Know Your Audience
It has always struck me as odd that members of the Vantrease and May group would post comments on this blog. Other than perhaps inciting a reaction, what is the purpose. They’re playing to the wrong audience. Just as it would not be wise to go to the Apollo and make racist jokes, it holds true in this case as well.
Some might remember the failed attempt by Austin’s sister to start a public blog and FaceBook page (again, this is just really bad foresight). For me, I viewed this very small group for what it was… family and a few remaining friends. They picked their side. Contrary to every fact that screamed otherwise, their mind was made-up.
On the other hand, the rest of the country and a jury lined-up differently. I will say this, though, the line in the sand was not of this group’s doing. We are not looking for a fight. Fights have consequences (for some who might not get it, this is called “hindsight”). For me, at least, I just want them to go away. Austin, on the other hand, has some obligations he needs to tend to first. Then I’d like to hear no more of him.
Ryan Supporter vs. Vantrease Hater
I thought a bit about a comment that was made that some of Ryan’s supporters soiled a car. This just doesn’t seem to ring true. On this day (sentencing) all of Ryan’s supporters who could attend were in the courtroom. Our family does not surround themselves with people of this low character. If it were done (and I still highly question this) I feel comfortable saying it was not from anyone associated with us. If nothing else, we play by the rules and rely on civility and the justice system to deem what is appropriate.
Now, here is where I make a distinction between Ryan supporters and Vantrease Haters. I have absolutely no doubt that Austin Vantrease is disliked by many people. He is evil personified to more than a few people. Clearly, Ryan is loved by thousands upon thousands (we are so thankful!). To my point, one can despise Vantrease (and/or what he has done) and not have any direct nor indirect association with Ryan. Yep, they can be mutually exclusive.For example, I hate the Una-bomber, Ted Bundy, the Boston Strangler, and Vlad the Impaler, but know absolutely nothing of their victims.
I’d be willing to bet a paycheck… wait, I no longer earn one. Allow me me rephrase. I’d bet my life… hmmm, not really worth much now outside the walls of my home. I’ll try again. I’d bet many college students, especially at WVU where one of their own was attacked, abhor Vantrease. The city of Morgantown will not be rolling out the welcome mat anytime soon. Newark, DE won’t be giving him the key to the city. The simple fact is most people really don’t like him at all. It makes no matter if they support Ryan or not.
Did that make sense to anyone other than me?
One final comment before I post this. I was told I am angry and vindictive. My response to this is “Ah, yep, among other things, that I am.”
But, really, who can blame me?
I can only imagine the advice from Vantrease’s attorney regarding apologizing or trying to make ammends. I am guessing if they do that they risk their appeal process. That having been said, a truly repentent person would say, I did the crime and I’ll do the time.
Jonathon May has served his joke of a sentence and does not now have that concern. Time for him and his family to step up and do what they are legally and morally obligated to do.
Ken, in answer to your question “who can blame you”, my answer is nobody. The hurting of one’s child is like a knift to the heart. I see the love that your family shares when I visit. The fact that you can joke with us about when I say to Ryan “How ya doin handsome” and you answer “fine, thanks”, let’s me see a small window of your ability for brief moments in time to still maintain humor, in the midst of all this pain.
To the poster that stated that you were blaming the whole state of Delaware, I am not sure what he was reading. The fact that you said Austin would not be getting a key to the city anytime soon clearly shows you are NOT blaming the state. Give our Ryan a hug and kiss and tell him “We got this”, he only needs to work on his recovery. Much Love~
Jo Hobbs says
Newark, very sorry for your loss. Many of us have been through tragedies such as this, and we can relate. Anger isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as it is kept under control. I don’t know why people seem to go nuts these days and become violent over every little thing — TV, video games, result of bullying, Satan — probably all of the above.
