Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The carefully orchestrated environment of hatred and intolerance claims another victim


The northern New Jersey newspaper The Record today republished this file photo of Tyler Clementi "performing with the Ridgewood High School Orchestra at a benefit dinner in 2009," noting that he "was a member of the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra 2010-2011 season and had been awarded several awards and a scholarship for his skills as a violinist."

by Ken

In the national condition of cretin-based militia-like rage, we've known for some time that there were going to be real, live victims, or maybe not-so-live victims.

Concerned parents and activists all over the country have been trying for years now to focus attention on the apparently worsening problem of bullying in the schools, and there have been sporadic gains reported in some localities in establishing legal inhibitions, though even more sporadic reports of meaningful enforcement of either new or old laws. It's hardly surprising that in the climate of hatred and intolerance fomented by our noisiest and most irresponsible sociopaths, doing their best to make verbal assaults on anyone who is different in any way from their diseased version of rigid social orthodoxy -- aided and abetted by the corporate interests use the sociopaths to create an atmosphere of terror and blind obedience which they deem beneficial to those interests -- we've been hearing more and more frequent accounts of both violence inflicted on victims of bullying and, utterly intolerably, of suicides and suicide attempts by those victims.

A week ago today, a freshman at Rutgers University (New Jersey's most prestigious state university), jumped off the George Washington Bridge, which joins the states of New Jersey and New York. Today, it was reported by law-enforcement officials and a lawyer for the family of the student, Tyler Clementi of Ridgewood, NJ, that, as reported by The Record's Evonne Coutros, Nick Clunn, and Stephanie Akin, he "did so after he was secretly recorded having a sexual encounter in his Rutgers University dorm room that was broadcast live on the Internet."
The New York City Police Department said a body has been found at the Broadway Bridge, which spans Manhattan and the Bronx just east of the confluence of the Manhattan and Hudson rivers. The bridge is located about two miles north of the George Washington Bridge.

Police have yet to identify the body.

At least two people spotted a man believed to be Tyler Clementi standing on the south walk of the bridge near the New York side at 8:50 p.m. last Wednesday, authorities said.

When police responded to the walk, the man was gone, but they found a wallet belonging Clementi, authorities said.

"He was quiet,” said Johanna Nahrwold of Bayonne who lives in Clementi’s dormitory. “He kept to himself. And on campus everyone is just shocked. Nobody really knew him or spoke to him. Nothing."

Two Rutgers University students have been charged with illegally taping Clementi having sex and posting the images on the Internet.

Rutgers police have charged Dharun Ravi of Plainsboro and Molly W. Wei of Princeton with two counts each of invasion of privacy for using the camera to view and transmit a live image of an 18-year-old student on Sept. 19, the Middlesex County prosecutor and Rutgers police said.

Ravi, Clementi’s roommate, faces two additional counts for attempting to view and transmit another encounter involving the same student on Sept. 21, authorities said. . . .

Diane Wade, a violinist who sat beside Clementi in the Ridgewood Symphony, which he joined as a second violinist but was quickly promoted to the firsts (the orchestra's second-violin principal, Rob Rubin, "said he quickly realized that Clementi was one of the most talented violinists in the orchestra"), told The Record:
He was so incredibly talented -– I could not believe how good he was for such a young boy. Such a nice kid all the way around. . . . As a parent, he was the way you want your kids to be -– polite, courteous, serious about the work he was doing and a hard worker.

A statement issued by Steven Goldstein, chair of the New Jersey LGBT activist organization Garden State Equality, said in part (emphasis added):
There are no words sufficient to express our range of feelings today. We are outraged at the perpetrators. We are heartbroken over the tragic loss of a young man who, by all accounts, was brilliant, talented and kind. And we are sickened that anyone in our society, such as the students allegedly responsible for making the surreptitious video, might consider destroying others' lives as a sport. As this case makes its way through the legal system, we can only hope the alleged perpetrators receive the maximum possible sentence.

That the victim's roommate was also a freshman, just months out of high school, demonstrates once again that our high schools are not doing enough to educate their students that harassment, intimidation and bullying of other students is unacceptable in every instance. It is grotesque to think that people such as these alleged perpetrators went onto college without, apparently, ever having been taught basic life lessons of decency -- and that they made their way through the educational system before allegedly committing this unconscionable act.

Garden State Equality is currently working on a new anti-school bullying bill that if enacted, would be the nation's strongest such law. It would follow the three anti-bullying laws the state has enacted since 2002, all of which include bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. . . .

We are sickened.

The highlighted paragraph seems to me to deserve sustained attention. We have networks of "opinion leaders" in this country, many of them princelings of the national plague of Crap Christianity, who profess to espouse "family values." They need to be exposed for what they really are: hate-mongering charlatans and liars and, yes, murderers.

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At 7:36 PM, Blogger said...

Tragic story ...

I'm sure it's just a coincidence but I remembered that James O'Keefe went to Rutgers and then I heard this story ... and I just wondered, what the hell is up with Rutgers and the whole hidden camera fetish?

At 8:53 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Wow, SB, I have no idea what it means, but you could be on to something, hidden-camera-wise.


At 3:15 AM, Anonymous Michelle said...

The guys who did that to Tyler probably thought it was funny - well it was heartless, and sadistic! I hope they have some serious mental anguish over this! They should be expelled!

At 8:51 AM, Anonymous me said...

Another victim of the insane anti-sex attitudes prevalent in this country. There is no place on Earth, outside radical religious countries like the US, where people would kill themselves over sex.

His proper response would be, "Cool! I'm famous!" Instead, this. Disgusting.

True, the peepers should not have done what they did. But they can't bear the blame for the suicide.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Philip Munger said...


This is the most compelling essay on Mr. Clementi I have read. May I post it at my place?

At 12:19 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Hi, Philip, sorry I just noticed your comment. Yes, of course you're welcome to repost this! (Thanks for asking!)



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