Mar 132012

I’ve been following this trial closely.  The jury begins deliberating after today’s closing arguments.  In a nutshell, Dharun Ravi is accused of spying on and intimidating his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi, who later killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.

I find the defense strategy of saying that Ravi was worried about his belongings being stolen or that he was just acting immaturely to be utterly ridiculous.  While those things may be true, it’s clearly indicative of a bias.

I highly doubt that Ravi would have been concerned if his roommate were having a female guest over.  Would he have tweeted about Clementi spending time with his girlfriend?  Would he have tried to organize a “viewing party” if the encounter were heterosexual?  I think NOT.

There is no excuse for what Ravi did except bias.  If we remove all genders from the equation, one person doing that to another is wrong by all definitions.  I hope the jury finds him guilty of everything with which he’s charged.  There is no room for bias in today’s world.



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 Posted by at 10:09 pm

  One Response to “Rutgers Bullying Trial”

  1. I’ll preface this with the fact that I knew Tyler Clementi. Not very well, but I play vilion in the community orchestra that he participated in while a high school student. When they say he was a talented vilionist, they are not just saying that out of respect for his memory. He was AMAZING. Had he chosen to pursue music performance as a career, he would have had a future in it. He did not, actually, intend to do so which reminded me of myself (Not because I was that talented, but because I was determined to keep music in my life as a purely recreational activity I didn’t want it to become a job since the world of professional music is intensely competitive and unforgiving). Tyler was incredibly shy, but really sweet. I sat with him a few times in rehearsal and teased him that he was making me feel old because he was practicing pieces I had played 10+ years ago in high school and college, at at level MUCH higher than I had ever reached. We were all really shocked when we heard what happened. It was really surreal to watch it become national news, with celebrities and news anchors mentioning his name and showing his picture. So I know what you mean about it feeling close to home.In terms of what happened, I obviously wasn’t there, but I don’t think the act of recording Tyler and invading his privacy was an act of homophobia or a hate crime. It sounds like the crime of an horrible, nasty, entitled spoiled brat who would have ridiculed his roommate just as easily had he been fat than had he been gay. Do I believe he should face consequences for the heinous invasion of privacy? YES. But he did not take Tyler’s life, nor do I believe he had specific anti-gay motives. I think his motives were to ridicule and embarrass another human being to make himself feel superior. I find people like that disgusting. I agree that hate begins at home. But I don’t think Ravi’s problem was as much about being taught to hate as much as not being taught how to treat another human being with respect and dignity. Even when you don’t like them. The notion of hate crimes makes me uneasy sometimes, because hurting/killing another human being is just as wrong if it is done for reasons we deem as hate . The damage is still done, lives are still lost, and families still mourn. Recording/broadcasting a gay roomate’s sexual encounter is no more wrong than recording/broadcasting a heterosexual roomate’s encounter, IMO. So yeah, I’m disappointed. I would have imagined that this level of invasion of privacy would have alone carried bigger consequences. But I’m most disappointed that we won’t know what kind of great things Tyler could have accomplished. He deserved better. Things would have DEFINITELY gotten better for him.

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