Rutgers University Paper Blasts Media Coverage, Activist ‘Agenda’ Surrounding Tyler Clementi’s Suicide


Have the media and activist groups been exploiting Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi's suicide? According to the University's paper, The Daily Targum, "yes."

The editors published a letter yesterday claiming "massive rallies and aggressive news coverage" turned Clementi's death into something it wasn't:

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.

The paper goes on to chide "an angry mob fending for their rights turned the death of a young boy into a cause for "safe spaces" for gays across the University," and explains that these spaces already exist on the campus. They continue:

The focal point of Clementi's tragic death should have been a boy's inability to deal with the hardships of life. And yet the news and certain organizations picked this up and carried it into the ranks of general causes for major social groups – for their profit. Did Tyler really feel unsafe after all? Do we know the reason behind his suicide? Do we know if he, himself, would take part in the movement behind his death – the push for safe spaces?

Perhaps the rallies would have been inappropriate if Clementi's death were an isolated incident. He was, however, just one of five gay men to commit suicide last week, and by far provided the most unique story, a story that resonates across our 21st century lives.

It seems to me that activists and media would have acted irresponsibly had we let Clementi's death be turned into a footnote, rather than a rally for change.

Sure, the paper may complain that celebrities like Neil Patrick Harris are "forcing his remembrance into a cause rather than a proper mourning," thus turning Clementi into a "martyr," but they fail to illustrate that these developments have a distinct negative impact, other than the fact that they're inconvenienced by rallies and protests.

To put my criticism of their criticism in academic terms: the paper's staff doesn't support their thesis.


  1. Jack M says

    Yes, he was a student just like the rest of the students, but with one difference – he was hounded and bullied by two of his classmates because he was gay and that led to his suicide. Don’t they get it?

  2. Asher says

    I’m not going to lie, I don’t think Clementi committed suicide because of the bullying, or at least not solely because of the bullying.
    There must have been something else going on because if it was just about that, he didn’t act like it.
    He seemed to handle that problem seemingly maturely (as mature as someone could be in a situation like this of course,) so I’m not convinced that his being gay/homophobia was the main reason why he did it.

  3. yonkersconquers says

    OH MY GOD.

    Insensitivity, garden variety homophobia, blaming and characterizing the victim, and trolls posting – and all before 9am.

    The Daily Targum editors need a wake up call. How dare they suggest that Clementi’s death was hijacked by the gays. Clementi was gay. He was targeted by his roommate for being gay.

  4. Alan says

    Suicidal people who want to “send a message” do so by taking pills, slashing their wrists across, and other things like that to gain attention. They call loved ones and say goodbye and stage elaborate displays with one out: they intend to live.

    Suicidal people who want to die jump off bridges and use guns. They want to do it, and they do it. They also do it because they are beyond reaching out. I firmly believe that when someone has gone that far and really wants to die, there isn’t much you can do to stop them in the short run. Tyler was one of these people. He wanted to die. That probably ran a little deeper than the episode with the webcam. And to be honest, the fact that a huge population of people seem to be blaming his suicide on “being gay” seems a little shortsighted and opportunistic.

    More people have committed suicide for “being gay” than we may ever know. But an equal number of unknown persons have done it for reasons that have nothing to do with being gay. The fact that they were gay doesn’t mean it fueled their suicide. So let’s stop exploiting this young man’s unfortunate act by self-righteously claiming we speak for him, because we don’t. He died because he wanted to.

  5. Strepsi says

    @ THE DAILY TARGUM, re: “The focal point of Clementi’s tragic death should have been a boy’s inability to deal with the hardships of life”

    This is the single least sensitive, victim-blaming, most assholish comment I’ve read in the whole circus.

  6. stephen says

    When people desire to dismiss your position, they accuse you of having an “agenda.”

    Clementi’s suicide has resonated b/c of the outrageous insensitivity of his perpetrators and b/c it was #5 in a short time frame.

    This paper’s reaction clearly stems from their desire to change the subject and the focus of the discussion from Rutgers. Clearly they have an agenda. 😮

  7. TampaZeke says

    To the asshole trolls posting here this morning, I suppose the fact that Tyler jumped off of a bridge THE VERY DAY that his roommate video taped and broadcast him in an intimate encounter with another man, which he complained about on-line is just coincidental?

