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02 January 2010

Comments

CS

Let's hope there is some justice for Don Belton. I'm hoping against hope that there will be some...but the circumstances could leave some wiggle room for at least a few people on the jury. The victim was gay and black ... the defendant is a straight white guy, a Marine who "fought for this country" and was protecting his honor.

E in Evansville

@ CS:My thoughts exactly. Some of the nlocal news reports in Indiana have lead with the sexual assault claims. But the reporters are balancing this with some friends who doubt the gay rape theory.

Oh and btw i'm new to this blog, just discovered it a weeks ago. As a gay black living in largely white and conservative Evansville, Indiana you cannot believe how much the blog has become part of my day. Thanks so much.

sonofabutch

...how do you admit to killing someone and yet plead not guilty? ...anyone?

Ron

Something is fishy about this story but all of the people saying "The Don I knew...." and "he wouldn't be capable of such a thing" must have spent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the man. Unless you spend that kind of time with someone, you have no idea what they are capable of. Many lead very secret lives and are very good about covering it up. I'm not saying thats what happened here but you never know what goes on behind 4 walls when you aren't there.

Deron Xavier

>>>Many lead very secret lives and are very good about covering it up. I'm not saying thats what happened here but you never know what goes on behind 4 walls when you aren't there.

SMH. That would make a good opening argument for Griffin's defense attorney, hon, or any other gay panic case.

Do you really think a 25yo former marine with a PURPLE HEART could be sexually assaulted by a man twice his age? With back problems? TWICE!! REALLY?

And would the marine return to the rapists home...for an apology...with a 10" knife? Ya think so?

Or, maybe this is more likely...the young marine trade had a few drinks and messed around with the professor...twice..and later had gay panic? Or maybe they were messing around and the professor did something the trade didn't feel too comfortable doing?

But do you really see a 53yo professor raping and sexually assaulting a decorated much younger and much more muscular marine? Hmm?

Just a thought, hon. Just a thought.

Carlos

@ Ron: Blaming the victim much?

Rigga

Deron for prosecuting attorney!!

I don't know WHAT exactly Ron was trying to imply. This story/alibi is weak and I hope justice is served.

And, really, how can you admit to a murder and then plead "not guilty". Oh, I get it. The dead victim is not really a victim because he's gay and black; a gay black man who sexually assaults vulnerable young marines--because,let's face it, what else do gay black men do? The 25-year-old ex-marine, wielding a 10" knife, who goes around slashing and stabbing people when they don't say "sorry" is the real victim here.

Garçon Stupide

Even supposing Belton brutally raped the guy - and Belton isn't here to defend himself, and it's just a knife-wielding self-confessed murderer's word that anything happened - even supposing Belton did anything wrong, there's no justification for the appalling fate he suffered.

One other point, though: CS says, "The victim was gay and black ... the defendant is a straight white guy." That covers race and sexuality, but there's the third aspect often overlooked in these arguments (like in the cop/Professor case last year) and that's class/education/wealth.

Take away the black gay vs white regular Joe, and you're left with the wealthy elite versus the little guy.

Just a thought.

Isis

I guess this will be another case were they use the SHAMEFUL Gay panic defense. I'm like many others here who find it hard to believe a 25 year old EX-MARINE could be raped by a middle aged man. Not saying its impossible, but HIGHLY unlikely. I will wait for more info to come and I'm sure Rod will be on top of it.

RIP to the Professor and may justice be served!

Rigga

Garcon, I see we both were thinking similarly about this case: This 'victim' invokes all the tropes of race, class, age, religion, gender and sexuality, in his defense/excuse. This marine is smart enough to employ the economy of stereotype and bias, striking at the very heart of those in power, those who will likely determine his fate: white heterosexual Christians. He doesn't bother to offer more details because he figures more will not be demanded of him--and he's right!

Rigga

The set up is classic—with a gay twist. Anyone can imagine the scene: white victim (victim because the crime involves somebody white and a black man—whites are always victims in such cases); young white male victim (who is also a decorated ex-marine) rendered vulnerable upon encountering the violent caprices of a sexually molesting and predatory black male (there's one lurking in EVERY black man, you know). [N.B.: it is important that we all remember that dead black man is not a victim, but the predator, since this is the obvious implication and central aspect of Griffin’s alibi.]

Rigga

And since the predator is also gay, any man worth his salt, must defend to the death (with a 10”knife!) the respect he is due (he wanted an apology), his pride, and his manhood (for the world must be vigilant against sinful homosexual men who are always looking for any and every opportunity to ‘ruin’ and seduce some unsuspecting, Christian heterosexual man/boy?); and, lastly, the black sexual predator is older and what do we know about older gay men and younger males?( are aren’t they all freakish molesters after all? ).
With these automatic assumptions already in mind, will there a (white) juror or judge honest and fair enough to render justice? History teaches justice rarely makes an appearance in these cases.

