News

The Clementi family’s compassionate statement

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

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 are excerpts of 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 all the other young Dharun Ravi’s who will meet people they don’t like:

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.

64 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Yes that certainly does deserve applauding.

RE: “I’m on a misanthropic kick. I think that people are selfish and mean. ” ~ Weiss

MY COMMENT: Our Knight-errant nightmare in shine-less armor! By the way, I wonder whatever happened to Phil’s “hobbyhorse”.

A Knight’s Tale – My Name is William (VIDEO, 03:38) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT6qwL1xKnw

Maybe Ravi hated how his room was being constantly used by Mr.Clementi for his sexual gratification did you even read the links? is there any evidence of mr clementi ‘constantly’ using the room in this manner. the article explains how ravi found out his roomate was gay before he even met him and didn’t like that. how do you know he killed himself ‘on exposure’, perhaps he killed himself because of the form of intimidation.… Read more »

As long as MW has a moderator, why don’t you remove Dahoit’s hateful comment?

In addition to Annie’s points, I just had to finally de-lurk to say WTF over this gem:

He killed himself on his exposure as homosexual,and list all the heteros whose exposure as such brought about their suicide?

Seriously?! Because being hetero in our culture is such a stigma that most of us live in fear of being ‘outed’ as such, right?

And how exactly was Ravi also a victim of spying?