The New York Times: It started with a Twitter message on Sept. 19: “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”
That night, the authorities say, theRutgers University student who sent the message used a camera in his dormitory room to stream the roommate’s intimate encounter live on the Internet.
And three days later, the roommate who had been surreptitiously broadcast — Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman and an accomplished violinist — jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River in an apparent suicide.
The Sept. 22 death, details of which the authorities disclosed on Wednesday, was the latest by a young American that followed the online posting of hurtful material. The news came on the same day that Rutgers kicked off a two-year, campuswide project to teach the importance of civility, with special attention to the use and abuse of new technology. [MORE]
As time passes the focus of Tyler Clementi’s suicide will no doubt become homophobia. Unfortunately, there is so much darker stuff going on in this tragic episode. For starters, how is it possible to two young people (Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei) could make it to 18 years of age without the most rudiment sense of empathy or even a basic respect for privacy? The two students thought watching someone’s intimate sexual contact was a fun prank rather than a creepy perverted act of voyeurism.
There is something terribly wrong with some of the children of today. It is almost like they have no compassion for anyone other than themselves. Think back to that video where that young man Darrion Albert was killed in a street fight. Those teens savagely tore into each other without any regard for the damage they were inflicting on another human being.
I think back to my own youth. I did all the naughty things little boys do, fights, pranks and even some bullying. However, there was something inside me that kept me from going to where children go today. What that something was, I do not know. Maybe it was fear of my parent’s retribution or perhaps it was the seeds of the Golden Rule implanted by my church. Whatever the case, the knowledge that I was harming another human being would stop me from fighting to the death, playing a prank that destroyed someone’s soul or bullying someone to the point of madness.
Tyler Clementi himself makes me wonder. I understand what happened to him was humiliating to the nth degree. However, was it really so damaging that he needed to end his life? Why didn’t the ideas of dropping out or transferring from Rutgers occur to him? What was it that made Clementi feel his live was damaged beyond the point of recovery?
Whatever the answers are, I think it is beyond time we all began to focus on what our current society is doing to our children. I fear something is terribly amiss.
Via: The New York Times