Hoosierborn

How was this prof a "wealthy elite"? IU salaries are public info posted on their website & from my experience, IU does NOT pay a lot. This man came to IU to finally get a tenure-track job; so I doubt if he was sitting on some grest wealth.

From what I've gleaned, Griffin was recommended to Belton as a handyman by other IU faculty. Belton developed a relationship with Griffin, his girlfriend & child over the summer. Griffin invites Belton to share Christmas with his family. What happened from there makes little sense- we can only guess. My guess=threesome gone awry.
This is only about "elites" in the "town vs. gown" sense; with the age-old resentments some "townies" harbor against even the most well-meaning university types.

As for "intellectual equals"- many people loved most of us even though we were less educated, skilled, polished, whatever than they were at the time. I've loved more than one well-educated, stupid person in my life; and loved people who never held any diploma but were far smarter in many ways than I'll ever be.

Many parts of Indiana can be very lonely places for relatively sophisticated people; and there can be a strain of "anti-intellectualism", even on it's college campuses, that is very disturbing. So what if Belton was looking for companionship & possibly love in a places that some think a person of his "stature" should not have. He was human. He sounded very humane. We need more of him in Indiana; but I can understand why talented, cultured types would want to avoid Indiana like the plague. It sounds like the people who knew him were lucky to have known him.

Jamari F0x

What the hell is going on in the world? Not just gay people, but straight people are also dying in extreme numbers and brutally.

Derrick from Philly

RON,

I didn't have to spend 24/7 with Don to know that he was incapable of sexually assaulting anyone.

Don was about five feet seven, and not athletic--he must have been rather slender most of his life. Don was very "gay" and very gentle--anyone from my generation knows what I mean by that--no aggressive "butch" sh_t at all. Whether the criminal justice system and courts in Indiana understand that is another matter. He wouldn't/couldn't force anybody to do anything.

The only one of his short stories that Don gave me to read was entitled "Her Mother's Prayers on Fire." It was based on The Supremes--or at least the characters were. That's what he told me was his interest as a boy and a teenager: the girl groups of the sixties.
Do you get my f.ckin' drift, RON?

Don was very gay, and very gentle. He wouldn't use force on anyone to get anything.

Dallas Cowboy

Derrick, that's a beautiful testimony. Thanks for sharing.

Byron

Derrick, thanks. I was acquainted with Belton here at Temple.

You can't tell from the head shots we're seeing, but Belton was a physically small man. There was nothing he could do to a healthy 25-year-old Marine that couldn't have been rebuffed with a simple shove. And I'm sure he'd have been smart enough to figure out that a "no" meant "no."

Add that small physical stature to an extremely gentle nature that really came through on first meeting and the words "aggressor" and "predator" just don't wash. They just don't.

Even aside from all of that, though, if there was an assault -- real or perceived -- on the 25th, an obviously pre-meditated murder four days later is not "self-defense" and is not justifiable. Call the police.

Jamar Herrod

Indeed this is a sad story and regardless of the Griffin-Belton relationship, no one deserves to be stabbed to death. RIP Mr. Belton.

Ron

@ Everyone jumping on me for my comment...first of all I said that something was fishy about the story but didn't elaborate on the "fishy" part. Obviously the fishy was about the much younger and stronger marine in the situation. The guy's story just doesn't add up. I didn't think I needed to explain that because I figured common sense would've taken over. But there I go again thinking that common sense prevails amongst most people.

Second of all, I said I'm not saying thats what happened here in the case of Professor Belton in terms of his extracurricular activities. How did these two even know each other? Has that come out yet? The only point I was making is that we think we know someone inside out and really don't. Now what happened to the professor was horrible no matter what he did and justice should be served regardless.

Deron Xavier

"I said that something was fishy about the story but didn't elaborate on the "fishy" part."

ROFL
But you did, Blanche, you did. Quote: "All of the people saying "The Don I knew...." and "he wouldn't be capable of such a thing" must have spent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the man. Unless you spend that kind of time with someone, you have no idea what they are capable of."

You were clearly talking about Don Belton and what he was "capable of".

So very trifling. You're going to make a foolish statement, aid and encourage the gaybaiters and try to weasel out of it.

Live and learn toots! Live and learn!

Ron

Umm dipshit how about understanding the usage of the word "but" in a sentence. Something is fishy about this story "but" (i.e. moving along to make another point). The second part of the context had nothing to do with the first. Take an English course please. I don't have to try and weasel out of anything. I said what I said and if people are jumping to their own assumptions about it than its making your the ass...not me. Kthanksbye.

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