I woke up this Sunday morning to a very disturbing news piece of 20-yr old Indian Dharun Ravi being charged guilty for the suicide of his former roommate Tyler Clementi. Ravi used a webcam to spy on Clementi's relationship with another man. Later Ravi gossiped about the incident on Twitter: “I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.” Two days later, Ravi set up another viewing also inviting fellow dorm-mates. Few days later, Clementi committed suicide by jumping from the George Washington Bridge.Ravi now faces several years in jail & a chance of deportation to India.
They are several opinions being formed in this case. While Ravi's lawyers argued that the accused was a "kid" who didn't know what he was doing (at the time of the incident Ravi was 18). Some others stated that it could possibly be a case of racism where the verdict went against Ravi cause of his nationality. Another angle is that Ravi was likely to have played a similar prank had Clementi invited a girl to his room. So then it wouldn't possibly be a case of Ravi bearing any prejudice against homosexuality, right? Was he just being as naive as any another dorm-student is at that age?
After the verdict, Clementi's family held a press conference (in which they paraphrased Gandhi probably without knowing it)
"You're going to meet a lot of people in your lifetime. Some of these people you may not like. Just because you don't like them doesn't mean you have to work against them. When you see somebody doing something wrong, tell them: 'That's not right. Stop it.' The change you want to see in the world begins with you."
I have been a witness to so many such perception-building instances where we decide to like or dislike someone just by what we hear or see without actually knowing them well. makes me wonder - Why are we always judgmental towards each other? How do we build perceptions about someone we don't know? Why are we constantly typecasting/tagging labels onto people? (and don't even get me started on our own own bias intimidation against homosexuals) Whatever happened to the phrase 'to each is his own' that we love to hear when we are on the receiving end?
What sunk my heart further was that (as reported) Ravi did regret his actions & sent Clementi apologetic msgs. Sadly, it was a few minutes late. Tyler Clementi and Dharun Ravi. One paid with his life. One will pay with his future.