Dharun Ravi Leaves Jail After Serving 20 Days Of 30-Day Sentence

Dharun Ravi—convicted of invasion of privacy, tampering with a witness, and bias intimidation against his roommate Tyler Clementi—finished his jail sentence today and is a free man. He still faces three years probation, 300 hours of community service and more than $11,000 in fines and assessments.

Ravi only served 20 days of his 30-day sentence—he was automatically given five days off for good behavior and another five for working, according to the AP. Immigration officials announced yesterday that Ravi will not be deported to India.

Both sides are appealing the sentencing: Ravi, claiming he is not guilty of bias intimidation, and the D.A.’s office, saying it wasn’t stiff enough.


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  • Drake

    He’s one ugly hairy turd with a sociopathic soul.

  • KV

    Truly a sad day for the “bullycide” campaign. Oh well, I guess imaginary crimes get imaginary sentences.

  • Clockwork

    Good behavior and working, the rules apply to him the same as any other prisoner.

    Dharun Ravi, go finish college and help solve the worlds problems.

  • john

    deport his sorry ass

  • Dean Lowry

    @sheena: Resorting to racist digs doesn’t solve anything. Worse, it undermines the gay community’s argument for greater tolerance (and indeed gay rights in general) and is incredibly hurtful to members of our own community – you are in danger of becoming the very bully you want to deport. Think before you type! I’m kicking you out of first class.

    That being said, 20 days?! You have got to be kidding me. I’m not a trial judge/advocate and have zero experience in penology or criminal sentencing, but I have a hard time believing that 20 days in jail comports with even the most reasonable, generous construction of the law in this case. Deportation and ten years would have been a miscarriage of justice, but 20 days is de minimis and frankly insulting. Where to draw the line, I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s under the three week mark.

    xoxo Dean

  • S G McGrew

    This is the second crime against his roommate Tyler Clementi . Out too soon; I hope his freedom is interrupted daily by people reminding him that he’s a murderer. And maybe he will follow another criminal…Dan White and commit suicide. I’m so tired of the lgbtq community being walked on.

  • kieran

    Something tells me if Dharun Ravi had sneakily taped a girl student having sex in his Rutgers dorm room and broadcast it on the web he would have gotten more than 20 days, especially if the girl later committed suicide after finding out she’d been betrayed.

    And we wouldn’t be getting any of this, “What’s the big deal? Boys will be boys” defense either.

  • Ray

    The opinion that he is a murderer is ridiculous. What he did was wrong but he didnt walk Tyler to the bridge. Being bullied isn’t fun for anyone. Those of us that have been there know how it hurts and the scars that it leaves. Comitting suicide never crossd my mind. I think that maybe Tyler had his own demons about his sexuality prior to the cam incident. Again, what Ravi did was wrong and cruel but I think murderer is a bit strong.

  • KyleW

    I think his sentence was proprtionate to the “crime”, and not its consequences, and that’s how justice should be. If you get drunk and werve off the road, you lose your licence.If you do exactly the same and kill people, you get three years.It’s nonsensical. There was no greater intent, just unlucky timing.

    And let’s not forget, he got $11,000 of fines, 300 hours of forced labour, and presumably, kicked out of college.

    The law is not about stone age eye for an eye vengance, or even justice sometimes – it’s about doing what’s best for society.

    Clockwork – agree totally.

  • seepdx

    He may have walked out of jail but this will tail him for many years. It’s on his record, he’ll be recognized, and he has been shamed in public as he should have been. I had been bullied for years and was suicidal before coming out, and had this type of thing happened to me I may not be here today. It was wrong, cruel, and juvenile, and I hope that message has sunk in.

  • JDay

    It’s not nonsensical when it’s YOUR family that dies in the wreck or your son who committed suicide. This thirty day sentence doesn’t even sound like enough time for a sentence if say Tyler didn’t give in and stayed alive and went after him legally for invading his privacy and IMO since it became a factor leading to him killing himself, it should have stronger consequences. The fines sound pretty appropriate though.

  • roxorz

    I can’t judge his sentencing but I just hated how he refused to accept ANY responsibility that he had a hand in Tyler killing himself. I’m sure his lawyers were part of that reason but it was still disappointing.

