Yesterday, Dharun Ravi officially apologized for spying on Tyler Clementi via webcam before Clementi committed suicide. Ravi is also going to willingly serve his 30 days in jail.
Great news, we guess?
Ravi’s apology came in the form of a press release—we mean, letter—from his attorney:
Last Monday, I was sentenced to 3 years probation, 300 hours of community service, a fine of more than $10,000.00, and 30 days in jail. Since the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office appealed that sentence, the sentence does not have to start until the appeal is decided. Nevertheless, I decided to accept and hopefully complete the sentence as soon as possible. It’s the only way I can go on with my life.
I accept responsibility for and regret my thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish choices that I made on September 19, 2010 and September 21, 2010. My behavior and actions, which at no time were motivated by hate, bigotry, prejudice or desire to hurt, humiliate or embarrass anyone, were nonetheless the wrong choices and decisions. I apologize to everyone affected by those choices. I am surrendering myself to the Middlesex County Correctional Facility on Thursday, May 31, 2012, to start my 30-day period of imprisonment.
Technically speaking, this apology is absolutely necessary. Its sincerity, however, is seriously dubious. It’s only coming after his sentencing. If he was found not guilty or got a more lenient sentence (as if this isn’t lenient enough), would he have issued the same apology? Even Judge Glenn Berman displayed disdain at Ravi’s total lack of remorse.
“I heard this jury say, ‘guilty’ 288 times — 24 questions, 12 jurors. That’s the multiplication,” Berman said when Ravi was sentenced last month. “And I haven’t heard you apologize once.”
Ravi himself stated than any apology “would sound rehearsed and empty.” Bingo!
Ravi only cried when his own mother pleaded to the court for her son. His tears were for his mom’s hurt, not for the devastation he has caused the Clementi family.
Throughout the case, Ravi has repeated variations on this theme: “My behavior and actions—which at no time were motivated by hate, bigotry, prejudice or desire to hurt, humiliate or embarrass anyone—were nonetheless the wrong choices and decisions.”
Pray tell, then what were his motivations? Of course, just because he makes such a statement in no way makes it true.
Finally, Ravi says,”I apologize to everyone affected by those choices.” Even though it’s too little too late, he needs to apologize directly to the Clementi family. “Everyone” is a cowardly catch-all that exonerates him from facing head-on the specific human beings whose lives he destroyed.
If there’s any consolation, tomorrow Ravi marches right into prison.