And Yes, I am posting Tyler with his violin, because I want everyone reading this to remember him that way, to remember what an amazingly talented young man we lost. I also want people to see him as a person, not as a martyr or a political pawn. Now, that being said, on to the subject of the title- his Tormentor, Dharun Ravi.
In what later became known as the Rutgers Spycam Case, Dharun Ravi invaded his roommate's private encounter with a webcam, thus, outing him as homosexual. Anyone who has ever been outed knows what that can do to you, and what it can cost you. Therefore, I personally absolutely believe that the next event- Tyler's jumping from the George Washington bridge in one of the most high profile LGBT suicides ever- had a direct correlation to what Ravi did.
However, many people beg to differ. They say that Ravi holds no role or responsibility, that what he did was a prank gone horribly wrong, that he holds no responsibility in Tyler Clement's death. I obviously disagree. For one, this was not a "prank." This was a deliberate effort, to, for whatever reason, humiliate his gay roommate. Hence, the bias intimidation charges are definitely legitimate. Anyone with a brain knows that this would never have been an issue at all had Tyler been straight. As almost anyone reading this blog knows, nobody ever humiliates anyone for being heterosexual.
But Ravi's supporters are calling us a lynch mob out for blood, and trying to paint Ravi as a sacrificial lamb in a situation that has long been out of control. To some degree, that may be true. We rarely have names, faces, and evidence to be able to prosecute these cases. When we finally get one where we know who is responsible and can prove it, we go for the jugular.
I'll be honest. I sat the fence for a minute. As I participated in Dharun Ravi's digital lynching, I wondered if I was doing the right thing, if this was just a college kid in over his head who could not possibly have known what his moment of fun was going to land him. Then I watched this video.
The kid, even after all this time, paints himself as a victim, deflects blame, and essentially shows zero remorse for what he has done. So, in short, yes, the verdict was right. Guilty on all counts, including bias intimidation. Rest in peace, Tyler. Justice was served.