Oct 01, 2010 @ 9:34 am | By TheFeministGriote | 6 Comments
Do you think that it’s your civil duty to out another human being? Well that is exactly what Dharun Ravi did to his roommate 18 year Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi. Dharun Ravi placed a video camera in the dorm room that he shared with Tyler Clementi and live streamed Tyler Clementi making out with another young man. Tyler Clementi was riddled with so much shame and shock that according to ABC news on September 22, 2010 at 8:42 pm Tyler Clementi posted this message on his facebook page, “jumping off gw(George Washington) bridge sorry”. Dhuran Ravi and his accomplice Molly Wei have been charged with invasion of privacy according to New Jersey police documents.
Now I am sure that Dharun Ravi thought it was a joke to take to his twitter page and put his roommates sexuality on the world wide web, I am sure that he thought it was extremely funny to send out a live feed of his roommate making out with another man, but what I am almost certain of is that Dharun Rhavi probably never thought in a million years that his roommate Tyler would kill himself over this ordeal. I bet Dharun Ravi doesn’t know that LGBT teens are 30-40% more likely to commit suicide according to diversityinc.com. I know that as a population we are becoming increasingly open and willing to share every parts of our lives. We tweet incessantly and alert the world of every change in our mood, lives, and jobs. We post intimate pictures of our friends and family on facebook and we watch hours upon hours of invasive reality tv to feed our insatiable appetite to know.
Bullying among children has become so rampant, case in point in October of 2009 Michael Brewer a 15 year old from Fort Lauderdale, Fl was set on fire by two other teens. 65% of Michael Brewer’s body was burned. Bullying is an issue, kids are bullied at school, adults are bullied by other adults as work, but most importantly cyber bullying is a HUGE problem. People create fake pages on twitter and facebook and not to mention these larger than life online personalities and they think its their right to say whatever they want about another person not caring if it may be untrue, damaging, or just plain old embarrassing personal information. The more technologically savvy we become the more of our humanity we lose. Children are learning to hate and prey one another from their parents, older siblings, and society as a whole. Yes, I said parents because name calling and belittling was not tolerated in my house when I was growing up. My parents did not make fun of people for sport in our presence when my brothers and I were growing up. We were taught to have compassion for our fellow man and that is how I live my life now. I do understand that children can be persuaded by peer pressure, but I really do believe that children learn to mimic and metabolize their parents hatred, prejudices, and isms.
I remember being on my HBCU campus and over hearing and engaging in many conversations about people’s sexuality. “Outing” people at my school was practically every ones minor. A fake facebook page made its debut on the campus which only existed to “out” men and women and to spread vicious gossip and lies about our fellow classmates. The campus thrived on that negativity like it was manna from heaven. That fake page had so many friends that ranged from students to staff. And of course let us not forget how now we think its cool and okay to twitpic people so they can be the perpetual butt of our jokes. When did this become okay. I remember one night someone took a picture of a young man isn’t very open about his homosexuality at a gay club and broad casted it on twitter. At the time I both laughed and cringed because I was in shock. Every time we go somewhere and see someone dressed tacky, with a horrible hairdo, or just doing something that we deem comical we pull out our camera phones and send the pictures to twitter, facebook, and MTO.com as if there is nothing wrong.
I know that some people may think that how can you equate what Dharun Ravi did to Tyler Clementi to people who twitpic “funny” pictures and to that I say because both situations show how our blatant disregard for people and privacy has gone to far. Just like Dharun Ravi did not ask Tyler Clementi’s permission to video tape him while he was making out with another man is the same way that you don’t ask the person of whom you are going to twitpic permission to publicly embarrass them. We need to stop being a nation of bullies and start respecting others rights to privacy and we need to unlearn bullying as adults so that we do not pass it on to our kids. People are dying over salacious gossip, bullying, and being pushed out the closet. When will it not be funny to alienate another human being?
Do you think its okay to twitpic people without there consent for your satisfaction and what do you think should be done about bullying among our kids?
Categories: Mind Over Chatter