The Corner

Being Nice to the Pets

I’ve said what I wanted to say about the Dharun Ravi trial: a trivial instance of student misbehavior raised to the level of Grand Opera just because the offended party was a homosexual. In a sane country the whole thing would have been dealt with under college disciplinary procedures. In the mad, mad, mad, mad country we actually live in, it has provided employment for legions of DAs, battalions of lawyers, judges, jurists, and commentators. The offender was hit with 15 felony-level offenses, which were then broken down into 35 questions the jury had to decide on, most of them couched in Old Church Slavonic.

On Count 8 of bias intimidation, the jury must decide if the attempted invasion of privacy on Sept. 21, 2010 was attempted to commit the offense of invasion of privacy with the purpose to intimidate Clementi or M.B. because of their sexual orientation; if he committed the offense knowing the conduct constituting invasion of privacy would cause Clementi or M.B. to be intimidated because of sexual orientation; or if he committed the offense under the circumstance that caused Clementi to be intimidated.

Even that was not enough for “the LGBT community,” which is miffed that Dharun Ravi is not going to be boiled in oil. Loathsome snickering creeps like Andrea Peyser at America’s Newspaper of Record are crowing at the prospect of Ravi being raped in jail.

Ravi, a serial gay basher and insufferable jerk – and, very likely, a closet case . . .

Whom did he bash, Andrea? When? And “closet case”? So you think homosexuality is a medical condition? Interesting. And your evidence for Ravi being a “closet case” is . . . what? Or can we now throw evidentiary standards to the winds when a PC witch-burning is being set up?

To add insult to injury for us immigration restrictionists (a plurality of Americans, though you’d never know it from the MSM propaganda), we now hear that Ravi may be deported back to India. That’s great: Our streets are infested with illegal-alien gang-bangers whom apparently no one has any interest in deporting, yet Ravi gets the full attention of ICE.

Does anybody believe, does anybody believe, that we would have heard of this case but for the fact of Tyler Clementi being homosexual? Where is the equity here?

There isn’t any. Homosexuals have been designated a pet group by our law-school and administrative elites. Because of past “oppression” and “discrimination,” they are deemed to be so enervated and demoralized that equality under the law simply won’t do for them, any more than it will for minor children. They require special attention, special protections, special laws (“bias intimidation”).

I had supposed that this infantilization, this noblesse oblige, was just a project of the elites, a way for them to advertise their high moral tone to each other. Surely, I thought, ordinary Americans would never swallow this dreck. The Dharun Ravi jury verdict on Friday woke me up. These gibberish nostrums are now common coin. You too can condescend to homosexuals and feel good about yourself!

The story on page 7 of America’s Newspaper of Record today is, it seems to me, related.

A Manhattan mom who was nearly killed by a thrown shopping cart broke her silence yesterday to thank the brave teen who tried to help her — and even worry about the two punks behind the cruel prank.

Blind in one eye and still struggling with other physical issues, charity worker Marion Hedges walked with her father outside her family’s Upper West Side apartment as she talked about her horrific ordeal.

Hedges was standing under a ramp at the East River Plaza Center parking lot outside a Target when a shopping cart, pushed by the pair 50 feet above her, crashed down on her head.

It always makes me squirm when a victim of some wanton act of savagery expresses concern for the perps. I can’t help but notice, too, that these generous acts of forgiveness always go one way: from an unprivileged, non-pet-group citizen to a member of a pet group. The pet group in this case is young black kids.

There were a lot of things in [the two boys’ lives] to bring them to that.

Oh, yeah? What kind of things? Being born in the world’s richest big country? With free schooling, free health care, and, if the family is poor, free food?

A friend of mine lost both parents while in high school. Another was rendered quadriplegic in a rugby accident. Another (Chinese) was ripped from a comfortable middle-class home in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution to do the lowest kind of peasant work in the frozen northeast — slopping out village latrines. “There were a lot of things in [the two boys’ lives] to bring them to that”? Gimme a break.

But you see, poor black teens are another pet group, so cowed by long injustice they must be deferred to as bearing the holy mark of the victim, even when they toss shopping carts fifty feet onto middle-aged women. Tout comprender est tout pardonner! . . . so long as the pardonner arrow only points in one direction.

How about the perps? Any signs of contrition there? What do you think?

Asked whether she had gotten an apology from the two boys who critically injured her at an East Harlem mall in October, Hedges said, “I haven’t heard from them, but I wish them well.

If you’ll pardon me saying so, Ma’am (and probably you won’t, since I don’t belong to a designated pet group): You are a bloody fool.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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