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Crying for Steubenville

It was actually a normal party scene that Saturday night, August 11, 2012:
"For the lucky ones on the Steubenville High School football team, it would be the start of another season of possible glory as stars in this football-crazy county. Some in the crowd, which would grow to close to 50 people, arrived with beer. Those who did not were met by cases of it and a makeshift bar of vodka, rum and whiskey, all for the taking, no identification needed.....'Huge party!!! Banger!!!!' Trent Mays, a sophomore quarterback on Steubenville’s team, posted on Twitter, referring to one of the bashes that evening." - The New York Times, December 26, 2012
On Sunday, March 17, 2013, two football players, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, were found guilty and sentenced to juvenile jail for raping one of the girls who attended that party while she was unconscious. They dragged her around from house to house as if she were a "toy".
"Mays was accused of assaulting her in a car on the way from one party to another, after she had already vomited and been stumbling and slurring her words. Mays and Richmond were then both accused of assaulting her again at a house party in a basement." - The Guardian
It was an ordinary party and the rape was ordinary too. The kids took photos and circulated them as part of the party's story:
"Twitter posts, videos and photographs circulated by some who attended the nightlong set of parties suggested that an unconscious girl had been sexually assaulted over several hours while others watched. She may have even been urinated on. 
"In one photograph posted on Instagram by a Steubenville High football player, the girl, who was from across the Ohio River in Weirton, W.Va., is shown looking unresponsive as two boys carry her by her wrists and ankles. Twitter users wrote the words 'rape' and 'drunk girl' in their posts." - The New York Times, December 26, 2012 
The incident was so normal that some people in Steubenville actually weren't sure what the big deal was. A blogger and Anonymous forced the world to join that conversation.

Last night (March 18, 2013) on CNN I watched Piers Morgan interview Richmond's father. He was outraged. For his son. He was sorry for the girl. But he also hoped she would eventually clear up some "misunderstandings."

Piers thanked the father and turned to the lawyer for that young man.  "I want to take this to a higher level," the lawyer started by saying.

Piers did not want to go to that level. He probed the lawyer with very specific questions. "Would you have advised your client to apologize?" As Richmond did. He said, not to the victim but to her family after the verdict: "I am sorry for the trouble I have caused you."

Indeed it was an emotional courtroom, noted the lawyer. "There was not a dry eye." (Original.)

The lawyer said that people were crying for the rapist. Piers said, "I am crying for the girl."

Not everyone is crying for her. The girl is receiving death threats - from other girls in town. Similar to another rape case in an insular community of Williamsburg, New York, the Weberman case - where the victim was intimidated by the group but would not back down.

People can't understand why the coverage of the Steubenville trial has been so sympathetic to the attackers. But I think they are missing the point. We are not sympathetic for these boys.

We are crying for our sons who seem to lack any sense of how to treat a girl.

We are crying for our daughters who have been trained to think like prostitutes.

We are crying for our schools which have become callous and brutal playpens.

We are crying for the breakdown of our families and their values.

We are crying for our loss of innocence.

We are crying for what has happened to Steubenville. Because Steubenville isn't an alien planet.

Steubenville is the rest of us.





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