Iron Ford
  • Are we Sympathetic or are we Sensational?
    The Duchess

    Brett Templeton
    Friday, September 9, 2016

    Brock Turner was released from jail last week. If you don’t know who that is, he’s the man who raped an unconscious woman and was sentenced to only 6 months in prison, and then only served 3 for ‘good behavior.’

    What he did should have earned him more time than that. Some say the judge who sentenced him is more lenient towards athletes, some say it’s because he’s a rich white boy. Both could be true, neither could be true. I am positive that he should have been delivered a harsher sentence than the one that was given to him.

    As with most valid arguments these days, I feel social media and sensational journalism have taken this case and made it illegitimate.

    This kind of situation indicates that something is wrong with the judicial system. People who commit such a severe crime should pay a severe punishment, no matter who they are or who they know. That needs to change. My problem isn’t with the fact that people seek change, it’s with the way they attempt to do it.

    I read an article today that said some Brock Turner’s neighbors were surrounding his home, some of them armed, with signs that read, “Castrate Rapists.”

    Why do we turn to violence and voicing our opinions so venomously rather than doing something more productive? What good is that going to do? I can think of several things lining the streets with guns will do: it will invite more violent acts.

    Imagine being the parent of a rape victim and seeing that kind of display. That would invoke a very strong feeling, probably of rage and disgust. Unfortunately, all that will accomplish is anger, which diverts focus. Wouldn’t it be more productive to try and provoke a change rather than making a scene?

    I feel like protests like these are rarely done for the right reasons. When you wave your sign around, do you do it because you really want to make a difference? Do you really think holding a gun and yelling, “kill the rapist,” will make a positive change? Or do you just want attention? Do you want people to think you’re tough? Do you want people to think you’re some kind of super hero?

    The super heroes are the ones who make the changes. And that can’t be done by standing on the street intimidating people. Changes are made by doing a lot of research, and a lot of work. Take this issue to your lawmakers, not to your Facebook feed.

    The posts flooding Facebook focus on the fact that the sentence was too light and stop there. A lesser-seen article actually points out that California lawmakers passed a bill inspired by the loophole that allowed for Turner’s light sentence. Shouldn’t that article be passed around social media to inspire positive feelings rather than just the negative ones? Changes CAN be made. We should be encouraged to make more of them. All hope is not lost, no matter what “they” want you to believe.

    Contact your Representatives, your Senators. If you want to see a change, make it, don’t just like it on Facebook. Speaking your mind helps, of course, but we can’t stop at the keyboard. We have to get ourselves involved to see a true difference. Instead of marching on Turner’s lawn, march on the lawns of those who can help you make a difference. As they say, let’s be the change.

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