  • Shannon1981

    What a crock 20 days, no deportation. Ah well, at least he has a felony record. That will follow him around like a can tied to a dog’s tail.

  • Kim

    @kieran: A Gay o Black person is of less value than a Straight White person that why AIDS was ignored until Straight Whites got it

  • Derek Williams

    Draconian imprisonment will entrench hatred, not eliminate it. The vindictiveness I am reading here smacks of racism.

    Ravi will remain on probation for three years, must perform 300 hours of community service and attend counseling programs for cyber-bullying and alternative lifestyles.

    He must also pay $10,000 to the probation department with the money going to victims of bias crimes.

    Ravi’s foolish actions have been blamed for the death of Clementi, but it is far more likely that suicide ideation set in long before, when Clementi’s parents rejected his homosexuality. Ravi did not do what he did with the intention of provoking suicide.

    Ravi’s life is already ruined. Enough already.

  • Alexi3

    I can’t quite see how Ravi’s life is ruined. But, let’s see how he does on probation. Three years is a long time to walk the straight (no pun intended) and narrow for someone so arrogant.

  • Alexi3

    @kieran: This aspect of the case has always bothered me as well. I am in complete agreement with your assessment.

  • Derek Williams

    @Alexi3: Ravi now has a criminal record. This means he can never work in any government position, nor in a university, nor in any position involving the care of young persons. He will be ineligible to enter many countries because of this.

    His education at Rutgers was obliterated by this experience.

    The notoriety following this trial will follow him around for the rest of his life, as will the infamy it has wreaked upon his family.

    It is a big mistake to heap the blame for Clementi’s suicide solely on the shoulders of Ravi. Parental rejection and self hatred were brewing inside the heart of the young Clementi long before this encounter.

    As to the question of what the response would have been had it been a girl and there was no suicide, I daresay that the prank would have been laughed off as an American Pie style misdemeanour, which after all it was modeled on in the first place.

  • KyleW

    @JDay: And THAT is precisely why the victims do NOT get to set the sentencing. Because emotionalism – especially from those who have suffered, is not the best way to run a justice system.

    And everyone keeps on about this 30 days – he was fined $11,000 – which for most people is between one and three month’s income,and he was given 300 hours community service, which equates to a working 6 weeks of time roughly.

  • KyleW

    @Derek Williams: A bit of sanity at last!

  • B

    No. 7 · kieran wrote, “Something tells me if Dharun Ravi had sneakily taped a girl student having sex in his Rutgers dorm room and broadcast it on the web he would have gotten more than 20 days,”

    Except Ravi would have gotten more if the analogous thing had happened. It just didn’t.
    The first time, he told nobody about it except his friend Molly Wei, viewing a corner of his roommate’s bed for a few seconds and seeing some kissing while Molly Wei was watching. Later, Molly Wei on her own viewed it for a few seconds, after calling in some others, but apparently with Ravi not present. Ravi didn’t “tweet” about it until later and started to set up the cam again a few days later. While he “dared” people to watch, he claims to have shut the cam off (presumably having second thoughts – that is, if he was telling the truth), but in any case his roommate switched off the power strip. Transcripts of his roommate’s chat sessions or emails indicate that he shut the power off and network-traffic logs confirm that. There doesn’t seem to be any press reports of testimony refuting or verifying Ravi’s claim, even though it should be possible to tell from the log files.

    Keep in mind too that Ravi was not charged with contributing to a suicide in any way. The judge can’t sentence him for something for which he was not prosecuted.

  • Tour de france 2012

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  • vermontman

    I took a look at the pictures of him up close. What he did was wrong. But where was the university? Guys just don’t jump off bridges unless there are other issues. It is a sad case one kid is dead and the other kid’s life is ruined. He has , is and will continue to pay a horrible price for his actions. I don’t see a need for more punishment. Some times i am confused by the gay communities lack of forgiveness and hate. I wish we would start to do some of the things we demand others do.

  • Robbie

    Wow…not only does he get to walk away from it all but wants people to give him money from all this as well – (from the Support Dharun Ravi FB page)

    Dharun Ravi
    10 Schalks Crossing Road,
    Suite 501-700,
    Plainsboro, NJ 08536

    All mails and checks sent to this address will be handled directly by Dharun Ravi

  • Charley

    That judge should be proud of the example he set. You violate someone’s most private affairs, drive him over the edge and you get three weeks (less a day) of vacation. I spit on that judge.

