Thursday, September 30, 2010

What's wrong with Emily Bazelon

Has Emily Bazelon gone completely off the deep end?

She has engaged in a crusade on behalf of the tormenters of Phoebe Prince (the student in Massachusetts who hung herself after being cyber-bullied). Bazelon took this to the point of arguing that Prince herself was a bully.

She is now arguing that judgement must be withheld in the case of Tyler Clementi, the freshman from Rutgers who jumped from the George Washington Bridge after being video-taped and you-tubed in a same-sex encounter by his despicable roommate, Dharun Ravi, and another dormmate, Molly Wei.

Bazelon muses
But can we stop for a moment before we blame Dharun and Molly Wei, the other student who allegedly participated in the taping, for Tyler's suicide?
Right, video-taping and you-tubing a sexual encounter could not have possibly contributed to Clementi's suicide.

Why blame the tormenters when it's easier to blame the parents as Bazelon did in this earlier post on the suicide of a Wesleyan freshman? Bazelon finds it hard to even name tormenters.

To be clear, I get Bazelon's argument, which is that suicide is complex. However, that does not lead to Bazelon's conclusion that we should
hesitate to think we have any but the shallowest understanding of what happened here.
Dharun and Wei committed a heinous act. It's impossible to imagine how this couldn't have contributed to Clementi's suicide.