In perhaps the most misguided of student journalism exercises, Rutgers University’s The Daily Targum is attacking the media. Who are they, Hillary Clinton? Tyler Clementi‘s death, you see, was not supposed to be a way for celebrities and big business to turn anti-gay bullying into some big thing worth complaining about.
Reads the editorial the newspaper will come to regret:
The death of University student Tyler Clementi might have been properly mourned if it were not for the massive rallies and aggressive news coverage that altered the nature of the situation. The truth is that an 18-year-old boy killed himself – he was a student just like the rest of us, someone just trying to receive an education. Yet people’s relentless agendas took his death and turned it into a cause based on false pretenses.
[…] 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.
Is Gay Inc. often guilty of turning events into opportunities to drum up donations? Yep! But that’s not what happened with Tyler’s death. Instead we saw an immediate outpouring of support, from civilians and celebrities alike, who wanted to use Tyler’s death to prevent more unnecessary harm. That’s something admirable. And the newspaper’s disbelief over “turning his death into a push for gay rights” misses the entire point of LGBT bullying.
It’s not about who people fuck. It’s about acceptance and respect for everyone.
Surprisingly missing from the Targum‘s editorial: Any mention of Dharun Ravi or Molly Wei, the ones responsible for tormenting a classmate. Let no blame fall on them.