Unless you have been unfortunate enough (or possibly fortunate?) to be disconnected from the internet over the weekend, chances are you've at least heard of YouTube video game celebrity Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg who goes by the name Pewdiepie, using a racial slur during a streaming session. The reaction to this has been mixed to say the least. It ranges from calling him a racist and demanding his channel be pulled to saying there's nothing wrong with using the N word and that everyone does it. The latter line of thinking is bad enough but the centrist point of view that he's not a racist, just an asshole who made a mistake is an even more dangerous line of thinking.
If you've been wondering what the social media hashtag #NoConfederate is about or just had some questions about it check out the interview with one of it's creators Lauren Warren.
So I've watched most of 13 Reasons Why (I had to stop) and gave it time to digest so here are my full thoughts regarding it. Spoilers I guess. CW: Rape, suicide.
Let's talk about so called ally-ship for a second. This is directed at people like me who enjoy every privilege possible. I am a cishet white male from a fairly well off area with a good family. I don't have much to worry about under a Trump/Republican Presidency. Yet I do fear for my friends and family and even people I don't know directly who are part of the already marginalized groups that Trump has attacked. If you live a life like mine it's easy to look for reasons to dismiss people who are crying out in pain. "Well I don't have it that bad, I don't really see it, I wouldn't react like that, so it's clearly not a real problem". Even the idea of "Well my black/disabled/latinx/LGBTQA/AsAm friend says there's no problem so it's not a problem" is wrong, you're essentially using them as a shield for your own bigotry (ignoring/talking over voices is just that even if you aren't directly attacking) and ignoring the millions of others who are trying to tell you its a problem, but I digress. This isn't directed as those people, while I do hope they read this and maybe see what they're doing even indirectly is causing people harm, I doubt it. I will be dismissed as a cuck SJW who has white guilt or whatever buzz words are cool these days among that crowd. No this is directed at the people who see themselves as allies to those people and causes.
Letter from the victim
Ok, I'm mad so I'm going to try to be as concise and clear with my thoughts as my rage allows. I apologize for any ranting or tangents.
First off all let me start at the bottom. There is absolutely nothing respectful about this letter. Respectful would have been to convince your rapist son to turn himself in, to apologize to his victim, to actually take responsibility. Respectful would have been to teach your rapist son not to rape. So do not sign this as respectfully, you lack any sort of respect or decency by even thinking about writing this letter.
Now let's go through the letter itself. First of all everything that you say that he's "consumed with worry, anxiety, fear, and depression" is directly because of him raping a women. What about her fear? Her anxiety? Her depression? Brock can't eat his favorite foods? Oh how harsh. You call it a "steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action" That is one of the most vile, reprehensible, disgusting, and morally repugnant things that has ever been said. You treat the fact that he raped a women as a normal behavior. Except you get even worse when you say he was never violent not even on the night of the rape. Rape is violence. It is a violent act, it is not about sex it's about power and conquest. He is a violent person and a rapist, accept it. He did this do himself. He made a conscience decision to insert himself into a women without her consent, lie about it, and try to shift responsibility for it. He has to register as a sex offender because that's exactly what he is.
You raised a rapist, and maybe if you had come out and denounced the actions, or had tried to push for some accountability, or had apologized to the victim and show any sort of empathy I would be able to think better of you. If that were the case it would be easier to believe you at least did your best and tried everything you could to teach your son about consent and about respect. Except then not only during no time during the ordeal or trial did you even attempt to offer anything to the victim other than disdain. You continued to teach your rapist son that rape is nothing. You continued to show him that because he is a well off, straight, white, male, collegiate, athlete, that it means he is somehow better than anyone else. That he does not need to be accountable for his horrific actions, that all those things somehow negate the fact that he is a violent rapist.
As much as your rapist son is responsible for his actions, the blame also lies with you. You taught him and continue to teach him that rape is just a simple mistake that should be dismissed. The fact that your son is depressed and changed now (if this isn't just some sort bullshit story to gain unwarranted sympathy for your rapist son) shows that maybe despite what you've taught him, maybe perhaps somewhere deep inside there is an actual fucking conscience that is telling him what he did was wrong. At least I might buy that if he actually did anything to show that. It seems more likely he's depressed because he got caught and doesn't understand that rape is actually wrong.
You go on to say that he can do a lot of good by talking to college kids about drinking and promiscuity. Alright I'm trying to breathe here and it's becoming difficult. First of all you treat this as if it somehow negates the fact that he's a rapist. No. Community service works for nonviolent crimes or petty crimes not rape. Again rape is violence. You don't have to beat, stab, or shoot someone for it to be violent. Because you can't possibly fathom your son as being violent try this. The knife is his dick. He stabbed her with his dick. I don't know why I have to explain this to a grown fucking man, but rape is always violent, it is in and of itself an act of violence.
Next on to the actual seminars or classes or whatever the fuck they are. I see where you're coming from, you still somehow believe this wasn't actually rape it was just some college kids being drunk and promiscuous. Your son didn't rape the girl because they were both drunk. You are everything that's wrong with this world and why rape is still a persistent problem especially on college campuses. You think that the circumstances make it more or less rape. Oh they were drinking? Then it isn't rape. No, it is rape. There's nothing wrong with promiscuity because promiscuity implies there's consent. There was no consent here, this isn't promiscuity. On top of that drinking doesn't make you rape someone. Rape isn't simply a lack of judgement or a simple mistake like your seem to believe. Getting drunk and violating a women is not the same as getting drunk and peeing on a sidewalk or drunk dialing an ex. Your son was a rapist long before the alcohol came into play.
From this letter it's obvious you have never actually met someone you already knew who was raped. Or if you did you're a complete sociopath and lack any sort of ability to empathize. You write this not respectfully but because you somehow think you and your son's privilege mean he is free from blame. It is clear that you never even bothered to teach your son what consent actually means and instead instilled the idea of conquest. That everything was his for the taking, this is entitlement in the worst way. The values you instilled in your rapist son, that you continue to hold on to, resulted in a women being ruined for the rest of her life.
She may go on to live a seemingly normal life, but at the end of the day she will have to fight harder than the rest of us just to live. The only mistake she ever made was being near your rapist son. I don't why I'm bothering talking about her, since you obviously don't even care what your son did to her.
This letter shows that all you care about is sympathy for your rapist son. It demonstrates that you are either unable or unwilling to empathize with the victim. You cannot or will not accept that what your son did was more than just a simple mistake. You refuse to recognize that there is an actual victim who will never be the same. If you ever hear about another rape case on TV be it fictional or real and think "How does that happen, why would someone do that?" look in the mirror. You are the reason. Live with that every day of the rest of your life.
you get no respect here.