May 21, 2012

To the Editor:

It's sad and a little sickening that some gays, gay groups, and even the victim's parents were all calling for leniency, all of which undoubtedly influenced the judge's decision –– which is still outrageous. (“Dharun Ravi Sentenced to 30 Days in Rutgers Webcam,” by Paul Schindler, May 23-Jun. 5). Thirty days is no real punishment at all.

Why this concern for the defendant when the smug little bastard seems to have no regret at all for what he did? True, Clementi's tragic suicide may have been the result of several factors –– lack of parental support, for one? –– but how can one not see the correlation between his being videotaped and his killing himself not much later?

Perhaps if our community had called for a stronger response, the defendant might have gotten more than this offensive slap on the wrist. The judge is even letting him serve his six convictions concurrently!

Clementi's parents should sue the pants off of the defendant, but they probably won't. So a sensitive violinist is dead and a smug jerk lives on, his only lesson that you can successfully play the system and win. Anyone think he actually learned anything else?

Bill Samuels


May 25, 2012

To the Editor:

This is an injustice and an insult to the Clementi family. Our system seems to support and serve the perps, bullies, and thugs, suggesting that the behaviors of the criminals and their unlawful acts are acceptable and unpunishable. Shame on Judge Berman for being such a coward in his sentencing.

The Clementi family was seeking justice and closure, and instead they were given more heartache by a deeply broken and flawed system and by the people who are incompetent to serve.

Debbie Ciraolo


May 30, 2012

To the Editor:

Mr. Ravi still seems to be in denial (“Dharun Ravi Agrees to Begin 30-Day Sentence,” by Paul Schindler, posted online May 30). It does not matter if he picked on Mr. Clementi because he was gay, shy, not socially adept, from a lower income bracket than Mr. Ravi, or all of the above.

Mr. Ravi's actions show a propensity for bullying those he perceives as weak or different, and basic to this is a belief in his own innate superiority. Isn't that the very definition of bias?

Mr. Ravi's pattern of spying on Mr. Clementi and publicly denigrating him, which began well before their brief tenure as roommates, reflects a degree of intent, persistence, and sophistication that rises well above being ‘childish.’

I have read that Mr. Ravi had declined to apologize earlier as he feared appearing insincere. If this rather evasive quasi-apology is the best that he can muster, then he has realized his own fears. He is a narcissistic sociopath and 30 days in jail is simply not enough.

Kevin Donohue


May 24, 2012

To the Editor:

Thanks for writing about this very delicate but very important subject (“Dharun Ravi, Homophobia, and Race,” by Kelly Jean Cogswell, May 23-Jun. 5). Homophobia is homophobia, but the experience is quite different depending on who are the parties involved in the discriminatory or cruel act.

When facing a white cop, do “straight acting” white gay males perceive the event in the same manner as a black lesbian, a Latino kid? As a quite old, Stonewall-generation, Latino gay male, I have had my share of very racist actions and words from white homosexuals, both female and male, as well as from other minority groups. Laws might create the conditions for a more inclusive society but they do not solve the social dynamics that we face on a daily basis.

Gerardo Torres



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