Friday, October 1, 2010

Gay tormentors who drove young man to suicide don't fit the stereotype

I've written, every chance I get, about how black and Hispanic males are particularly harmed by false rape claims. They are more quickly arrested and less likely to make bail than their white counterparts. "Scary" black and Hispanic men are frequently used by false accusers as imaginary rapists.

I do not have as much opportunity to write about gays here. We've had occasion to note that young gay men inexperienced with the prison system are more likely to be victimized by prison rape.  The injustices to persons who identify as gay are many. (I honestly don't know how gay young men in high school tolerate the taunting). The fact that we do not focus on them in this blog doesn't mean we are indifferent to them. To suggest we are is akin to saying that because we don't write about baseball, we are indifferent to it. In fact, there are many, many, many injustices we don't write about that we vehemently oppose.

I found it particularly sad that Rutgers students Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei allegedly filmed another student, Tyler Clementi, engaged in a sexual encounter with another man and broadcast it on the Internet. For laughs.  I guess because they obviously disapproved or just thought it was somehow ridiculous.  Mr. Clementi then took his own life. I can only imagine the pain Mr. Clementi experienced in his young life. To see it ended so quickly, in this manner especially, is heartbreaking.

It is especially sad that the alleged perpetrators have likely felt the sting of prejudice, too. They don't fit the stereotype of white heterosexual homophobes.  I think the lesson is that vileness comes in all colors and genders and shapes, and can even be manifested by people who ought to know better.

On an intellectual level, we all know that. That doesn't make it any less sad.