Daily Archives: March 14, 2012


“Is It Fair to Punish Dharun Ravi Because Tyler Clementi Died?”


“One of the core assumptions of LGBT activism, anti-racism work, and other civil-rights activism is that all of us, no matter how enlightened we are, have prejudice within us. You don’t “get over” your racism or homophobia; you learn to recognize it.”

No. One of the core assumptions of a civilized society is that learning to recognize one’s racism or homophobia is a prerequisite to the possibility of overcoming it. LGBT activism concerns other matters entirely.

“Yet the highest-profile gay-bashing trial of the decade will turn on whether Dharun Ravi, a Rutgers University sophomore, acted out of anti-gay bias against his roommate, Tyler Clementi, when he recorded Clementi having sex with another man on his webcam and tweeted about it. The facts are not in dispute; only the motivations. In other words, not only is the entire case taking place in Dharun Ravi’s head, but Ravi is on trial for what all of us feel from time to time: prejudice against those who are different from us.”

No the entire trial is taking place in the public sphere where people who never knew either Clementi or Ravi congregate and cogitate about them.

But at least you recognize the fact that this case is about gay-bashing.

“Why? Because while Ravi is on trial for invasion of privacy, the more serious offense with which he is charged is “bias intimidation,” a hate crime. If all Ravi did was film Clementi in bed with another man, it’s a minor offense. If he did so in order to harass Clementi for being gay, he could get 10 years in prison.”

Cut the crap. Ravi has no record, no “priors.” If convicted he’ll be fined plus “community service(d).” But of course the worst would be deportation. So why didn’t Ravi take the deal he was offered that would have called for “community service” and no deportation? Because he’s an arrogant prick.

“As the trial has unfolded, there appears to be general agreement that Ravi is a bit of a jerk.”

Ya think?

“He and his friends made fun of Clementi’s economic status, his nerdy demeanor, even his choice of email provider. Ravi used the words “fag” and “gay” in a derogatory way. And yet, as I’ve read the instant-message transcripts that form much of the body of evidence, it’s been abundantly clear that Ravi’s homophobia is of the casual, locker-room variety. Yes, it’s there, but it’s also everywhere.”

IOW because “everybody does it” it’s OK.

You’re a bit of a jerk yourself Mr. Michaelson. More than a bit in fact.

“Clementi, meanwhile, emerges as a delicate young man who was uncomfortable in his own skin—not only because he was gay, but also because he was slight, socially awkward, and unsure of himself.”

A “delicate young man” Such a nice way of saying “FAG!” An “uncomfortable in his own skin”? How would you know what gay skin is like?

“Of course, this trial is taking place only because shortly after Ravi recorded him, Clementi killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. That’s why the case has attracted so much attention: Clementi was one in a series of gay-teen suicides brought on by bullying and intimidation. Now both Clementi and Ravi are symbols.
And yet, is Ravi really responsible for Clementi’s suicide?”


” Legally, the only relevance of the suicide is whether it shows Clementi felt harassed for being gay. In reality, the suicide haunts everything; otherwise this would be a matter for the Rutgers resident advisers.”

“Haunts”? has Tyler’s ghost paid you a visit Mr. Michaelson?

“The problem is that justice is individual, whereas symbols are collective.”

No, justice is collective. Statutes against murder, theft, rape, et.al. apply to all citizens and are only applied individually when circumstances call for it.

“Of course, judges “send a message” to would-be criminals all the time by disproportionately punishing the ones who get caught. But there’s a difference between sending a message and scapegoating. Whatever was going through Ravi’s head is no different from what millions of other 18-year-olds think, and feel, all the time—including, every jock I went to high school with. Those attitudes are indeed reprehensible. But Ravi is the one whose life now hangs in the balance, a scapegoat for all of us.

Not all. Just you and yours.

“At the same time, an acquittal would send the message that it’s OK to bully gay kids, embarrass them, and drive them to despair or worse. The details will be lost, and the effects will be disastrous. There’s no good result here. Individually, it’s a disaster if Ravi gets sent to jail. But symbolically it’s a disaster if he’s let off.”

The disaster has already taken place. Tyler Clementi is dead. And his mourners include not only his family but the man he briefly loved


Ravi in prison? Isn’t it pretty to think so?.

“The only way out would be a verdict that no one will like: guilty, but with no jail time for “bias intimidation.” This would send the right message while not ruining the life of an average guy who picked on a delicate kid. It would protect hate-crime laws from being undermined by a bad case. And it would acknowledge who’s really on trial in this case: all of us.”

No, not all of us. Not at all.

Tyler Clementi was an average guy. This is what you and your ilk can’t countenance.

Needless to say there’s a worse case scenario

“A Ugandan gay rights group filed suit against an American evangelist, Scott Lively, in federal in Massachusetts on Wednesday, accusing him of violating international law by inciting the persecution of homosexuals in Uganda.
The lawsuit alleges that beginning in 2002, Mr. Lively conspired with religious and political leaders in Uganda to whip up anti-gay hysteria with warnings that homosexuals would sodomize African children and corrupt their culture.
The Ugandan legislature considered a bill in 2009, proposed by one of Mr. Lively’s Ugandan contacts, that would have imposed the death sentence for homosexual behavior. That bill was at first withdrawn after an outcry from the United States and European nations that are among major aid donors to Uganda, but a revised bill was reintroduced last month.
Mr. Lively is being sued by the organization Sexual Minorities Uganda under the alien tort statute, which allows foreigners to sue in American courts in situations alleging the violation of international law. The suit claims that Mr. Lively’s actions resulted in the persecution, arrest, torture and murder of homosexuals in Uganda.
Reached by telephone in Springfield, Mass., where he now runs “Holy Grounds Coffee House,” a storefront mission and coffee shop, Mr. Lively said he had not been served and did not know about the lawsuit. However, he said: “That’s about as ridiculous as it gets. I’ve never done anything in Uganda except preach the Gospel and speak my opinion about the homosexual issue. There’s actually no grounds for litigation on this.”

Here’s your “average Guy,” Michaelson!


“Mr. Lively is the founder and president of “Abiding Truth Ministries.” He is also the author of “The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party,” which claims that Nazism was a movement inspired by homosexuals, and “Seven Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child,” a guide to prevent what he calls indoctrination by homosexuals.
He has traveled to Uganda, Latvia and Moldova to warn Christian clergy there to defend their countries against what he says is an onslaught by gay rights advocates based in the West.
Pamela C. Spees, a lawyer for the Ugandan group, works with the Center for Constitutional Rights, a liberal legal advocacy group based in New York City. Ms. Spees said that since homosexuals in Uganda have little support, the lawsuit “brings the fight” to those in the United States who she says fomented the anti-gay legislation in Uganda. She says that the lawsuit is targeted at Mr. Lively’s actions, not his religious speech or beliefs.
“This is not just based on his speech. It’s based on his conduct” she said. “Belief is one thing, but actively trying to harm and deprive other people of their rights is the definition of persecution.”

Very Dharum Ravi.

And now, because my thoughts are with “M.B.” Jamie Cullem will sing us out