Sunday, March 18, 2012

Don't be hating on me

In case you haven't heard, being a homophobic immature jerk, is now punishable with jail time. Not exactly, but that is the net result of guilty verdict , that been handed down in the case of Dharun Ravi, who turned on a web cam in his room and web cast the sexual encounter his room mate had with another man.
The learned jury found Ravi, guilty of a hate crime.
I am not sure how they came to that conclusion, it almost demeans  the victims of actual hate crimes.
Was Ravi homophobic? Yes he clearly was. But so are a lot of other people. Was Ravi an insensitive jerk, with no respect for some one's privacy? Yes he was, but so are a lot of people aged 19.
Was Tyler Clementi afraid of Ravi? I have no proof one way or another, but I am inclined to doubt it.
Did Ravi hate gay people? Again , nothing that's come out in the public domain , has given any indication of that.
In fact, would he be on trial for the crime he is accused of if Tyler Clementi had not committed suicide?
People commit suicide for any number of reasons. Is it justifiable to always seek an external reason to pin the blame on ? Should the victim and perpetrator of the suicide , not shoulder some responsibility for the act itself?
Now consider that the victim of the spycam was not Tyler Clementi, but 2 women making out in Ravi's room.
It would be despicable for Ravi to webcast such a session as well. Would we be accusing of committing a hate crime against lesbians? If not, why not? How is that any different?
Consider that the year was 1990(The first webcam was built in 1991).
Ravi, walks in on his college roommate Clementi having sex , with a man. Ravi, shares the information with a few friends, who do the same with others, and soon Clementi, against his will is out of the closet.
Distraught , Clementi jumps of the George Washington Bridge.
In this scenario, can you really prosecute Ravi of a hate crime? If not , why not? How is this scenario different from what happened in reality. The only difference is the addition of technology,in the form of the webcam.
A 19 year old is looking at spending the next 5-10 years of his life in prison, because we live in a time and age, where looking at someone wrong, might be classified a hate crime.