Over the past few days, the Internet lit up in flames over the extremely lenient sentencing of Brock Turner, a 20-year-old ex-Stanford student who was convicted in March for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on-campus after a frat party. Facing up to 14 years in prison, his sentence of six months in county jail and three years of probation is essentially a slap on the wrist.

Photo: NBC News
Photo: NBC News

The recently released letter written by his father, Dan Turner is a slap in the face, proving how deep rape culture and white privilege really is.

Let’s get one thing straight: if this were a Black man, even with the same credentials and economic standing as Brock, he would’ve been crucified.

Yet here we are watching as Brock Turner’s father, the probation officer, his lawyers, and even the judge presiding over this case, show more empathy towards a rapist because of his status, athleticism and credentials over the woman whose body was violated.

Dan’s letter, which was submitted to the court before Turner’s sentencing last week, was first posted to Twitter by Michelle Dauber, a law professor at Stanford and one of the driving forces behind the university’s new policies concerning punitive measures in regards to sexual assault on campus.

Public outrage soon ensued.

“His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”

Hold up.

Brock Turner sexually violates a woman and his father reduces the incident to simply being “20 minutes of action”.

Twenty minutes of action?

Am I missing something? This wasn’t consensual sex. And, 20 minutes is not a short period of time for someone being sexually assaulted. That’s about as long as watching an episode of A Different World on Netflix.

Would Dan Turner be singing this same sad song if it had been his wife, his daughter (if he has one), or his son being raped for the time it takes for an episode of a sitcom to play without commercials? I think not. And the fact that Brock’s dad fails to mention the victim and spends five or so sentences on how Brock isn’t eating, essentially turning his son into the victim, just comes off as being a tired, insulting, misogynistic mess.

He then goes on to say that incarceration is not the appropriate punishment for his son because he “has no prior criminal history and has never been violent to anyone including his actions on the night of Jan. 17, 2015.

Really? Since when has raping someone not been a violent action?

At Brock’s sentencing last Thursday, his victim read him a heart-wrenching, powerful statement that she released in full to BuzzFeed News.

After a few hours of this, they let me shower. I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.

While Brock’s father makes the case that his son’s sentencing should be minimal, the victim sets the record straight saying, “As a society, we cannot forgive everyone’s first sexual assault or digital rape. It doesn’t make sense.”

“The seriousness of rape has to be communicated clearly,” she adds. “We should not create a culture that suggests we learn that rape is wrong through trial and error. The consequences of sexual assault needs to be severe enough that people feel enough fear to exercise good judgment even if they are drunk, severe enough to be preventative.”

Brock has yet to accept full responsibility for his actions, choosing to see alcoholism and casual-sex-culture as the bigger issue here. Judging by his father’s statements, we know exactly where he gets his moral compass from. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Yet despite all of this, the statement from Brock’s victim is one of the most powerful things I’ve read, and I encourage everyone, both men and women, to take some time out and read it.

At the end of her statement, she leaves a poignant message to girls everywhere.

“I hope that by speaking today, you absorbed a small amount of light, a small knowing that you can’t be silenced, a small satisfaction that justice was served, a small assurance that we are getting somewhere, and a big, big knowing that you are important, unquestionably, you are untouchable, you are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you. To girls everywhere, I am with you. Thank you.”

Tell us your thoughts on the Turner conviction below in the comments section.

READ NEXT: You think Muhammad Ali transcended race? Nah.