  • Derek Williams

    @Charley: After being rejected by his parents, Clementi already hated himself long before Ravi showed up. As for “driving over the edge”, Ravi had not the slightest idea his roommate would suicide as a result of his juvenile prank.

    Prison is not ‘vacation’, and for the likes of Ravi, a criminal record is in effect double jeopardy, because the consequences of his criminal record will continue till his dying day. Ravi’s university education was terminated along with his career prospects. There was also a $10,000 fine and 300 hours community service.

    For some correspondents to this column, I get the impression that nothing short of execution would be acceptable.

  • Derek Williams

    @Robbie: I have checked this Facebook page at

    From reading through its contents, I see no evidence that this has been set up by Ravi himself, and there is nothing surer than that if he were to do anything so utterly foolhardy, it would be all over the news the next day.

    I see nothing inappropriate about the site’s admonition: “…equality and tolerance should be achieved through honest, open communication and not through a vicious and vengeful prosecution that only serves to fuel tempers and alienate us even further.”

  • JDay

    Oh but people who have no involvement and probably don’t want to be on the trial anyways should have complete control? I understand emotions run higher than any of us could understand and they arent very logical or sane but my point was that there needs to be some thought about how he suffered and how his family and friends are suffering now when dealing with sentencing like this because it doesn’t seem like there was very much. It’s hard to keep the world even and equal when nobody is truly equal to anyone else.

  • LadyL

    Well, I am not one bit confused; appropriate or not, I understand the vitriol completely when I consider our collective history of being ostracized, maligned, brutalized and even murdered. And then, on the chance that our tormenters are arrested and brought to trial, the indignity of having to watch (or our surviving relatives having to watch– that is, if they show up in court for us) the ones who wronged us be acquitted by “sympathetic” jurors and judges. Good luck convincing everyone here that that has nothing to do with this.
    @Derek Williams you are technically quite correct in your analysis; in particular, you make an important point about how Clementi’s parents’ rejection affected his sadness and pain. Had he known he had their unwavering support, perhaps Clementi would not have jumped off that bridge. On the other hand, look at the smile on Ravi’s face as he leaves that building. Maybe it’s just relief, but has he yet given even the slightest impression of being truly sorry, truly distressed, for his part in Clementi’s death? He didn’t “intend” Clementi’s suicide? No, I’m sure not, but isn’t that the defense of all the schoolyard bullies whose harassment and cruelty lead to that outcome?
    The sentencing may have been legally correct. But excuse me if it doesn’t feel like justice.

  • 1equalityUSA

    He could start his own surveillance system business. He’s pretty good at this skill. “You can Dharun but, you cannot hide” business cards, secret squirrel reconnaissance, and a take the bully by the horns mission statement. People with a conscience need not apply.

  • KyleW

    @JDay: Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying, because your version is lynch mob justice. The law should be cool and dispassionate, not hot-blooded and vengeful.

    And remember, nobody has any idea at all to what degree this action contributed to the guy’s suicide, so to treat Ravi as a murderer – or even a manslaughterer, would be wholly inappropriate.

    The most that anyone can say with certainty, is that Ravi acted childishly and inappropriately and invaded Clementi’s privacy. Beyond that, it’s all speculation. As I see it, the destruction of his reputation, his education, a month in jail, $11,000 in costs and 300 hours community service is already a heavy price for his actions.

    If there had been no negative consequences, he would likely have gotten a light fine.

    As long as society continues to promote this sort of behaviour in movies as laddish pranks, noone can be surprised when nobody knows where the line is.

    I notice there were no protest lines after Hot Bubblegum, Porkies, American Pie, Van Wilder, or 50 other movies with exactly this kind of prank in. But suddenly, it’s played at just the wrong time, on just the wrong person, and the world gets 20/20 hindsight.

  • Derek Williams

    @LadyL: What concerns me is that retributive justice won’t work in our favour in the long run, and may even work against us.

    If Ravi had gotten the maximum allowed sentence 10 years then all that would do is give haters the perfect excuse to hate us even more and exact their own form of retribution in the form of gay bashings along with other covert anti-gay sentiment. We are already seeing Facebook pages and other sites appearing saying that even this punishment was too much for what was in the minds of many, nothing more than a juvenile prank gone horribly wrong, certainly way beyond Ravi’s imaginings.