    Fuck you. You are scumbags who are a HUGE part of the problem.

    I’m sure you will argue that the other 5 suicides of kids being bullied for being gay were not related to gay issues and were coincidental too. We should ignore ALL of them and just say “it is what it is”.

    Yeah, we’ve been doing that for decades it doesn’t help. It IS part of our agenda to protect our young just as it is EVERYONE’S agenda to protect THEIR young. Only, when it comes to gays, any agenda that we may have, no matter how righteous, is considered nefarious and evil.

    Again I say, FUCK YOU!

  8. Daniel says

    If the paper has any real interest in academics it will, of course, publish cogent responses.

  9. Joe says

    “The focal point of Clementi’s tragic death should have been a boy’s inability to deal with the hardships of life.”. HUH? He had a video secretly posted of him having sex on the Internet to mock and demean his sexuality. It’s not like he just had hard classes or missed his parents. How crass. I hope people respond to this. I tried, but the mobile version of the website doesn’t allow comments.

  10. Zlick says

    Hey, it’s not pure trollism to suggest that someone ENDING THEIR ENTIRE EXISTENCE might have more depth than we as people who didn’t so much as ever lay eyes on the person could ever hope to know.

    I don’t think anyone’s suggesting the cruel torment Tyler received at the hands of his roommate had nothing to do with it, but don’t expect everyone to be so simplistic as to forge a direct and singular line from that one cruelty to a non-fictional suicide.

    There are even clues, in what appear to be Tyler’s postings on JustUsBoys, that he was at least partially able to successfully grapple with the crap his roommate pulled on him. I don’t agree with the college paper, of course, that the gay community is simply exploiting Tyler’s death. Far from it. But neither is it true that we armchair psychologists can see into Tyler’s soul to gage the complexities of exactly why he felt jumping off a bridge to his death was his only option. Think about what that means for a second, and then think about whether other people far outside the situation can hope to know more than a kernel of what might have led to such a horrible mistake.

  11. MammaBear says

    There’s a HUGE gap between what could have been a sensitive, rational response from the Targum, and the piece of shit that they published.

    To attack a community that is trying to turn tragedy into hope is beyond shameful, and yet somehow completely familiar. The rank stench of Virginia Foxx comes unpleasantly to mind.

  12. chasmader says

    Yeah, my college paper, The Daily Nexus (of UCSB) was also a rag of the first order. I’m sure the same can be said of what they publish at Rutgers.

    The editorial was probably written by a pampered 20 year old slacker.

  13. niles says

    This is typical neocon republican bullshit.
    We’ve seen it time and time again to justify hate and bigotry. Unfortunately, the gay community is currently under siege nationwide as a result of this con

  14. Robert says

    “The focal point of Clementi’s tragic death should have been a boy’s inability to deal with the hardships of life”

    This is the EXACT logic that homophobes use to tell us we don’t deserve “special treatment.” That we CAN get married and live normal lives if we want to — but it has to be with a woman. The article puts the blame SQUARELY on the victim. Homophobes treat us like second class citizens and then act like this sort of public humiliation is something everyone faces. That is SO irresponsible and disgusting.

  15. gregv says

    @Alan: Nobody kills him/herself simply for “being gay,” and I haven’t heard anyone (other than one or the odd homophobe from an anti-gay group) make it out to be that simplistic.

    To reduce other people’s arguments about the reasons he did this to “being gay” would be like saying that a slave ran away from a merciless master for “being black” or that a woman runs away from an emotionally abusive husband for “being a woman.”

  16. says

    This sentence from the editorial says it all: “The focal point of Clementi’s tragic death should have been a boy’s inability to deal with the hardships of life.”

    They pull the classic anti-gay stunt of completely removing sexuality from the equation and replacing it with the generic “hardships,” shifting the blame to Tyler’s “inability”, as if what happened had no relation to Tyler being humiliated for being gay. Then they use that de-gaying to strenuously argue against the need for more “safe spaces,” as if safe spaces are somehow more detrimental to university life than gross invasions of privacy and bullying. They accuse gay groups of making assumptions about the case and using Tyler to advance their own agendas, while in their editorial they thoughtlessly do exactly the same thing, for homophobic purposes.