John Maletta says
Ken “Buddha” Diviney. Hmmm…kind of has a ring to it. 🙂
I would love to hear more about how Ryan is doing – are there any changes since he began therapy with the IBRF? Are there more changes coming with regard to medications, more testing being scheduled. Things like that – I hate to dwell on the animals that did this – they don’t deserve it. We’re all here for the Divineys and that’s got to be a hard pill to swallow for the thugs and their families/friends. Not too many people come to their defense and when they do, they ask you to remove the post – that says it all.
Colleen, I hear you. I blow off some steam from time-to-time.
I am an ardent believer in steam blowing. Again, when I was taking care of Mom–I don’t mean to intentionally harp on that–but the situation is similar–I had a relative I could blow steam with [“on”? “with”?]–that was an INDISPENSABLE help to me…
“Ken, Steam Blowing is Encouraged!”
you deserve to do that~
Jo Hobbs says
Always here. Love
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.”
Bud·dhism (bdzm, bdz-)
1. The teaching of Buddha that life is permeated with suffering caused by desire, that suffering ceases when desire ceases, and that enlightenment obtained through right conduct, wisdom, and meditation releases one from desire, suffering, and rebirth.
It is not unenlightened for a Dad to want justice for his son, or to expect those who have caused the destruction to take ownership for the injuries inflicted.
Ken will “transcend” when the “men” make amends.
When I titled this post “Who Can Blame Me?” I never expected the answer would be Buddha.
Who said Buddha blames you?
Well Ken, my anger must be having a party then (open invitation), because I am mad as hell that someone could do this to Ryan and I am one of those people that has never met any of you, but feel my own sense of closeness to you.
I can’t tell if this is supposed to be in support of Ken, or if this is supposed to be in support of Austin’s family. Either way, I really wish you wouldn’t speak as if you are the entire town of Newark, DE. That’s like 30,000 people. I’m a U of D alumni, but I wouldn’t go by “University of Delaware” as my handle.
I thought these words would be helpful. They helped me through the murder of my older brother 2 years. It wasn’t meant to anger or offend.
Jo Hobbs says
Newark, you must surely enlighten Austin by quoting Buddha’s words: “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished for your anger.” That is the reason Austin is in prison; he is being punished by his anger! Right on, Buddha!! 2-10 is not enough, and only God forgives a crime such as was committed against Ryan.
I have said before, and say it again. The person that can forgive Austin and Jon May for what they did… is Ryan, and they have taken that ability away from him… for the moment. I will continue to believe in Ryan. Personally, I don’t believe any parent has to ever forgive anything done this violent to their child. I can’t imagine the potential guilt that could lay on the parents already huge burden. How can Ken, Sue, or Kari ever look at these boys and say, “it’s okay, I forgive you” without feeling huge disloyalty to Ryan? I can forgive almost anything done to me… but to my children… no way. All I wish for the Diviney’s is not for them to forgive, but to have moments in their day where neither Austin or Jon even come into their mind. <3 RKD
Ken, when I went with you to court, we were all concerned about yours and Kari’s safety and were nervous about walking around. we tried to stay in groups and tried to avoid running into anyone from the Delaware group. When we broke for lunch, we would look inside the restaurant to make sure there weren’t any jurors or Delaware people. If there were, we would just keep walking. I remember the incident in the courtroom where someone was accused of trying to trip someone from Delaware. They were sitting behind me. There were 2 aisles in the courtroom, but only one door that we were allowed to enter. The courtroom had 3 sets of pews. The set on the left had Delaware family and friends, the center had your family and friends and interested students, and the right had press. A couple of Austin’s friends decided to move over to the press side. They pushed their away across a full pew and then complained that they were tripped. That was the same day that the press remarked in the paper that Austin kept snickering and looking at his friends when the attack was described by his witnesses. That was the group that sat with the press. I just thought I would share my memories.
Ken, did Ryan have a better night?? I sure hope so. How about you, did you get any sleep? I notice that sometimes you post at 3:00 a.m. I sign on to Ryan’s page to find out about Ryan. I was shocked and dismayed to have an ongoing dialogue with someone by the name of Kate the other day. I don’t understand what their objective is. If the Vantrease & May folks are wanting to HELP, that would be wonderful. However, signing onto Ryan’s page and causing more hurt and trouble is just wrong.
