Instead of the predictable thanks or celebration, a hopeful message
Topics: Life News
I’m on a misanthropic kick. I think that people are selfish and mean. I believe the truth of the Colonel Sherburn chapter in Huck Finn, that humanity is vicious and cowardly and easily swayed. And our religions are outmoded and encode the worst impulses in tribal society.
Well, below is the statement made yesterday by Joe Clementi, father of the late Tyler Clementi, after the conviction of his son’s former roommate Dharun Ravi in the hate-crime spying case at Rutgers that caused his son to commit suicide in 2010.
The statement on behalf of the Clementi family contains no thanks to the jury, no celebration of the conviction. In its crucial paragraphs, you will see that Joe Clementi steps outside his family’s pain and puts himself in the shoes of other young Dharun Ravis who will see other gay people, and hate them:
Just a word about personal responsibility.
To our college, high school and even middle-school youngsters, I would say this: You’re going to meet a lot of people in your lifetime. Some of these people you may not like. But just because you don’t like them, does not mean you have to work against them. When you see somebody doing something wrong, tell them, “That’s not right. Stop it.”
You can make the world a better place. The change you want to see in the world begins with you.
I sense that the Clementis want to forgive Dharun Ravi, and they seek some statement/action from him that will allow them to do so.
Also in this statement is the Clementis’ own dedication to a purpose. Like the Corrie family that built a foundation out of the loss of their daughter in a politically-charged crime nine years ago– for which there has been no accountability from the Israeli government or the American government– the Clementis are taking this evidence of the worst of humanity and trying to change social mores for the internet age:
We have come to understand that the criminal law is only one way of addressing these problems and that there are other ways that are better, particularly when it comes to changing the values and behavior of young people in [the] important areas of respect, privacy, responsibility in a digital world.
As you know, our lives have taken a new turn, and we’re on a mission to address these issues in an affirmative way through the Tyler Clementi Foundation, which we have set up in memory of our son. We hope that the media attention will not fade and that positive efforts on these important issues will be acknowledged.
I’m focused on the worst of humanity these days. But there sure are some exceptions.
More Related Stories
- My miscarriages made me question being pro-choice
- Why I tried to be a punk
- I'm terrified of the cicada onslaught
- Limbaugh: No one willing to impeach the first black president
- SAT's right answers are all wrong
- Supreme Court to rule on prayer at government meetings
- Father of gay high school student arrested for dating classmate speaks out
- Conservatives A-OK with closeted Boy Scouts
- Horrifying new trend: Posting rapes to Facebook
- Corporate greed is poisoning America -- literally
- The new geography of poverty
- Childhood ADHD linked to obesity in adulthood
- Obama to all-male university graduates: Be the best husband to "your boyfriend or partner"
- Chicago man breaks world record with 48-hour Ferris wheel ride
- I will never be able to afford Angelina Jolie's mastectomy
- GOP attorney general candidate tried to force women to report miscarriages to police
- Stephen Colbert to UVA: "You must always make the path for yourself"
- GOP actually bullies an anti-bullying bill
- Georgian police slow to react to mob violence at gay rights march
- 1 killed in Oklahoma tornado
- Thousands treated for sexual abuse-related injuries in military
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11