    In view of all the other consequences for Ravi and the public debate this has provoked, I think it’s better from our point of view for people to think he got off lightly than to incite any more homophobic emotion with demands for blood.

    Ravi was found guilty on all charges and has been punished. Considering that LGBT remain one of the most disliked minorities in the world, I think pushing for any more punishment than his lifelong criminal record will be counter-productive.

  • JDay

    My view is not vengeful, it’s appropriate. My only belief is that the people who were legitimately affected by this crime should at the very least be taken into account. That’s it. And twenty days (equal to the dumb celebutantes like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohans sentences that most people agreed were too short for their crimes which I’m
    Sure others would agree aren’t as horrendous as this) just doesn’t seem fair in this case. Of course I do agree the fines and the record are appropriate as an add on, but in light of everything (how he didn’t even feel some responsibility for what happened to this poor young man) it feels like there could be more. If only just to prove that he really understands he did wrong. It just sounds worse that he couldn’t even stay the full sentence of only ten more days.

    I’m sure you also notice those are fictional films that played the moments up in humorous light (and just being technical, van wilder for sure didn’t have taped sex) all made at least one decade prior to this incident. If they went the realistic route and if they were more current, the main character could have turned in his friends for public humiliation and degradation by filming an extremely personal act without his permission and they could have tacked on a charge like possessing underage pornography. I wasnt alive for the first two movies and was too young when American Pie came out but im sure there were groups of people offended or disgusted with the idea. The worlds just becoming more aware and they either agree its wrong or brush it off and call you a
    Prude. I agree to an extent the media should be more responsible with what they show but that is why things like this are rated r and parents or proper role models need to take responsibility and help those either too young or who do not understand realize what the real consequences of these actions are. But still, ignorance of the law does not provide immunity to its consequences. If it even SEEMS wrong (and could you really be so cruel and not think that invading someone’s intimate private life and spreading it to a bunch of assholes is wrong??) then you have to make the call and deal with the consequences.

  • Darren

    Here we go yet again with LGBT People thinking they can be r a c i s t towards Asians because of this guy. I agree with Derek Williams, some LGBT People want to completely blame Ravi for Tyler’s suicide, which BTW while Tyler’s suicide was very sad Ravi isn’t responsible for since Tyler was apparently very depressed, felt rejected by his mom, and all of the media sensation about what happened and the trial did not help.

  • Lance

    I agree with Vermontman. Tyler also apparently tried to tell Rutgers that Ravi was spying on him or setting up a webcam and recording him, and how he wanted to switch roommates but the university didn’t do anything at all.

  • Gabriel

    Dharun Ravi is sociopathic trash. Gays on here defending him are a bunch of Uncle Toms.

  • KyleW

    @JDay: Witness impact statements were likely considered in Ravi’s sentencing. However, it’s absolutely clear that the sentence was as much a signal to the commentators and public about how the court, or at least the judge viewed this case.
    Regardless of how you interpret Ravi’s culpability in this case, it’s clear that the one person in possession of the most facts about it, had a perspective that was more moderate.
    Given the political dimensions; a brown foreigner driving a white gay American to suicide under Obama’s pro gay government, I think it’s incredible that such a mild sentence was handed down, and it surely reflects the certainty that the judge had that Ravi should be sentenced only for what he did, and not for Clementi’s subsequent actions. As such, he could only be sentenced for invasion of privacy essentially, and on that charge, he was incredibly harshly treated.
    As for Porkies and Hot Bubblegum – yes there as a public outcry; but not against the immorality of spying on girls in the showers (which was a common theme through the 80s and 90s), but simply because the girls were shown naked.
    To my memory, there has never been an objection raised to specific invasions of privacy by being a peeping tom, or taking photos, or using webcams in such movies. Rather, any objections by the prudes have merely been against the general loutishness.
    The fact is, popular culture is awash with the message that it’s okay to haze, humiliate, degrade, and even bully, just so long as it’s funny. And I don’t ever recall anyone n my life trying to place that into moral context afterwards. Indeed, by the time I was old enough to see such movies 14, 16 maybe 18, I would have been unlikely to tell my mother I saw them, and I certainly wouldn’t have heeded her if she try to moralise about them – not least because she was a zealous christian, and I was moving as far from that as possible.
    I agree with you completely that if it SEEMS wrong, one probably should not do it (although christianity totally screws up any impartial sense of right and wrong). I think far better to apply the golden rule – if you wouldn’t like it done to you, don’t do it to others.