    There are legitimate questions about how Tyler’s death is being used, simplified, and possibly manipulated to suit various agendas, including media agendas, but shifting the blame to “activist” gay groups says more about the immaturity of the editorial writers than it does about the larger significance of Tyler’s death.

  17. Matt Kats says

    I agree with the paper. Tyler was clearly a weak human being which had nothing to do with him being gay. My husband went to Rutgers and they have a large LGBT group that runs a number of programs to help LGBT students and raises awareness. Tyler killed himself because he could not deal – because he refused to ask for help. The media put all the blame on the kids instituting this “prank”. But come one! This is straight out of the “American Pie”. It was a prank – yes it was tasteless, and cruel. But that’s how kids are.

    LGBT youth needs to toughen up. I grew up in Brooklyn and went to public school. I came out when I was 16 and I was bullied too. But I did not kill myself! That experience made me a stronger person. Tyler’s reaction was completely out of proportion to the bullying – and that’s why I think the media reaction has also bee out of proportion.

  18. says

    Self preservation at it’s ugliest. Rutgers has been trying for weeks to pretend that homophobia doesn’t exist on it’s campus. The article also fails to mention that Clementi went to the person in charge of the Rutgers dorms he was sharing with Ravi.

  19. C says

    The Tyler Clementi situation is actually NOT the same as the other suicides that happened around the same time. For one thing, he’s a grown man. More importantly, it’s very unclear that homophobia was the motivating factor in his harrassment. I’m a big gay and was the target of a certain amount of bullying when I was young, but I think this particular situation is the wrong one to be rallying behind as an example of the tragic consequences of homophobic bullying. It’s not clear cut at all, and I’m not convinced that it wasn’t just typical first-month-of-college assholishnes gone terribly wrong. Why aren’t we talking as much about the younger kids who committed suicide?

  20. frwaq says

    Trolls posing as gay to make disparaging and characterizing remarks about a dead student. It’s so obvious it isn’t funny.

    “Asher” and “Matt Kats” your agendas are showing.

  21. says

    Wow, MATT KATS, do you realize how arrogant and lacking in compassion your comment is? Sadly, it’s not atypical, as the editorial demonstrates.

    Bravo–you’re strong. You endured bullying and survived, so everyone else should be measured by your coping yardstick. Round of applause. But maybe some people are more vulnerable than you are. Humiliating a gay person for sport is not “how kids are.” Life isn’t a movie. Many kids do not taunt and broadcast their roommate having sex and would never dream of doing so, because many kids are sensitive human beings. These kids did it. They are responsible for their actions. Humiliation is not a harmless prank.

    Instead of telling LGBT youth to “toughen up,” maybe we should be telling youth and adults alike that intentionally bullying, harassing, or humiliating a fellow human being–and enabling that behavior–has to stop now, or else there could be consequences you’ll have to live with the rest of your life. The message isn’t: buck up and take it. It’s: treat others the way you would wish to be treated.

  22. anon says

    He did not kill himself the same day that he was videotaped. But the really odd thing was that he went to full orchestra practice only 3 hrs before committing suicide. Now, this does not suggest he was preparing to commit suicide.

  23. Randy says

    I kind of wish that this site required you to register in order to post. It really seems like there’s one person stepping in here and writing the “opposing” view but supplying different names each time.

    Rutgers may not be a homophobic university (in fact I’m sure it’s relatively welcoming place given the Rutgers alum I know) but I’ve not seen a single anti-Rutgers news headline as a result of this. The target here is bullies and the extreme cruelty that many gay youth experience which is above and beyond what most experience. The target here is the abnormally high suicide rate amongst gay teens.

    The fact that this happened at Rutgers is as unimportant to the world as is the Rutgers university news paper.

  24. says

    The most off-base and insensitive assessment on the aftermath of the Tyler Clementi tragedy–and the subsequent national dialogue. Symptomatic of deep-rooted societal biases and intolerance, the language of the editorial is offensive and verges on inflammatory.

