Rutgers freshman student takes his life after being secretly video taped by dorm mate

September 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hitting the presses yesterday was the news of an 18-year-old freshman student at Rutgers University in New Jersey jumping to his death into the Hudson River. Within the days leading up to his tragic decision to do so, Tyler Clementi was secretly taped by his dorm mate having intimate relations with another male. The dorm mate, Dhraun Ravi, along with fellow Rutgers freshman Molly Wei, broadcast the video on the web, for students to check out if they so chose to.

It is NOT okay to ridicule, exploit, humiliate, and violate someone due to their nature of character. It is NEVER okay to do such a thing for any reason whatsoever. Currently, the choice that Ravi and Wei made to publicly violate the privacy of Clementi is being sought after as a hate crime. Both of their records will be tarnished with such a reputation, and they will have to live with the knowledge that what they did, ended in a shy, quiet 18-year-old’s decision to end his life. There is an exhausting amount of stories these days in which people decide that it is okay to disrespect, and humiliate someone else to get a laugh. There is no lower act of basic human decency than bullying at this extreme, because it is not funny. It’s just not.

Equally a tragedy is the fact that Tyler Clementi chose to end his life. Described in numerous articles as shy, quiet, and kind, Clementi most likely had no one to turn to. Being caught in a gay act – especially if you have not developed an assured respect for yourself due to fright, worry, and prejudice – is looked at by society as something beyond a physical relation with another person. People in the media portray public figures who have been having secret affairs with same-sex partners as scandal, humiliation, and questions develop surrounding this person as a liar, and untrustworthy. Tyler Clementi clearly felt humiliated, and possibly deteriorated after this video came out on the web. It did not take long after the video to air, for Tyler to make the drastic decision that he did.

It is never okay to ridicule another person due to something of which you characterize as a weakness. To Dhraun Ravi and Molly Wei, Tyler was an 18-year-old dorm mate caught on tape with another guy. They forgot, however, that he was as well a friend, a son, a fellow student, and also, a human being! If these things make you uncomfortable, so be it. But act upon your discomfort with respect. Clearly, these two other students had this lesson to learn, and I’m sure they will, however, in a very hard way.


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