The tragedy of Tyler Clementi

homophobia, did not die in vain, mutual respect, good decision making, pain, bad decisions, adolescents, death, choosing wisely, courage, homophobia, teaching tolerance, teaching love, teaching acceptance, parents teaching homosexual acceptance, parents + homophobia, how our children are raised

Tyler Clementi, may you rest in peace. I'm sorry you couldn't find peace on earth. Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images

Ironically, the co-conspirators who focused the webcam on Tyler Clementi were of Asian and Indian descent.

Everyone strives to belong. Being part of a social group is one of our most essential human needs. These two young people,

homophobia, bad decisions, desire to belong, fear, raising tolerant children, how to be a good parent, every parent's nightmare, what we do to belong, the importance of belonging, homophobia, tyler clementi, fear, homosexuality, it will get better

Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, Facebook images.

made a really bad decision, the kind of decision every parent worries their young people will make.  One of their unconscious motivations could have been the need to belong. One way to belong and seek status is to put down others who have less status and are weaker than you.

They may have out-projected their homophobic insecurity and expressed their need to belong onto another minority group with even less status than them — homosexuals.

The parents of Ravi and Wei must be saying to themselves, “Where did I go wrong?” Having bailed a teenager out of jail, I understand their confusion, rage, powerlessness, disbelief, disappointment, and angst over how this seemingly innocuous decision will impact their children’s lives forever.

Was the pair fueled by a sense of entitlement, “I can do no wrong”?

Because Ravi and Wei thought it was funny, I think they were held captive by a desperate unconscious need to belong, and Tyler Clementi took the brunt of their insecurity.

Ravi and Wei failed in their quest to belong in a twisted tragic way that may put them behind bars for 5 or 10 years or more, as they should face the consequences of their actions. Some bad decisions lead to death, jail and changing one’s life forever.

The crux of parenting is to raise children to make good decisions when they become teens and young adults when they’re 60 miles away, going 60 miles an hour.

I offer my prayers and condolences to Tyler Clementi’s family and friends. May he not have died in vain. He died alone but he is not alone today. From the short online clips of his violin playing, it is obvious that he had a gift.

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4 Comments on “The tragedy of Tyler Clementi”


  1. The tragedy of Tyler Clementi…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…


  2. […] The tragedy of Tyler Clementi « Raising Able Children: how to … Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, Facebook images. made a really bad decision, the kind of decision every parent worries their young people will make. One of their unconscious motivations could have been the need to belong. … Jan 01, 1970 12:00am […]

  3. Tracy Says:

    I have no words to express how angry I feel about this. I am shocked at the behavior of Ravi and how easily, carelessly and severely he humiliated this young man. I fear for my children, that they could be subject to such cruelty. The ways in which kids torture eachother in this day in age is exponential to the methods we saw as children. It reminds me that I need to teach them more about internet safety, responsibility and inner strength.

    • raisingable Says:

      I don’t think Ravi viewed it as cruelty. He didn’t realize how hurtful it was. It is a really awful situation where Ravi made a bad decision with devastating consequences.


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