On Friday morning, when penning a followup post on Tyler Clementi’s suicide, I wrestled with whether or not to call those who taped him as pranksters or tormentors.
Since reading about the story, I wondered whether those two young people were truly evil or just depraved, indifferent to the consequences of their actions. Had they been older — and not fresh out of high school, suddenly thrust into the new-found freedom of college life — they would clearly more likely qualify as evil. To be sure, what they did was cruel, but did they intend it to be so?
All that said, it will be for a court of law to determine whether they committed their actions with malice aforethought or depraved indifference. More importantly, it is for us, as gay people, to determine what we can do to help those young people who find themselves in a situation similar to Tyler’s, in situations in which many of us, once found ourselves.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Mary offers a most thoughtful response:
These kids who thought it was amusing or funny or revenge (who knows what they thought, if in fact they thought at all) are reflecting the narcissistic theme of their generation. To them, all of life is nothing but a reality show featuring them. We’ve raised a generation of kids to believe life is all about them and with no thought of what effect their thoughts, actions, behaviors have on others around them. What will such selfishness bring to the future? I shudder to think. In the end, their behavior is somewhere between prank and torment…more towards the torment end.