Social Hate Crimes
If Tyler Clementi was straight, would his roommates have posted his sexual encounter online? (source)
I was teased in elementary school, junior high and high school and I’m sure many of you have. At that time, I pretty much sucked it up because the chant of “Sticks and Stones can break my bones but words can’t hurt me” was instilled. However, that’s not always true. Words can hurt and do hurt apparently. It all depends on how you handle the situation. I can’t imagine how bullying is for a student in this time. I had the added pressures of being accepted by others and meeting my parents expectations. Can you imagine what Tyler had to go through? This just leaves a terrible taste in my mouth and I’m deeply sadden by this.
His last words, posted on Facebook about 10 minutes before he died, were brief and to the point: “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry.” (source)
Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei (students who broadcast his sexual encounter) did violate his privacy by streaming his personal life online and hopefully this will be a lesson to many bullies out there (it’s just appalling that someone had to die out of it).
In a statement, his family said that “Tyler was a fine young man, and a distinguished musician. The family is heartbroken beyond words.”
I’m not sure whether his family knew that he was gay — maybe he didn’t want anyone to know. It’s embarrassing enough that you feel helpless. However, imagine how something that was supposed to be intimate was exposed to the entire world… How can you show your face and get over it?
At the time that I joined his facebook group, over 33,000 people joined. I was part of the LGBT Alliance at my college and I must say the best understanding comes from being educated and exposed to people who aren’t simply just like you. Maybe if Ravi and Wei had thought of how their actions might have consequences, they wouldn’t have done it. This was apparently a hate crime. I feel sorry for their parents mostly however, remember when you were a teenager? You don’t always think through your actions clearly. I think parents should teach their kids to be accepting of others regardless of their sexuality no matter how odd it might seem to you personally.
I don’t blame Social Networks because unfortunately we think everything is fair game when it comes to creating content.. Do you see a limitation to this soon? After all, after over 10 years of me blogging — they are about considering the opportunity to charge bloggers for creating content (that’s another topic).
Ravi and Wei have both been charged with four counts of invasion of privacy, the most serious of which carries a maximum sentence of five years. Bail conditions of $25,000 (£16,000) have been imposed on Ravi
What are your thoughts on this?