Imagine sending your young son off to college with the highest of hopes, and maybe some separation anxiety.
When Tyler Clementi's parents sent him off to Rutgers in 2010, the boy had hardly developed facial hair yet, from the looks of photos, and had baby-smooth, unworn skin.
Clementi was a talented violinist. Do any of your kids play musical instruments?
The , on charges related to Clementi's 2010 suicide has been all over the news for days. Ravi is on trial for invasion or privacy, bias intimidation as a hate crime, and a slew of other charges that include hindering apprehension. Ravi, witnesses said, and dormmates to (whose identity has been kept secret, as prosecutors contend he's a victim) have sex live on his webcam, pointed at Clementi's bed.
In a text message sent to a friend from high school, Ravi also said his webcam would "keep the gays away," according to testimony.
Shortly after finding out, Clementi committed suicide by jumping off of the George Washington Bridge.
With Clementi's suicide, the issue of bullying, particularly on the internet, cyberbullying, have naturally became a concern for many parents. Now we have to protect our kids not just from , but their gadgets as well.
In my judgement, the fact that Ravi went so far as to broadcast his roommate in a most private and intimate of times shows his deep desire to embarrass and violate Clementi—nevermind early claims that he set up the camera to .
Unfortunately my judgement isn't what counts in the New Jersery trial. Ravi's lawyer, Steven Altman was quoted in The Times , saying his client, “had an encounter that he wasn’t ready for, that he didn’t expect...that he didn’t know how to deal with.”
Meanwhile the prosecutor, Julia McClure stated, “He didn’t like that he had a gay roommate. He was going to use it to his advantage, to expose to other people Tyler’s sexual orientation, to allow him to be shown to be different."
Does either version really matter?
I get that this needs to be proven if Ravi is to be convincted of a hate crime. But in a cosmic sence, does it make a difference if Ravi’s act was done maliciously, or because he wasn't “ready” for that kind of exposure to a person of a different sexual orientation?
The fact that there was absolutely no respect for Clementi and his private life, whatever the motivating factor, should be on the forefront because no matter the established movitive, the effect of the act will always be the same.
Terrible, unconscionable, immutable and tragically the same.
Additional reporting by .