An eighteen year old boy killed himself cause some other boys thought it was ok to violate another persons privacy. Why did they think it was ok? Well, you see, there are many in our society who think Tyler Clementi, a homosexual, is not entitled to the decency and rights we afford Americans.
The backlash against being politically correct, has created a culture where carve outs, exceptions and whereas clauses on who is entitled rights and respect dominates. We think by not using the “N” word and not being openly anti-Semitic, that we have cleansed ourselves of the vile human tradition of bigotry.
The boys who did it probably came from upstanding families who did everything to get their children to college so that they can be part of the meritocracy. So, the two-bit criminals who purposefully humiliated Tyler, were probably saved from an education that taught them to respect gay men and women. They were protected from humanizing Tyler. Instead, they were fed the trash talk of the corporate religious gay haters, the trash talk of the Rush and Beck media minds, the trash talk of the politicians.
Instead, they are the products of a culture that is continuing the wrongheaded ways of the past, demonizing through absolutist standards embedded in a false notions.
Ridiculing and humiliating another human being is perfectly fine these days as the right-wing toxic mentality of hatred spews out its pathology in the name of nation, family and god. As racist, homophobic and xenophobic talk becomes almost patriotic, so that politicians can be elected, egos pumped and so that the plutocrats can divert the eyes of the masses from the real culprits– prepare yourselves for the cultural backlash.
We can josh and attack the world of Politically Correct, cause it’s out of fashion. It was way too much for all of us to really respect other religions, other sexual preferences, people with disabilities, women, the burden of watching our language in public was too much. The “Politically Correct police went too far,” many an essayist, blogger and commenter complain, but I think we did not go far enough. We are still a society ready to embrace bigotry when times get hard.
What is too far? Respect of Tyler Clementi was too much for you? Granting him full citizenship and the rights of a citizen and human being under our laws and values, was a burden to the society ? Teaching young children to respect gay people somehow became a crime.
The young people who violated his rights are a mirror of the deteriorating respect, tolerance and dignity we thought was a common cultural value that we are working towards. Our wink and nudge at “them” has become ok. Our children lack empathy because our society had turned away from empathy, tolerance and dignity for others.
They are a mirror at the toxic form of backlash against a society I was hoping would flourish. But, now the clowns and the buffoons of our society dominate the culture and ridicule the basic tenets of a society of tolerance, civility, respect and dignity to all individuals.
The danger is not from politically correct lessons, the danger in our society is dehumanizing and demonizing for selfish ends by a segment of our population that feels diminished if somehow, the citizens who were excluded from the benefits of this society, are protected and receive their rights.
Tyler was humiliated and driven through pain and shame to kill himself. In truth, I hope that the young men who did this are haunted by a lifetime of shame. I hope that all who have giggled and humiliated another person in the name of god and country slither back to their holes and are erased from our society.
By being politically correct, something you deride, I was hoping we can teach a new generation to not drink from the culture of bigotry and hate. But, no, “they want their country back”. Back in time, a time that bigotry is blessed and revered. So, continue with the derision of a society that is politically correct and you hand over our culture to the neanderthals.