  • Derek Williams

    @Gabriel: Kindly don’t accuse me of ‘defending’ Ravi. On a quick re-read I don’t in fact see anyone claiming that Ravi’s actions were in the slightest defensible.

    As for your accusation that I am an ‘Uncle Tom’, I have spent my life in LGBT activism, putting myself in harm’s way for the cause, from the days when being gay was an imprisonable offence, and your comment is downright insulting.

    If you want to extract every last ounce of blood out of the young Ravi, then you won’t get the public onside with the LGBT cause. The exact opposite will happen. Minorities have to be a lot smarter when dealing with the tyranny of the majority.

  • KyleW

    @Gabriel: Or perhaps they understand the meaning of nuance and shades of grey, rather than acting like a militant gay who bites off any hand that appears not to be on your side.

  • JDay

    “and on that charge, he was incredibly harshly treated.”
    I think that’s what gets me. I DON’T feel that was harsh at all for invading someone’s privacy in that matter. Whether or not the media objectifies it in a certain way, if you don’t want your incredibly private acts shared in any form, they SHOULDN’T be. The Internet is permanent and that video could have gone everywhere. That’s extremely humiliating and could have ruined Tyler’s life if he stayed alive just as this record will harm Ravis life. In fact, that’s something I worry about nowadays and I always make sure to check that someone I choose to be intimate with would not film our relations and that they know I would never want them to. I want to make love not porn for people to amuse themselves with.

  • KyleW

    @JDay: On this, we are in complete agreement. The issue perhaps, is not whether Ravi got off lightly, but whether society treats far too lightly (more with smirks of derision than horror) the publication of illicitly taken nude photos. Even photos taken with knowledge but intended only for the recipient’s eyes should not be shared, but in those cases, the “model” has to take a lot of responsibility.

    So perhaps the penalty for publishing ANY illicit compromising photos should be what?…

    In fact, point of order, this very website is up on its high horse about Ravi, yet it has repeatedly directly published, or published links to exactly these sort of photos. Talk about hypocricy.

  • JDay

    Agreed. It’s a thin line between what is appropriate and what isn’t but Ravi obviously did not have permission from Tyler (mainly because he didn’t even know he was being filmed) and that makes Ravi entirely responsible for this particular event (although obviously its not the main reason Tyler killed himself).

  • Gabriel

    @ KyleW and Derek Williams. LOL, thanks for proving my point, idiots, with quotes like: “rather than acting like a militant gay” or “Considering that LGBT remain one of the most disliked minorities in the world, I think pushing for any more punishment than his lifelong criminal record will be counter-productive.” In other words, be nice even though the justice system is stacked against us and maybe, just maybe they’ll throw us some crumbs eventually. You’re both pathetic.

  • Derek Williams

    @Gabriel: If the criminal justice system were “stacked against us” then Ravi would never have been charged in the first place, let alone found guilty by a jury on every single count.

    If the criminal justice system were stacked against us, then it would have been Clementi’s surviving casual partner who would have been charged with homosexual offences “against the order of Nature” under the old penal code.

    The justice system has to serve everyone’s best interests. It does not exist merely to satiate your private retributive gratification.

  • Gabriel

    @Derek Williams: “It does not exist merely to satiate your private retributive gratification.” Talk about overwroght. Expecting someone found guilty on 15 different charges as serious as witness tampering and bias intimidation to serve more than 20 days doesn’t sound like too much to expect. Nor does it qualify as “retributive gratification”.

  • Derek Williams

    @Gabriel: You ignore the $10,000 fine, the 300 hours of community service, Ravi’s lifelong sentence of unemployability in any professional occupation because of his criminal record and the public obloquy he has faced.

    It was not Ravi’s decision to be released in 20 days.

    Considering Ravi’s atatus as a first time offender, his youth and all of the above, public support is already replacing public ignominy. While it might make you gloat to see him destroyed even more, the resultant perception of a vulpine insatiability on the part of LGBT won’t help the equality cause one iota.

