Judge Glenn Berman sentenced former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi to 30 days in the Middlesex County jail, three years of probation and 300 hours of community service for intimidation and spying on his gay roommate Tyler Clementi. According to the Star Ledger account of the sentencing hearing, the judge said, “This individual was not convicted of a hate crime. He was convicted of a bias crime and there’s a difference. I do not believe he hated Tyler Clementi. He had no reason to. But I do believe that he acted out of colossal insensitivity.”
So there you have it, “colossal insensitivity” is a crime in America. If this is the standard by which individuals are to be convicted and sentenced to do time in the hoosegow, then TSA agents and their supervisors are guilty of colossal insensitivity each day as hundreds of thousands of airline passengers are groped and sexually abused on the way to their flights.
Where is the moral outrage from the individuals who have been calling for Ravi’s head since and a long prison sentence he was arrested? Why is it OK for government goons to put their hands on the private parts of men, women, children, and the disabled? But the propagandists tell us the terrorist are out to get us and we therefore must succumb to the most intrusive invasion of our persons and allow the federal agents to systematically violate our Fourth Amendment rights. Nonsense.
Like virtually all polices of the welfare-warfare state, the “war on terror” has replaced the Cold War to keep the people fearful and supportive of the military-industrial-congressional-consultancy complex—which showers hundreds of billions of dollars on contractors and the Pentagon.
America has spiraled into collectivist, anti-free speech, and politically correct fortress. Although the sentence Ravi received could have been worse, he never should have been charged with a crime in the first place. Rutgers should have dealt with Ravi’s “colossal insensitivity,” not the courts.
If insensitivity is now the standard by which the law can convict individuals of egregious behavior, then let’s start charging and convicting virtually all politicians and their agents for their assault on the America people’s civil liberties, starting with President Obama and members of Congress who voted for the National Defense Authorization Act.
Murray Sabrin is professor of finance at Ramapo College and blogs at http://www.MurraySabrin.com.