Privilege: Not Everyone gets it

 

Brock Turner’s early release causes outcry about white male privilege.

By Kitiana Adams, Staff Writer

Brock Turner, who made headlines earlier this year for raping a young woman on Palo Alto’s campus, was given a brief 6 month sentence for a crime that has become notorious on campuses around the country.

News outlets such as CNN and FOX failed to refer to Brock Turner as what he stands to be today, a rapist, and instead read “talented Stanford swimmer,” subliminally masking his crimes.

The People v. Turner case caught the public eye after a tear jerking letter surfaced online from the young woman Turner violated, vividly describing the horrific account. Considering what took place early last year on Palo Alto’s campus, those with sympathy for the victim hoped for justice that wasn’t received.

Around the same time as Turner’s case made national news, two young men were being brought to justice for committing the same crime: Corey Batey, a 19 year-old African American Vanderbilt football player and Kyle Vo, a 19 year-old Asian American student from West Chester University. Batey is facing a 15 to 25 year sentence for aggravated rape of an unconscious woman yet his football statistics were the last thing that helped describe him. Vo was sentenced to 6 years in prison along with 5 years of probation but all that accompanied his description was a mug shot.

Presiding Judge Aaron Persky felt that a lengthy sentence would leave a “harsh impact” on the young and talented swimmer’s life. Not the victim’s life but the guy who violated the intoxicated woman. This mishandled case presented something still prevalent in today’s society- white male privilege.

Turner may have to deal with  being a registered sex offender for the rest of his life but that’s a decision he made himself. The victim herself has to cope with reality, remembering that she was violated by this unforgiving, soulless, young, less of a man who was given a slap on the hand. Not only should he take full accountability for his actions, but he should also be locked up along with Batey and Vo. If justice was brought for the victims in the other two cases, then justice should still be sought for Turner’s victim.

How does Turner’s crime differ from Batey and Vo- it doesn’t, except in the eyes of Aaron Perksy and Brock’s father, Dan Turner. “A lengthy sentence is steep for only 20 minutes worth of action” were the exact words from a letter Dan wrote to the judge on the behalf of his unapologetic son. It’s more than clear that Dan lacked in a certain area of his parenting skills, forgetting to teach his son about the word “no” and the importance of that word. A “lengthy sentence” is exactly what he deserved in the first place just like Corey and Kyle were given.  So what kept him out of a prison cell- maybe it was his “incredible” swimming stats, but more likely it is the fact that he was a promising student from Stanford who was a “clean cut” white guy that came from a wealthy family.

If a long sentence would cause such a harsh impact on that young man’s life why weren’t the same concerns shared for Corey who’s preparing to face a lengthy sentence for penetrating an unconscious woman in a dorm room on Vanderbilt’s campus. It’s the same crime, Turner needs to serve the same time.

 

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