  25. gregg says

    so from a couple perspectives

    1- I know many people who are gay at Rutgers and there is a gay social scene at Rutgers. They like most colleges, have out reach and services
    available to the students.

    2- As someone who received conseling from wanting to commit suicide- while it is NEVER one aspect of a persons life, it can be triggered be any one such event. Did he commit suicide just because he was gay and being tormented – we’ll never know! Did he need help and support that he did not try to get, know how to get or want to get? Again, we’ll never know. Could it have been a consistent torture from his roommates and classmates that over a year or different schools, we’ll never know.

    But that someone took their life at all is upsetting enough. I do agree with the “agenda” because gay teens have the HIGHEST suicide rate in the US hands down. All bullying needs to stop, whether homophobic or not. remember the girl who committed suicide because her next door neighbor was bullying her over Facebook. She was straight, but it goes to show you that our concern shouldn’t always just be how do we reach out to LGBTQ in danger students, but how do we also reach out for suicide prevention as a whole.

    someone never decides in one moment to take their life, even if they jump. it’s an off on switch that can be triggered, but never without first having over causes.

    Either way, you need to respect someones right to have an opinion an speak their mind – regardless how arrogant, illl informed or warped it seems to you. i

  26. Andalusian Dog says

    I hate to give bratty, homophobic (and likely privileged) children any attention – they are, after all, frequently the most vicious and seasoned of all bullies – but the imbecile editors at the Targum need to wake up to the facts surrounding his suicide, the need to get that exact story to be recognized by broader society, and that they themselves appear to be advocating the exact kind of silence that is a breeding ground for homophobia.

    His “inability to deal with the hardships of life”: homophobic blackmail, bullying, and breaches of privacy – according to the editors, just everyday sort of hardships. When was the last time the editors were forced to endure such everyday hardships, specifically because they were gay?

    Would Clementi have advocated for the same causes, such as gay safe spaces or increased sensitivity toward privacy, etc? My guess is no, because apparently one’s private life is open for assault by anyone as soon as you are suspected to be gay. So why come out? Stay in the closet, stay safe. Be someone else. Otherwise, we’ll broadcast your business to EVERYONE.

    The editors should be forced to do several years of hard labor, so that they can really learn what everyday hardships are about. Too bad we can’t make them gay and force them to live in Alabama as out gay people. Yes, just everyday sort of hardships.

  27. ratbastard says

    Everyone who does so, and this newspaper’s editors, need to stop referring to Tyler as a ‘boy’ or worse ‘young boy’. Tyler was a man or young man.

    There will be a court trial for at least Ravi, maybe both defendants. Does anyone reading this doubt defense lawyers will look closely at Tyler’s background, history, including mental health issues? In the case of the bullied Irish girl in Massachusetts who killed herself it’s now cone out she had a history of similar things elsewhere including in her homeland, and she had a history of mental heath issues including cutting, but none of these things were originally publicly aired or known when her death occurred. I’m not saying for a fact they’ll pull up so-called dirt on Tyler, or that there is any, but defense lawyers will do their best to find it.

    Don’t call me an asshole or troll for pointing this out, because I have the greatest sympathy for Tyler Clementi, his family and friends. But the things written above are reality, and need to be considered by everyone trying to understand what happened.

    Are there people exploiting Tyler Clementi’s suicide? Yes, absolutely. Not the first time, and it won’t be the last, that a first and foremost personal and private tragedy was and will be exploited.

  28. ratbastard says

    ‘He did not kill himself the same day that he was videotaped. But the really odd thing was that he went to full orchestra practice only 3 hrs before committing suicide. Now, this does not suggest he was preparing to commit suicide.’

    People who commit suicide or about to do so, often behave oddly from my understanding. Some will go to work, be cool, on their way home pick up dinner, get home, and kill themselves. Others will do their laundry, neatly fold and put away clothes, etc., then kill themselves.

    BTW Randy, only once have I ever posted under another name, so I’m not coming on here and posting under various names.

