Remember it was satanist and gay activist Ellen Degeneres who brought national attention to innocent Rutgers student Dhuran Ravi in the first place by attempting to make fellow student Tyler Clementi into a martyr for the morally bankrupt worldwide gay community and it's radical, anti-God leaders. Indeed, now just being accused of being "homophobic" can get you imprisoned, much less ruin your life:
What Dharun Ravi did was creepy and childish. He used a webcam to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi, kissing another man in their dorm at Rutgers. He invited other students to watch, and wrote about it on his Twitter feed. He was a geeky freshman trying to show off.RELATED: Alternate juror in Rutger’s spy case disagrees with guilty verdict
But that’s not enough to put him behind bars, in the company of rapists, muggers and killers — as allowed under the state’s sloppy hate crimes law. We hope the judge makes the exceptional call not to give him jail time — a decision that’s within his power.
Ravi wasn’t charged in Clementi’s death, though the gay student’s suicide was what poured gasoline on this fire. We’ll never know why Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge, so it’s unfair to pin that on Ravi.
He deserves the same type of punishment as Molly Wei, the other student charged with spying on Clementi: counseling and community service. Chances are, Ravi didn’t take a plea deal like she did because he was afraid he’d be deported to India. He’s here on a student visa.
Now, he’s looking at possible deportation and a state prison sentence. He’s certain to appeal, and the appellate judges should find this vague, confusing bias law unconstitutional. It’s a huge overreach in this case. What Ravi and Wei did was beyond mean. But it’s not clear they did it specifically because Clementi was gay.
Yes, they treated him like a sideshow curiosity. But lascivious pranks aren’t uncommon in a freshman dorm, and you get the impression the same might have happened if the shy violinist had brought home an extremely obese or particularly unattractive woman he met online. How uncool — easy target.
Remember, while Ravi made fun of Clementi for being gay, Clementi made fun of Ravi for his Indian heritage. Both accused the other of being poor. These were two roommates who didn’t know how to talk to each other, so they wrote petty jibes online. They were immature, not trying to instill fear. As Star-Ledger columnist Kathleen O’Brien pointed out, the other kids in the dorm, who said nothing and did nothing to stop Ravi’s scheme, are culpable, too.
Having a bias law is a legitimate way to highlight the threat of hate crimes, which are an attempt to instill fear in an entire community. If someone goes around burning crosses on lawns, it would seem odd to charge him simply with trespassing or damaging private property.
But here, there was no evidence that Ravi was trying to instill fear. None of the students who testified said they saw any evidence that he was bigoted toward gay people.
This case shows the danger of having such a broad statute. Legislators need to rethink this law, and tailor the punishments to fit the severity of the crime and the clarity of the threat.
We searched for proof of homophobia in Ravi, but we should focus that scrutiny on ourselves. Do we tell our kids it’s okay to be gay? Why don’t we accept soldiers and teachers and athletes who are openly gay? Or allow gay people to marry whom they love, like everyone else?
What kind of despair prompted Clementi to step off that bridge? Maybe it’s something he internalized, that we as a society have taught.