Life Lessons

You’d have to be living in another universe lately to not have heard about the Stanford rape case. I am so saddened and horrified by this. The fact that it happened at all is horrific in it’s own right, but the pathetic tripe that has come from both Brock Turner and his father, Dan Turner, make me alternatingly nauseous, furious and just sad. I’m not entirely surprised at the crap from Brock, he’s young and stupid….and by the things he has said publicly, he’s validated just how stupid. Most of us are a product of how we were raised, and it appears that Brock isn’t any different.

His father sent a letter to Judge Persky, asking for leniency since he’s a good kid, never been violent, etc. Now I could understand that if this were about shoplifting, TP’ing public property or some other nuisance crime. But it’s not. This was a horrific crime that violated another individual. If you haven’t read the victim impact statement, please take the time to do so. Her letter is 12 pages long, and I promise it will touch your soul, and speak to you in ways you wouldn’t have thought possible. I didn’t get through the first few paragraphs before I started to cry. This should be mandatory reading for every high school senior and college freshman, man or woman, for anyone who has ever gone to a party and had too much to drink, for everyone in college now and for everyone who thinks “if she isn’t saying ‘no’ then it’s ok” so they understand how wrong that is. Maybe just mandatory for everyone. Period.

Dan Turner is a prime example of what’s wrong with white privilege and why we even have that phrase in our lexicon. Oh, how I wish we could rid ourselves of it in this lifetime! But as long as there are fathers like him out there, we can’t. Fathers that write to judges, pleading for leniency for their sons who rape, saying how it’s changed their life, and now he can’t enjoy his rib-eye steak. His life won’t be the one he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. Here’s an eye opener for you Mr. Turner – his victim’s life is forever changed. She probably isn’t eating well or sleeping well, and no longer enjoys her favorite things.  Her life will never be the same, and won’t be the one she dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve either. She’s been violated, first by your son, then by the hospital where she was examined, in court where she testified and had to relive it all over again and be re-raped by your son’s attorney, and finally by you. All because your son didn’t have the balls to say “guilty as charged” and accept the punishment due him, and because he had daddy to ask the judge, a Stanford buddy, to go easy on his little boy. I’m sure you’re heart is breaking too, your life changed in that moment, so did your wife’s. You’ll forever be known as “that rapist’s parents” and that’s probably not how you ever envisioned the rest of your life. You didn’t ask for it, true, but…and here is the caveat…what did you teach your son about women? Did you teach him to respect himself as well as others? To be courageous in the face of fear? To stand up and say “no” when it really counted? Did you teach your son to be the one to stop on his bicycle, when he saw something wrong in an alley and do the unpopular thing, perhaps risking himself, to take care of someone else because it was the right thing to do? Or did you just laugh off his drunken high school escapades with “boys will be boys”? Maybe ground him for a few weeks, or take away the keys to his Beemer? Or perhaps punish him by telling him that he couldn’t go on a trip for spring break? And Mrs. Turner, you’ve been silent on this, I would imagine as a nurse, there has got to be some measure of shame you must be feeling; after all, part of the Nightingale Pledge says “as a missioner of health, I will dedicate myself to devoted service for human welfare.”  Yet your son was anything but, when he acted like an animal. But you helped raise him, did you not? So don’t you also have some accountability in this? I find it hard to believe you sat idly by and never voiced an opinion, never contributed meaningfully to raising your son by teaching him any kind of values, so it logically follows you must have also influenced the person he has become in some way. Did you turn a blind eye to his escapades and just not punish him? Let yourself be convinced by a charming liar that you didn’t see what was really there?

For the sake of the victim, it’s time that Brock Turner stops saying anything at all about himself, unless it’s to say “I have done a horrible wrong to her. I can never make it up to her. ”  Then shut up. And Dan Turner should either say nothing, or if he feels compelled to speak, say only that “my son did a terrible thing and should have accepted his punishment, I’m sorry I interefered”. Then shut up. There is nothing else either of them can say that can justify it, mitigate it, relieve it, erase it or reverse it. Nothing. Don’t get a publicist, don’t have your lawyer speak for you. Just apologize, shut up and for the victim’s sake, go away.



2 thoughts on “Life Lessons

  1. Years ago there was a gent that I admired a great deal, a Southern comedian as it were. He was a man of great humor and great wisdom. You may remember him, Jerry Clower. I never tired of listening to his routines and commentaries. Funny as well as true, sometimes bitingly so. Each way.

    My favorite saying of his is this: There are a great many people who are educated far, far beyond their intelligence. The first time I heard him say that, I adopted it as my own.

    That saying is applicable here, is it not? I miss Jerry. The ones he was referring to, not so much.


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