The editorial board of Rutgers’ campus newspaper, The Daily Targum, could’ve responded to Tyler Clementi’s tragic story in any number of sensitive ways. They could have seized onto their heightened responsibility to make sense of this senseless situation in a way that doesn’t make people feel bad for expressing honest human emotions. They might have used the media spotlight that is currently on their campus to craft a teachable moment for colleges nationwide.
Instead, they chose to say things like this:
It is disappointing that everyone from news to celebrities picked up the story. Actress Brittany Snow and actor Neil Patrick-Harris are just two of the many celebrities belittling Clementi’s death – forcing his remembrance into a cause rather than a proper mourning.
We did not know Tyler. It was barely three weeks into his first year at the University, and most of his neighbors in his residence hall barely knew him. Turning his death into a push for gay rights is a fallacy. Homosexuality is not the only reason for which people kill themselves. In this case, it might have pushed Clementi over the edge, but the fact that he was gay should by no means turn his death into a march for safe spaces. These groups want to be heard. They want the attention. They want their agendas to shine in the limelight.
FULL EDITORIAL: Media exploits University tragedy [The Daily Targum]
Yep, blame the distraught gays and allies who understand the pain that so many gay youth still feel (and that Tyler himself seems to have expressed on a web forum), Targum staffers. That’s surely helping things. Really.
Though just for the sake of argument, Targum staffers: Perhaps you might wanna take a second and consider that maybe people like Neil Patrick Harris and groups like your gay student unions are speaking out in such passionates way not because they want homo-centric attention or because have gay “agendas,” but rather because they’re sick of there being a need for their sexualities to hold any heightened focus! Just a suggestion.