Social Commentary

Poor Judegment Leads to Senseless Death

In In the News on October 2, 2010 at 2:52 am

This week, we lost Tyler Clementi, a bright, young man who was a freshman at Rutgers University.  Sadly, Clementi took his own life after learning that his roommate had distributed, over the internet, a videotape of him having a sexual encounter with a man.      

My thoughts and prayers are with Clementi’s family. How devastating it must have been to get a phone call saying that their son had taken his own life. Then, the next blow must have been truly incomprehensible—he might still be here if it weren’t for the ignorance of two, immature college students.

Was the roommate a homophobe? Or, was the roommate just a young, silly kid who wanted to have some fun at the expense of his roommate? But, in the end, it doesn’t really matter…All that will matter to his friends and family is that they have senselessly lost their son, brother, cousin, and friend. All that will matter is that their loved one is no longer here because to live would’ve been too humiliating, in his eyes.

I know there are those among us who are placing judgment—“He wouldn’t have been so embarrassed if he weren’t gay.” Maybe that’s true. But, that’s not the point. The point is that the young man was entitled to privacy, and there was a gross infringement on that privacy.

It’s just so sad that at some point in time the roommate didn’t say to himself, “Maybe we shouldn’t be doing this.” Then again, why didn’t his accomplice second guess the evilness they were embarking upon? A simple “How would I feel if it were me?” might have served to put the brakes on such a horrific deed. But, unfortunately, there would be no checks and balances.

All it would’ve taken was a little empathy and compassion. Unfortunately, bullies seem to lack these characteristics. To all the bullies: Before attempting to make someone’s life a living hell, stop and say to yourself, “How would I feel if this were being done to me?” If only it were that simple…

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