So Dharun Ravi was sentenced today. 30 days in prison, 3 years of probation, counseling, and $10,000 towards a hate crime program.
And I think that's probably about right. I was legitimately fearing that he would get 10 years. That would be fucking awful.
He wasn't charged in Clementi's death, and I don't think his death was Ravi's fault. Everything I know about Ravi seems to imply that he's a total fucking asshole, but we don't put people in prison for being assholes.
What he did to Clementi was certainly bad, but while he may have been the last person to hurt Clementi, he certainly wasn't the first.
People don't commit suicide from one incident. In essence, he got unlucky, being the person to take all the blame for what likely many people had done.
Because in the end, Ravi isn't the real problem, really. The problem is the society that considered it okay for him to spy on his roommate's private encounters and belittle him for them. I'm not aware of anyone telling him not to, on his Twitter feed.
I once heard of a news story about basically a woman on a bus who hit her kid for some reason, and then some other chick was like don't hit your kid that's bad, and the other woman was like bitch please, don't tell me what I can and can't do, and she called her friends to come onto this bus and shoot this chick.
So the bus gets to a stop and a number of black guys are outside with guns, a few shots are fired, no one is hurt.
Some people wanted to come down really hard on those black guys, and I don't see why.
Normal people, people born into middle-class households, don't shoot up buses. The people who did this were born into and live in a culture that considers that something that's okay.
That's the real problem, and should those guys be punished? Of course. But all it really shows is that there are wider issues that are yet to be addressed.
Same with Ravi, I can frankly empathize with the guy. I don't think I'd spy on my roommate having a sexual encounter, and I certainly wouldn't care if he was gay, but there are other things that I could see myself doing that could conceivably screw myself. I think everyone does, if you get unlucky enough.
Suicide is an incredibly personal decision, one you can't put the weight of on any one person's shoulders.
30 days in prison and 3 years of probation and $10,000 dollars certainly isn't any trifle either. And that's not even close to all the punishment Ravi has received, which have included the past 20 months of stress and seclusion, his withdrawal from Rutgers, not to mention the wide publicity his trial has elicited, causing him to have a certain infamy nationwide.
He will undoubtedly be feeling the effects of this, whatever happens, for the rest of his life.
And I think that's all we can ask. Perhaps, it'll better help him, and others like him, understand what they did to Tyler.
I frankly might have preferred no or less jail, but I thought the verdict was just.
EDIT:See, look at this guy, how do you think he would have made Tyler Clementi feel, or indeed any rather insecure gay person feel now? Shouldn't we prosecute him?