It amazes me that here we are in the year 2010 and I am about to write what I am. One would figure that in this day and age, people are still being ridiculed because of their sex, race and love interests. Why do people feel that it is ok to judge those around them for what they choose to do with their own lives? These things do not affect anyone but the person choosing to do it. What makes it okay to pick on, bully, terrorize and embarrass people to the point of wanting to kill themselves? Sadly, so often, these tortured souls often go through with it. More importantly, how does a parent instill in their child the ability to hate so deeply and with so much conviction?
In the past month, five teenage boys have reached the lowest point a person can reach and taken their lives. The common denominator: all five were homosexual. These boys, ranging in age from 13-19, were picked on, put down, pointed and laughed at to the point that they felt the only way was to end all of their suffering, indefinitely. These boys were essentially babies. They had hardly lived, much less has the chance to love. I cannot imagine the despair and depression these boys were feeling. Why is it that no one told them there was always someone to go? How come no one made them feel that they could talk to someone about anything? What was going through these boys minds when they decided that killing themselves was a better option than talking to their friends, parents, family members?
No one deserves to live as if they have nowhere to go and no one to turn to in a time of crisis and need. There is not a soul on this Earth that deserves to feel that lonely and desperate. There is never a reason to teach your children to make anyone feel that way either. I am sure plenty of people would like to say that these boys were responsible for their own deaths since they took their own lives. I say that is bull! Society is responsible; a society full of people who feel it is okay to tell their children that all people are not equal or deserving of love; a society of individuals that has taught their children to hate anyone; a society that degrades those who are different. These boys were made to feel that they had nowhere to go, no one to turn to and no other way out to avoid being bullied. Five beautiful lives wasted.
The most recent of these deaths was an eighteen year old college student. All he wanted was a little privacy in his dorm room to enjoy his lover. His ignorant and careless roommate decided to turn him into a freak show. This kid had NO right what-so-ever to record anything that Tyler Cleminti was doing. Dharun Ravi not only recorded this private moment, but posted it to the internet as well as tweeted about several other instances involving Clementi and a partner. The one thing I understand less than anything is why Ravi thought it was okay to make Clementi his object of ridicule. Why was this situation funny or entertaining to him? Most importantly, what does Rutgers University plan on doing to rectify this situation. Keep in mind, I use the word rectify very loosely; there is nothing that can be done to make this any better.
The other four boys were under the age of eighteen. Justin Aaberg and Billy Lucas, both 15, and Asher Brown and Seth Walsh, only 13, all four ended their own lives after being bullied in high school. Babies who never truly had a chance to experience life and what true love means will now never have the chance to do either. I can only imagine how their parents feel. What, if anything, could anyone, especially them, have done differently to make these boys feel that suicide was not the answer? Life sucks in high school for most students. It was just that much worse for these boys. Why did no one tell them that once they were in the real world, although not perfect, life would have gotten better? They were fully capable and deserving of finding true love, great jobs, having families, and living wonderful, fulfilling lives. At some point in adulthood they would have come to realize that all of the ridicule had only made them stronger, all of the people who ridiculed them would learn to shut up, and that even if they didn’t, their opinions did not matter! It pains to me to know that no one ever told these boys that or tried to convince them of it.
Several Gay Rights activists are now pursuing a case against Ravi to convict him of murder. I do not believe that Ravi ever thought that his actions would drive Clementi to such drastic measures. I do, however, believe that he should be held accountable for what he did do. Action needs to be taken against a man who invaded another’s privacy, sexually harassed him and downgraded his self-worth by posting his personal, private activity onto the internet. I also feel the children who bullied the kids in those schools should be held accountable. Make an example of them. Make hate crimes a priority in this nation. Education is key. Teach your children to know someone before judging. Show them that hate is never the answer, nor is ridicule. Different does not mean bad or wrong. What makes us all unique is that we have different tastes, lifestyles, hobbies and interests.