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Hate meme creator confesses

Hate meme creator confesses

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Carleton student takes partial responsibility for internet harassment
A Carleton University student has been fined for creating a number of hateful internet memes targeting fellow student Arun Smith.
 
As Xtra reported in May, Ottawa police launched an investigation after dozens of homophobic image macros were posted on the website QuickMeme. Derogatory text was superimposed over images of Smith, and some messages alluded to sexual assault.
 
Raphael Deketele has confirmed to Xtra that he created some of the memes. This was first revealed during an investigation headed by Ryan Flannagan, director of student affairs. Student Affairs deemed that Deketele committed acts of harassment as defined under the Carleton University Student Rights and Responsibilities Code. 
 
Deketele says that while he regrets his actions, the memes he created did not explicitly threaten Smith.
 
“Although some of the things I said were obscene, all I did was insult him. I didn’t say that I would do anything bad to him or that anything bad was going to happen to him,” he says.

Deketele was forced to submit a written apology and was given the option of writing an essay about hate crimes and the queer community or paying a fine. He opted to pay the fine.
 
“I made nasty jokes about him. I agree that they were nasty, and I wish I hadn’t said them,” he says. “I don’t think that I should have been punished with sanctions by the university just for being insulting.”
 
Smith received the written apology on Aug 28. It reads: “Dear Mr. Smith, I would like to apologize for the seven ‘memes’ featuring your image that I posted online, especially the ones that alluded to your homosexuality. While my intent was simply to make some light-hearted jokes at your expense, and not to threaten or abuse you, it was nonetheless wrong of me to write about you in such a way on a public forum. I assure you that I will not do anything like this again, and I hope that you will forgive my indiscretion.”
 
Smith, who is the coordinator of Carleton's Challenge Homophobia and Transphobia Campaign, thinks the apology lacks sincerity and says Deketele has failed to recognize the severity of his actions.
 
“I certainly appreciate the apology, though I think it falls flat in terms of making amends,” he says.
 
Deketele, who made the university’s honour list for the 2008/09 and 2009/10 academic years, says the memes were never meant to go viral. Despite what he wrote in the apology, he blames Smith for publicizing the incident.
 
“If he doesn’t like you he will try to assassinate your character. I was worried that if I came forward he would do that, and it happened anyway. Just my luck that it only happened to me; I’m the only person who had someone rat on them. I feel bad about what I did, I really do,” Deketele says.
 
Prompted by Deketele’s apparent lack of remorse, Smith says he will provide Deketele’s name to police and seek legal counsel.
 
Flannagan says it is not the university’s place to involve authorities in such matters.
 
“As it relates to criminal matters, that is a decision for the Ottawa police,” Flannagan says. “If people want to go to the police or go to the courts, by all means; the university doesn’t have an opinion on that.”
 
Dekelete says he will not reveal the names of the other students who were involved.
 
Meanwhile, Smith has filed a freedom-of-information request with the university and says he will forward police any relevant information.
 
While Smith feels Carleton handled the situation appropriately, he also thinks justice has not been served.
 
“So long as Raphael continues to be a student, there’s still a fundamental question of my safety, whether we’re talking about my emotional safety or my physical safety,” he says. “There has to be some actual justice, and right now there is no justice.” 
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Comments

From an artilce on US conervative 'sharish'
"To be fair, conservatives often look like rank amateurs when it comes to suppressing speech. Troll through the archives of campus speech codes and you will find a level of censorship that is simply astounding – much of it aimed at protecting the tender feelings of the most easily offended person on campus. For brevity’s sake, let one small example suffice: As recently as 2010, George Mason University in Northern Virginia prohibited "any form of bigotry....whether verbal, written, psychological, direct, or implied." Try to find a logical limit to the concept of implied psychological bigotry."
ridiculous
Smith is a crybaby douche who put himself in the public eye and got made fun of. While the memes may be immature, boorish, or ( OH NO!) mean. calling this stuff a 'hate crime' is absurd and diminishes actual victims of violence. I see way worse stuff aimed at local politicians etc and nothing happens. Oops, hope you don't trace my address and charge me with a crime for calling Smith a crybaby.
Punishment
Good point Whyte. I didn't choose my words carefully. The article mentions that, "Deketele was forced to submit a written apology and was given the option of writing an essay about hate crimes and the queer community or paying a fine. He opted to pay the fine." I interpreted that as 'punishment'.
Punishment?
We have apparently convicted this young man of a hate crime without any evidence can be presented. No arrest, no charges, no admission of committing a hate crime. We don't know the memes are openly homophobic; thought experiments about racism are a waste of time. How about we worry about evidence before we think of how to mete out punishment
Thought experiment
Just for a second, imagine if the content of the memes had been racist, instead of homophobic. What might have been Deketele's 'punishement' in that case?
Doesn't anybody think critically anymore?
Just because a university or anyone else takes something seriously doesn't mean it's serious. The memes on the original articles can be interpreted as homophobic, but that'd be a stretch. I've yet to see a single explicitly homophobic meme, to be honest. The fact the site's been taken down means there is no evidence of homophobia, let alone of a hate crime.

There was a second set of memes a while back that was entirely political in nature, including the text "It's not oppression... when I do it", that got classed as homophobic as well. This has been a complete non-issue, the overreaction of a person who is used to his overreactions getting attention. It's the worst kind of demagoguery, and it's sloppy journalism to have paid attention to it for any length of time and apparently not to have fact-checked the complainant's claims.

Once again: fact-checking is not a crime or a sin, it is a good standard of practice. Can we all please engage in it before we start throwing 'hate crime' around and making a kid who insulted another kid a pariah?
Doesn't anybody read anymore?
It's like no one bothered to read the original article before commenting even though it was linked in this article.

http://www.xtra.ca/public/Ottawa/Hate_meme_creator_confesses-12468.aspx

Would the university have taken it so seriously if they had not seen the images? Clearly, these images are harmful enough for the university to have taken action.
Back on topic
Has anyone seen a single, overtly homophobic cartoon? Anyone? I don't mean one that can be taken as such, I mean one that blatantly attacks this on the basis of him being gay. How come in every article, he's the only source of the cartoons?

Not only that, but now idiots are using firearms training as some sort of indicator of mental stability. At least this kid has a demonstrable skill, and could perhaps amount to something besides a snivelling, simpering opportunist. He made a mistake, and now the radical bits of the Community are busy crucifying him--'cause this really shows off our forgiving and compassionate nature, right?

Arun's got his apology and his scapegoat--as well as a fancy, well-paying job! This has nothing to do with homophobia and everything to do with a demagogue using a homophobia scare to advance his own political agenda--Arun's failed to mention his stewardship of CHaT came after the memes, which were only reported to police a month after being taken down.

Come on Arun, if these memes are so bad, let's all see them so we know what we're talkin' about. Original timestamps on screencaps and image files, please and thanks.
Campus Newspaper covered this too.
http://www.charlatan.ca/2012/08/student-apologizes-for-image-macros/
@ Amanda and Shane
I am no side, I really am not. However, to enlighten both of your minds, sexual assault can and DOES happen to women AND MEN (and the majority of victims - 65% are gay men, and given their actual percentage in population, it's pretty alarming) and the majority of perpetrators are heterosexual men (98%) - sexual assault is not about desire, it's about power and hate and control. And btw, it CLEARLY says in the 2nd paragraph that "some messages alluded to sexual assault." Hence, clearly the memes were visual/verbal assaults that were potentially physical AND sexual in nature. Having a male body does not mean you are immune to sexual assault and women are not the only ones who are/can be sexually assaulted- open your minds please.

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