Lynching is an extrajudicial execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging, but also by burning at the stake or shooting, in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate, control, or otherwise manipulate a population of people. It is related to other means of social control that arise in communities, such as charivari, riding the rail, and tarring and feathering. Lynchings have been more frequent in times of social and economic tension, and have often been the means used by the politically dominant population to oppress social challengers.
Please see the pictures below.
Dharun Ravi has been a god send for some of the elite groups in the west. This episode could not have arrived a better time as it serves multiple purposes. The primary dual purposes it serves -:
1) Sacrificial lamb to the Gay Gods/Elite: The Gay elite unlike the common gay is very much part of the western elite circles. The sustained bullying, torture and atrocities of gays in western communities have led to a pressure cooker situation where some steam needs to be let off through low risk indictments such as the Dharun Ravi episode. The gods of the gay world demand an occasional sacrifice to keep their traps shut when issues affecting the majority elite conflict with gay issues. Picture medieval Europe during the inquisitions – a witch was sought for the purpose of channeling the anger of the mob in the event of a plague or tragedy – it was never the fault of the angry god and sanctimonious church but of the witch. The witch often had special characteristics – outsider or belonging to a small group, potential threat to church hegemony (medicine woman/healer), temptation (woman) etc. Now think of the Dharun Ravi situation – brown guy who is a jock and therefore does not fit in with the gunga din meme. This brings us to the next purpose that the Dharun Ravi episode served.
2) Show “em their place: The lynchings of African Americans were also to show them their place. This episode is to show the Indian Americans their place – be good little doctors and scientists and never, ever veer off the straight and narrow path because any intransigence will get a disproportionate penalty. This was both conscious and sub-conscious (it has soaked into majority consciousness). You can see that when you read majority comments such as -:
“serves this Indian right”
“arrogance to not accept the plea bargain (which was by the way forcing Dharun to accept that he committed a crime)
The justice system might have actually done this consciously because they were furious that this fella did not roll over like a dog and accept the plea bargain. How dare this lower human refuse the crumbs? And so what if they were pinning crimes on him, he did not commit, how dare he not accept? Accept or you will be screwed and it will be a lesson to your kind (pretty ominous, right!).
The jury probably subconsciously as self-righteous accomplices to the lynch mob. They got an outlet to teach this brown boy a lesson (how dare he be more privileged than them – that will teach him) without appearing racist because afterall they were taking retribution on behalf of another minority (that is how they rationalized it).
This is a very powerful message to send out to people of color (and by that I don’t mean just skin color but people with a different civilizational world view – people with names like Tyrese, Dharun etc).
The rest of the minorities were probably relieved that it was not them at the receiving end. The ordinary gays despite the terror perpetuated against them over time kept quiet because the gods that protect them were satisfied and when you are terrified of being the next Mathew Shepard, you’d better keep your gods happy.