A better night! My night’s are what they are. I never really sleep… just doze. It’s like the sleep you get when ill with the flu.
Very well written and insightful post, Ken. Victims are often told they need to “let go” of the anger, but this kind of comment can be judgemental, minimizing and nothing more than an inappropriate cliche when said at the wrong time. Having your family’s entire life painfully fractured at the hands of a hot headed, morally challenged bully is not something from which one quickly recovers, *especially* when the person attacked is one’s *child*. It irks me when people point fingers at those who have been victimized and say, “they need to let it go.” Excuse me?
Unfortunately, in this case, the prospect of the Vantrease and/or May families (a) apologizing and (b) putting their money where their mouth is and making restitution, is looking grim. To expect you to be able to embrace the concept of forgiveness at this point in time is unreasonable, mainly because, neither of these families has made any overtures to acknowledge the crimes committed and to offer financial help. This obvious unwillingness to be accountable is (in my opinion) a *major* roadblock to forgiveness.
This is a shout out to “Bob,” – what do you think about that? Before you go casting aspersions, Bob — go back to the beginning of the equation and evaluate the suffering of the Divineys verses what has been done so far by either the Vantrease or May families to alleviate this suffering.
And Bob, we do not come here to propogate the hateration of which you speak. No, we come here to love and support a family whose dreams have been shattered, whose physical beings have been compromised from too much work/stress/sorrow, whose financial security has been ruined, and, whose faith, hope and joy in life has been brutishly crushed. Bob, contemplate this deeply before you make demands on Ken and his family to be all soft and sweet about the devastation of their son’s life. What Jon and Austin did to this family is atrocious; the fact that neither they nor their families are stepping up to do the right thing — *that’s* the unforgiveable part. Capiche?
Hugs and love to you Ken, Sue, Ryan and Kari. We understand all this very well, we’re here for you, and if someone gets on your family’s case, the sun’s not gonna go down before someone on Team Diviney has something to say about it.
Carla Liberty says
Paula you are SPOT ON again! I’ve long said that unless and until the attackers and their families take ownership of what happened and reach out from their HEARTS to beg for forgiveness, I bet it will be next to impossible for the Divineys to forgive them. The one thing that has bothered me from the get-go is the “gaslighting” issue you so eloquently brought up on Tuesday. Trying to turn the tables of blame is no way to win forgiveness. And Kate making false accusations of things going “unreported because they probably wouldn’t believe me anyway” is another stab in an already gaping wound their kin/friend has inflicted upon the Divineys. Haven’t they suffered enough?
I’m sure that these kids didn’t set out to put Ryan in a coma. But just because they didn’t try to doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be held accountable for the fallout. Ryan is a human being who had his life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness totally stripped away on that November night. Saying you didn’t mean to do it is a cop out. You gotta mean NOT to. And if you did it, own it, serve your time, and learn from what you did. Then do the right thing and make reparations, no matter how long it takes.
Gail Doyle says
Ken, You are entitled to any feelings you have and more and no, no one could blame you…I pray constantly for Ryan’s healing and know there are so many of us out here who do the same and wish the very best for you and your family. Hoping Ryan’s infection is getting better and the pain is gone God’s blessings to you all. Gail
Ms. Blasé says
“Clearly, Ryan is loved by thousands upon thousands…”
And that’s who I’ll choose to keep my focus on through this whole (Vantrease and May) thing.
Be strong, Ken.
Joy Beales Smith says
God bless you and your entire family. My family will continue to keep you all in our thoughts and prayers. Angry and vindictive … of course. Praying for your continued strength each and every day.
Fully appreciate your thoughts above. One thought that I found particularly remarkable is the following, “We are not looking for a fight. Fights have consequences (for some who might not get it, this is called “hindsight”).”
I get it.
Good Lord…I get it.
I hope, and pray, that Ryan, you, and all of yours have a good day–against all circumstances…