  29. Peter says

    Is it just me, or did The Daily Targum’s writers implicitly call Tyler Clementi a wimp? It sounds to me like they’re blaming him for not being quiet after the embarrassing video was released.

    As for “Asher” and “Matt Kats,” their posts sound as if they’re wimps with their own unacknowledged problems about homosexuality.

  30. MammaBear says

    Rat, is the “It Gets Better” project exploitation? I’m having trouble understanding your point.

  31. says

    I enjoy reading comments from people whose views do not align with my own, when they are respectful and thought-out (i.e., ERNIE).

    However, it is very upsetting that people are accusing me of being a homophobic “troll”. That is why I am attaching a link to my facebook – to show that I am indeed gay and I am not a homophobe trying to spread my agenda.

    This is what is wrong with gays today – some of us are unable to comprehend that others may have opposing views on some issues. And as soon as I say something that is outside of the “collective gay” thinking, I am automatically presumed to be a homophobic troll.

  32. Robert says

    Whether or not you’re sure of the exact cause of the suicide — ridiculous, given the circumstances — EVERYONE should take issue with the school newspaper saying that Clementi killed himself only because he couldn’t cope with his totally normal everyday life. Yep, he was just weak. It had nothing to do with him being publicly outed and humiliated. THAT is what the article says. For any gay man to defend that sort of whitewashed ignorance simply because the guy had some gay online friends shows a disgusting level of immaturity. But then again, Towleroad commenters aren’t known for their brains, as we’ve seen.

  33. David C. Jones says

    What is happening here is called The Werther Effect and until we watch how we talk about it you are going to see another dozen or so suicides.

    Address gay teen suicide – but don’t name individuals… in our passion and outrage – the brighter we shine a light on individuals the more we encourage others who are feeling suicidal and alone and unloved – best way to get the attention you want – want to be missed and talked about – then go ahead kill yourself.

    Be passionate about the cause people but DO NOT martyr the people who killed themselves – do not run stories of their families and interviews with their friends – or we will watch the escalation continue.

    Read the link I posted please.

  34. Justin says

    It’s kind of cute that the undergraduate Napoleons on the Rutgers student newspaper think that anybody cares about their silly little juvenile opinions.

  35. says

    This is disturbing and should be swiftly rebutted. The editorial is disingenuous. It pretends to be an attack on the media, but in fact it is an attack on the LGBT community’s reaction. Look at the headline. Now read this: “A crowd of more than 20 people ended up lying outside the entrance of the Rutgers Student Center on the College Avenue campus the first night of the news breaking. The chants were, “We’re here. We’re queer. We want safety in our homes.” The mistake was that Clementi’s death should not have been turned into a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender protest for gay rights and safe spaces at the University.” Does that sounds like an attack on the media? I don’t think so. And I think our community has the right to react to this as we see fit, especially given the rash of suicides. I think it’s a little soon to be pouncing on our community with such vitriol.

  36. Jon B says

    The fact of the matter is, the kid killed himself. Why did he do it? We don’t know for certain. He didn’t leave an actual suicide note, but I’d say it’s a pretty good guess that what his roomate did pushed him over the edge. I say pushed him over the edge because it is very unlikely that a single event led him to commit suicide.

    This is why the Rutger’s newspaper is so wrong. This kid killed himself, partially based on bullying, and partially (I’d imagine) based on prolonged societal voices saying he was bad, evil, less than, for being gay. If we didn’t use his death as a conversation starter in order to stop other kids from doing the same, we would be failing in our duty to these kids.

    His parents said they hope their tragedy will help promote tolerance, understanding, and human dignity. Well death doesn’t promote those things. The conversations surrounding a death do. The school newspaper really needs to reevaluate its opinion.

  37. jexer says

    “safe spaces already exist on the campus”

    And this poor kid’s dorm room was OBVIOUSLY outside of that postage stamp sized ‘safe space’, wherever it is.

    Where are these safe spaces again?

  38. TANK says

    OMG, trolls. Another reason why the gay community doesn’t have any rights…too many stupid people around with bad opinions that are “valued”. Diversity ain’t a good thing in politics.

