Clarence is not a role model. He’s not even human. He’s a cartoon. Some of the things he does could cause a person to get hurt, expelled, arrested, possibly deported. To put it another way: Don't try this at home.
So the locals were aghast with an incident at ODU over the weekend. Thanks to the pervasive nature of social media, now the world is aghast.
Some frat guy knuckleheads spray-painted some remarks on bed sheets and dangled them from balconies, remarks that are characterized anywhere from mildly obnoxious to criminally offensive, depending upon your mindset. Here is Deadspin's take on it, with pictures.
I have a question not just for Zman Esq and the handful of other attorneys in our GTB midst, but all of you higher-minded cohorts of mine. Here are the words that were printed on the sheets:
“Rowdy and fun [highlighting the O, D, and U]"
"Hope your baby girl is ready for a good time”
“Freshman daughter drop off [with an arrow pointing to the house's front door]”
“Go ahead and drop off mom too...”
Universally accepted as stupid, immature, and largely inappropriate, without question.
But, either taken literally or even infusing some suggestion in there, are they, as accused by many, words that espouse rape or sexual assault?
It seems to me that as we elevate community awareness and the severity of the punishment that fits rape in America, we must also elevate our caution when labeling or accusing our citizens of this crime. It's a complex issue that affected my alma mater in a case whose public opinion verdict rang louder than the actual facts or result of the case. And whether or not the UVA story was debunked last year (as predicted), the problem still exists and remains a justifiably incendiary topic. It's one not likely to fade away any time soon, simply because men have sexually assaulted women for the 100,000 or more years we have been on the planet, and we have yet to come up with the appropriate tools to fix ourselves.
As ODU seeks to mete out the proper punishment for this behavior, it's important to keep the furor within the confines of the act committed. The university has responded publicly, using the likely words "outraged," "sickened," and "will not be tolerated," But they also reference "sexual assault" and "violence against women." Maybe it's a logical leap, but as a former fraternity knucklehead, the divide our guys kept between lascivious/crude and assault/violence against women was a huge one.
Anyway, as usual, at Gheorghe we like our grammar on point and our law and order to be argued and measured appropriately -- even when the idiots committing the acts are offensive enough not to warrant much defense. I get to hear and read about this event plenty for the next week or two around town. Just lucky that way,