    Fortunately for all of us, the decision is neither yours nor mine to make.

  • B

    No. 35 · Lance wrote, “I agree with Vermontman. Tyler also apparently tried to tell Rutgers that Ravi was spying on him or setting up a webcam and recording him, and how he wanted to switch roommates but the university didn’t do anything at all.”

    Except the facts don’t agree with your opinion. Apparently he sent an email one evening requesting a room change, and committed suicide the next day. There was simply not enough time for the university’s administration to respond. It’s not like Tyler’s request was the only one in the queue. The resident assistant he talked to offered to let Tyler stay in his room for the night, and took it seriously, but it simply takes time for a request to work its way through a bureaucracy, and there was no indication that there was anything time critical (as in a response needed in less than a day, including the wee hours of the morning).

  • KyleW

    @Gabriel: Well you certainly like to sling the insults around at those that disagree with you, but it adds no weight to any of your arguments – quite the opposite – it makes you look like a child without the capacity for reasoned debate.

    Nobody is saying that you should capitulate to injustice, but calling for public execution of anyone who hurts one of your kind, bespeaks a black and white view of the world that will accomplish nothing but hostility in the forum of public opinion.

    As you have proven here, if you get hostile enough, people start to object to the WAY the argument is delivered rather than the argument itself.

    Furthermore, Clementi’s sexuality is largely irrelevant to the essence of this case, which is about invasion of privacy and bullying. Yes Clementi was private about his sexuality, and yes, Ravi had an immature attitude towards it, but if you take the sexuality out of it, the case being fought would be EXACTLY the same. This is not a gay issue. It’s a bullying issue, and Ravi should be judged on that.

  • Clark Kent

    Hound him for the rest of his life. Make it impossible for him to work in this country. Same for his lawyer.

  • Derek Williams

    @Clark Kent: “Hound him for the rest of his life.”

    Your attitude is another reason why so many people hate gays.

  • MiltonHarvey

    @Derek Williams: On the whole, I agree with you. Except when you wrote this :

    “…nothing more than a juvenile prank gone horribly wrong, certainly way beyond Ravi’s imaginings”.

    Unless you were there, or know him very personally, or you are inside his head, you have know way of knowing that this “prank” went way beyond his imaginings. Nobody knows Drahun’s true intentions but Dharun himself. We can interpret his intentions but, truly, there is no way of knowing exactly what he was thinking at the time or if it went beyond his intentions. And I find it highly unlikely that he would ever confess his true intentions. So, I have to disagree with you on that “beyond his imaginings” part. You cannot know this for a fact.

  • LadyL

    @Derek Williams: Derek, I know. I can’t really disagree with your arguments which are reasoned and rational. Ravi didn’t push Clementi off that bridge and might truly never have imagined the possibility of suicide.
    But in a way that’s what makes me so angry about all this. Why didn’t he imagine it? This is the best and worst of times to be gay; there’s so much more discussion in the larger culture, so much more awareness–which is precisely why some people are revving up the meanness. The increasing openness for and about LGBT lives is terribly threatening for some, and that has to explain the increase and intensity of the bullying.
    So how do we view Ravi? Isn’t life for LGBTQ people much more repressive and restrictive in his native country? Hadn’t he any awareness of that? What are HIS parents’ attitude towards gays, particularly gay men, and how has that influenced him? Even as the rational part of my brain acknowledges that Ravi couldn’t have expected Clementi to kill himself, there’s a part of me that feels nevertheless that Ravi should have… something. Should have had more compassion. Should have had more respect for another person’s privacy. Should have had a least a glimmer of awareness that his “prank” could lead to humiliation, heartache and possibly disaster for a fellow student who did nothing to deserve any of those things.
    For his part in this tragedy, Ravi’s life will never be the same, true. But he still has a life and with it the possibilities of redemption and future success. All of Clementi’s possibilities are gone. It’s just not fair.

  • Victor

    Are you guys just trolling or some of you just as hatefull and banal as it appears to be the case?

    To sum it up, that Ravi guy won’t have much of a life in the future, because of his felony conviction and his social circle, aparts from relatives and friends of his parents, knowing about.

  • Derek Williams

    @LadyL: Unless we genuinely try to understand the causes and perspectives of homophobia and those who feel it, we will never come close to eradicating it.

