Brock Turner is a rapist.
Lucky for him though, he’s a man, and he’s also white.
20-year-old Brock Turner and his father Dan, think 14 years is a really high price to pay for raping a person. Especially if that person is a woman. And doubly so if she’s unconscious.
After raping a person, his father Dan couldn’t help but to point out just how much of a hard time Brock would have following this rape incident.
Because now Brock wouldn’t be able to use that new grill he’d just bought, his father lamented, and that was simply devastating! The circumstances were “unfortunate,” Dan Brock said. Such a hefty price to pay for “20 minutes of action.”
Barely making it through Dan’s full statement, I had no choice but to conclude that he has no f*cking idea what “unfortunate” means.
To be clear, dropping loose change in between your car seats is “unfortunate,” having your hair stylist cut just an inch more than you were expecting is “unfortunate.” Not making it back to your car in enough time to intercept the ticket that the douchebag meter dude is giving you is quite “unfortunate.” But rape-rape isn’t “unfortunate.”
Rape is reprehensible. It’s vile, it’s terrifying, it’s gruesome.
The judge in this case, Aaron Persky, a Santa Clara County superior court judge, is a Stanford alumnus and is now facing a recall campaign. In other words, people want him gone. One of those people happens to be a Stanford Law professor by the name of Michele Dauber. She says that the judge bent over backwards to accommodate the young man.
“Obviously, the prison sentence would have a severe impact on him,” Persky said in court. “The defendant is youthful and has no significant record of prior criminal offenses.”
Ahhhh yes. To be youthful and to have no record. That must mean if Li’l Jay Jay from South Central Los Angeles is brought up on rape charges that he’ll get the same kind of consideration. That’s how the law works, right? We care about how prison sentences affect EVERYONE. DON’T we?
There are three very real, and very dangerous dynamics at play here: Whiteness, Male Privilege, and Social Class. Dan Turner’s statement reveals a combination of whiteness and affluence, but he made sure to follow up with the male privilege portion in another part of his statement.
Dan said his son planned to use his time on probation to educate college students “about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity” so that he could “give back to society in a net positive way.”
(The victim is the promiscuous one, of course.)
It’s only very recently that we’ve been able to even see Turner’s mugshot. Thanks to Diana Prichard, a filmmaker and journalist based in Michigan, the photos are finally circulating. According to various sources, Prichard published a formal request she made Monday afternoon to Stanford public safety, rebutting point by point the arguments she said the university had made to decline her requests for Turner’s mugshots.
I doubt it would’ve taken that long to get a hold of a Black attacker’s mugshot. Yet, for Brock, there was no mugshot. Just tales of a 20 year-old Stanford student who was an excellent swimmer, and had really big plans for his future-including using that brand new grill his dad bought. Oh yea, and we knew he had a really creepy smile. Thanks to that picture that was plastered everywhere. That stupid, smiling picture.
It’s my hope that this can be a wake up call for those who need it. That we can finally understand just how little women are valued, and just how many loopholes people will jump through to silence them. It wasn’t enough that Turner’s victim was raped in an alley in the back of a frat house, beside a dumpster. It isn’t enough that she had multiple swabs inserted into her vagina and anus, needles for shots, pills, a Nikon pointed right into her spread legs, as she put it. Let’s just forget that she feared telling her boyfriend and parents that she’d even been raped, denying to herself that it even really happened, for quite some time. It didn’t matter. Her assailant was white, he was a man, and he was rich. That absolved him of accountability.
So while Brock Turner spends the next 6 months in jail, don’t forget to write your cousin Pookie or Pedro who are currently serving life behind bars for selling weed. Isn’t it clear what and who we really value in this country? Isn’t it time we say “enough?”
Read the victim’s entire statement here.
To sign the petition to have Judge Aaron Persky removed from the bench, click here.