Friday, May 25, 2012

Lowlights & Highlights: May 26, 2012

Unless you live in a cave, you are probably aware the the sentence for Dharun Ravi - the Rutgers roommate of Tyler Clementi, whom he videotaped in an intimate incident with another man ultimately leading to Clementi's suicide - came down this week. I'm using the word sentence fairly lightly here.  Ravi faced a possible 10 year sentence which I, and many others, deemed to be far too harsh if it came to that given the charges. however, the actually sentence he received was...a slap on the wrist seems like an understatement. 30 days in jail, a $12,000 fine, 300 hours community service, and probation. To put this in perspective, New Jersey law mandates 90 days in jail for shoplifting. There are people who go to jail for far longer for simple marijuana possession.

This is what I like to call an abortion of justice, especially given how the judge noted Ravi's lack of remorse and how he offered no apology. This sentence is a stain on the justice system.


Since the last time that I posted this feature, it appears there may be a huge change happening within the African-American community. It has been reported numerous times that black people, though generally more liberal and tending to vote as such, are quite socially and religiously conservative (i.e. against LGBT equality and homosexuality). This is becoming less and less the case however. Last Saturday, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) officially came out as supporting marriage equality. This is a fairly big deal, especially given that this is the nation's oldest and best known civil rights organization. Of course, there were some naysayers but there has also been a huge positive response.

Not only this, but Outsports has been reporting that numerous people associated with the National Football League - from retired players (including former Green Bay Packer Ahman Green) to rookies (including Robert Griffin III who had a gay teammate in high school in Texas) - would have no problem with having an openly gay teammate. Many of the people that were asked were black. Perhaps the perception that black people tend to be homophobic is finally beginning to crumble, yet another bastion of homophobia going by the wayside. We have seen it with the military, we are seeing it in sports, and even in the religious community (even an increasing number of Evangelicals are in agreement with LGBT equality). Being someone who is black, I am absolutely thrilled to see this happening.

I gotta say though, given Griffin's support, it's sad to see him go to the Redskins...

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