything else was identical (even the suicide, which seems like an incredible stretch to blame on somebody besides the auto killer), would this have been tried?

campy said...

@Paul Zrimsek: good one!

Tank said...

Hope he gets probation.

That's a hundred times more than he would have received if Clementi had not killed himself, in which case it would have been handled by a Rutgers room transfer.

Matt Sablan said...

If we can charge Ravi with a hate crime leading to his roommate's death, what about Mary Richardson Kennedy's suicide? Should we investigate to see if misogyny (gender is a protected class, isn't it?) had any part in causing her suicide?

Synova said...

What crime isn't a hate crime?

And lets consider real crime here, and not dumb pranks.

Isn't even theft most often based on group hatred? "This person doesn't deserve to have more than I do, so I can steal from this shop." A sense of entitlement based on class is every bit as much "me vs. them" as something motivated by race. Or how about gang affiliation? If the Crip targets the Blood... what else is it but a hate crime? Anything that's not a personal, passionate, crime is a hate crime. And the personal passionate crimes are doubly so.

Also... they determined the Norwegian guy was insane? Why not just define anti-social behavior as insanity and be done with it? After all, what sane person would ever be anti-social? What sane person would hurt another just to steal his stuff in a petty burglary?

Methadras said...

Lol. It's not about his crime, it's about an eastern indian being labelled anti-gay that his them up in arms. Political Correctness wins.