    In Ravi’s native India, repeal of Chapter XVI, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalised same-sex behaviour among consenting adults was read down by the High Court of Delhi only as recently as 2 July 2009.

    As a consequence, homosexuals remain a disliked subclass in most of the world, especially Asia and the Middle East, as was evidenced by the walkout from Hillary Clinton’s iconic LGBT rights address to the United Nations last December.

    Like all people from this part of the world, Ravi would have been raised from childhood to have contempt for LGBT, and so his actions could only be expected to be an expression of that contempt and so until this tragedy occurred, Ravi would have had no reason to mollify his dislike for homosexuals. To have any other attitude towards LGBT would itself be expected to invite contempt from his family and his peers, especially given that this is explicitly written into their devoutly upheld religious catechism. Considering that homophobic contempt is still very widely evident even in the United States itself, it should not surprise us that not only did Ravi feel no discomforture at the time he carried out his actions, it also astonished him when the law intervened following Clementi’s completely unexpected subsequent suicide.

    Homphobia is fuelled by ignorance, fear, and very often, closet homosexuality, and this makes it inordinately difficult to remediate, moreover it raises another question about Ravi’s crime I have not yet seen explored: why would a putatively straight male want ever to be a voyeur to a same-sex sexual encounter? That is one reason I welcome Ravi’s compulsory re-education on bias crime as part of his sentencing.

    Punishment was unquestionably warranted, but Draconian punishment leaving no room for repentance would achieve nothing more than to entrench bitterness and hatred towards gay people. If LGBT activists are looking for the salutary legal precedent, then the Clementi suicide, for all its tragedy, is not it. Properly understanding the attitudes that gave rise to the murder of Matthew Shepard is where I think the main focus should now be.

    It’s not so long ago, in fact within my living memory, that it was we homosexuals who were being jailed for nothing more than having consensual relationships. I have been an activist my whole life, and probably will remain so until the day I die, and my experience tells me that while demonstrations and assertiveness are ‘sine qua non’, it is our straight allies knowing and acting on behalf of decent, law abiding gay people that achieves by far most longlasting reform we’ve seen this last half century. Tedious though it may seem to many, it is education, mutually respectful dialogue and being good citizens that achieves the most.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Mr. Dharun Ravi was disrespectful of Tyler Clementi. He didn’t view him as worthy of dignity and esteem. His actions reveal how little empathy was directed towards his roommate. He did not consider this gay man as anyone of value, hence, the humiliation and degradation he heaped upon this young man. This was way beyond a prank. This was lack of regard, disdain for another. I hope that never a day passes when Ravi doesn’t think of Tyler Clementi. Every time a solo violin is heard, I hope Tyler is rising up in his mind. He likely treated animals better than he treated Tyler. He’s not my favorite person on this planet. The beard he grew in jail won’t hide his disdain for his brother. Oh, is it a shock to see Tyler as his brother? Tyler was his brother and now he is dead.

  • Derek Williams

    @1equalityUSA: The problem with scapegoating Dharun Ravi is that it does not address why he had no respect or empathy for Clementi in the first place. Ravi was raised that way, to be homophobic, and lives in a society that still thinks that way.

    When society exemplifies and inculcates disdain for a minority like LGBT into its young people, what else can we expect but that the young person will respond accordingly?

    Children are not born racist, homophobic or sexist, it is society that teaches them to be that way by according respect to such attitudes. Until we change the homophobic beliefs and attitudes of society worldwide, we can only expect more and more cases like this to keep emerging.

  • tonykeywest

    @Drake: Fags die God laughs!

  • tonykeywest


  • tonykeywest

    @1equalityUSA: Tyler Clementis blood is on your hands You taught him to defy God and that it would all be well. God is not mocked. God put the sigma on bing a filthy fag and you can never remove it. God Hates Fags

  • tonykeywest

    @S G McGrew: if your so tired of being walked on why dont you go jump off a bridge and join Tyler in HELL.

  • tonykeywest

    @kieran: Tyler Ckementi is in HELL.

  • Derek Williams

    @tonykeywest: I don’t believe you, and I seriously doubt any other readers to this site do either. Prove that what you say is true.

  • Derek Williams

    @1equalityUSA: The problem with scapegoating Dharun Ravi is that it does not address why he had no respect or empathy for Clementi in the first place. Ravi was raised that way, to be homophobic, and lives in a society that still thinks that way.

