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Rutgers Webcam Not A Prank

Rutgers
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

As much as I’m bothered by the guilty verdicts against Dharun Ravi regarding ‘bias intimidation’, I’m equally bothered by all the listeners who’ve called this radio station using words like ‘joke’ or ‘prank’ to characterize the spycam incident. Bias intimidation charges, or hate crime charges, should not even exist in this country, for it is thought police plain and simple, and in America we were supposed to be allowed our stupid and wrong opinions. We just weren’t allowed to break the law. The real law that was broken here was invasion of privacy and the reasons behind it should never have been criminalized.

As far as the dismissive “oh it was a prank that got out of hand” nonsense, I can only believe this is due to lack of respect for Tyler Clementi due to his young age and the fact that it was gay sex and not straight sex. I have a hard time believing the people who called in and referred to this as only a ‘prank’ would say the same thing if their own privacy had been violated in such a manner. For instance, you’re having sex with your husband in your bedroom, and you find out that someone has placed a webcam in your window and was watching the entire thing without you knowing. Then they tried to do it more than once and tried to get others to watch too. If this were a prank, a ‘joke’, when were you going to be let in on it? No, you wouldn’t consider it a prank. You’d consider him a sexual deviant, a high tech peeping Tom, and you’d want that person prosecuted. Now if you’re argument is “this wasn’t a window; it was Dharun Ravi’s room, too”, then let’s say you and hubby were doing it in the bedroom of the home you rented, and it was your landlord who had installed spy equipment in the ceiling. After all, it’s “his very home, therefore his home TOO”, yet he wouldn’t be allowed to do such things and again, you’d want to throw the book at him.

Next time you talk with your friends and dismissively pass off what happened at Rutgers as a mere ‘prank’, question your own bias behind that stupid statement. I assure you you’ll find some.  Only I won’t press for bias intimidation charges against you.

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