    When society exemplifies and inculcates disdain for a minority like LGBT into its young people, what else can we expect but that the young person will respond accordingly?

    Children are not born racist, homophobic or sexist, it is society that teaches them to be that way by according respect to such attitudes. Until we change the homophobic beliefs and attitudes of society worldwide, we can only expect more and more cases like this to keep emerging.

  • B

    Re “tonkeywest”: looks like some troll is imitating the Phelps’ klan or even worse, is a member.

    Re No. 56 · 1equalityUSA writing, “Mr. Dharun Ravi was disrespectful of Tyler Clementi. He didn’t view him as worthy of dignity and esteem. His actions reveal how little empathy was directed towards his roommate. He did not consider this gay man as anyone of value, hence, the humiliation and degradation he heaped upon this young man.”

    It’s worth noting that someone who grew up in the same town as Dharum Ravi said he had a reputation there for carrying a joke too far to the point that nobody else thought it was funny. Apparently he was an equal-opportunity asshole in high school and there is every reason to believe he was the same thing for his several-week-long college career (don’t know if he eventually went to another school but it would be difficult to do with a trial coming up). He probably would have treated any roommate as badly.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Maybe your God laughs, my God never said a word about gays the entire 33 years He was on this planet. Biblically illiterate bigots cloak their own hatred in poorly interpreted scripture and say horrible things, in God’s name. I would rather be holding the hand of a woman than holding a sign stating whom God hates. Your words are unsubstantiated.

  • 1equalityUSA

    B, I like the subtle sense of humor you have. “Several-week-long college career” and explaining things with a nuanced, matter of fact irony. Especially appreciated are your dashes of Latin…”flagrante delicto” and persistent parsing of posts. You’ve grown on me, B.

  • LadyL

    @Derek Williams: (sigh) Acknowledged. And good point about what might really have been motivating Ravi to spy on gay lovemaking. It would figure, wouldn’t it, if this turned out to be essentially another self-loathing closet case story, albeit with international overtones.

  • shannon


  • Derek Williams

    @shannon: Rehabilitation and repentance are the way forward, not racist spite and vindictiveness towards this 20yo kid who was only behaving the way he was brought up to behave towards LGBT.

  • Derek Williams

    @shannon: Rehabilitation and repentance are the way forward, not spite and vindictiveness.

  • Jaroslaw

    Derek Williams – Your writing style is impeccable and your points are worthy of consideration. But 20 days doesn’t leave time for repentance either. He needed some serious time to consider his backwards culture (at least as it relates to Gays) and to be reminded he is a guest in this country. There is some racism here, but most people just feel conviction for 15 crimes including tampering with a witness, you are not in the real world accepting 20 days as sufficient. I’m not suggesting anywhere near 10 years, but I think a year would have been good. I don’t know how wealthy his parents are, so the fines may or may not be a deterrent. The fact he hasn’t apologized yet and his mother screamed to a CNN or MSNBC camera that her son had suffered enough (in front of Tyler’s parents no less!) does not bode well for his “rehabilitation and repentance.”

  • Jaroslaw

    Forgot to add I doubt if he will be “followed” around with this felony for the rest of his life. He could probably return to India, change his look and name and come back. Certainly people elude Interpol all the time doing such things.

  • KyleW

    @Jaroslaw: He’s not a guest. He’s been here since he was young child, and in terms of fees and taxes, his family have probably contributed as much to America as anyone.

    So what is he supposed to spend a year in prison considering? How childish pranks played every day sometimes go badly wrong, or leave you vulnerable to accusations of murder in the suicide of a mentally unstable man?

    I think Ravi’s actions were reprehensible, but imprisonable? No, and as for him trying to cover the “crime” afterwards, I think that’s an inevitable consequence of the huge public reaction against his behaviour. If I had played a stupifd prank that went tragically wrong and suddenly millions of people were baying for my blood, I’D try and cover it up too. It always pisses me off that people get upset by stuff like witness tampering etc. No guilty person would GO TO TRIAL if it was a realistic expectation that they would just put their hands up and accept their guilt. This is no more a facet, than his lawyers trying to depict him as innocent when they know he wasn’t. It’s lies and deception.

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