    Anyway, scumbags, this violation that his roommates perpetrated on him probably seemed like something that a good many of you wouldn’t have the coping skills to, at least, not be deeply scarred forever and ever at his age. But many of you damaged people (and the lgbt “community” is full of crazy…crazy crazy crazy, at much higher rates than the norm due to discrimination) don’t seem to understand that he was eighteen and essentially sexually assaulted by his roommates. Victims of sexual assault do, at times, commit suicide because of it. And at eighteen, when you’re still basically a kid, and are the victim of such a crime, then you really do believe it’s over.

  39. pauls says

    A Call for Hate Crime Charges Against
    Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei

    please watch post elsewhere

  40. Clifford says

    Wow- some of these comments make for shocking reading. Matt Kats- congrats for making it to adulthood, just to crap all over the gay youth whose experiences may be different.
    Long before coming out at 15 in a small town in the early ’80’s, thoughts of suicide as a “plan B” were always in my head, and the fact that they stayed with me until my late twenties- LONG after “it got better”, to quote from Dan Savage, is a testament to how the bullying fucks us up.

    Circumstances could very easily have escalated to the point where I acted on these suicidal thoughts, but thankfully, the perfect storm that this young man had to face was not my experience.

    For people who have lived through the pain of growing up gay to suggest that victims of suicide just aren’t tough enough is to forget where you came from. To young people who are struggling in life who may be reading these comments, it must look pretty ugly.

    Thanks for helping out, Matt.

  41. ratbastard says

    DON’T romanticize what Tyler did. There are mentally ill people right now turned on by all of this. Tyler [R.I.P.] chose to kill himself. No one apparently knows the real exact reasons behind his decision,or if some do, they aren’t talking. It would appear obvious this webcam business sent him over the edge, but this may be untrue and simply a coincidence. People who kill themselves usually have very deep, longstanding issues. I’m sure Tyler is no exception. This is not ‘blaming’ him, etc., it’s simply recognition among sane, reasonably intelligent adults that there’s more to this story than has been told. And although it’s noble to address the terrible problem of higher than average suicide rates among gays of all ages, reasonably intelligent, sane adults must not engage in witch hunts or attach all their rage on a single immature individual(s) who did an obnoxious,childish prank in an undergraduate environment.

  42. MammaBear says

    Rat, again, what is your point? That we shouldn’t draw the conclusion that Tyler was bullied? That we shouldn’t draw a causal link to his suicide? Don’t go overboard in punishing the roommate?

    And who are you criticizing?

    Isn’t the reaction to the deaths, far from romanticizing them, simply saying that this bullshit needs to stop?

  43. Kirby says

    It seems like almost everyone here has missed the point of this article.

    While I think that suggesting homophobia (internal and external) might not be the leading factor in Clementi’s suicide is disingenuous, I think the overall thrust of the article rings true: that instead of allowing people to properly mourn Clementi, he’s being used by people to support their own agendas. And while I DO agree with the agendas (gay suicides are bad, of course we want to stop them), I don’t think it’s appropriate to use Clementi’s death as a cause celebre. Just because your agenda is a noble one doesn’t mean there aren’t ignoble ways to promote it.

    And can we stop making gay teenage suicides martyrs and heroes? Martyrdom implies a choice. Someone is a hero because they make a conscious decision to put themselves in danger to help other people. For these gay teens, they felt they had no choice. That’s not courageous, it’s sad.

  44. ratbastard says

    Rat, is the “It Gets Better” project exploitation? I’m having trouble understanding your point.

    POSTED BY: MAMMABEAR | OCT 6, 2010 12:31:58 PM

    No. But the MANY people trying to turn Tyler into a martyr are. No one reading this should forget what Tyler ultimately did, kill himself, was absolutely unnecessary and he has left behind numerous shattered lives and that nasty possibility of copy-cat suicides. One of the reasons police, even media outlets, usually don’t name or even publicize suicides is the well known copy-cat effect. Homosexual youth are not immune to the copy-cat effect.

  45. ratbastard says

    Others are extrapolating Tyler’s suicide for political reasons, irregardless of the desire I’m sure for privacy among Tyler’s family and friends.

  46. mike says

    By the time, the student went to his RA, it was a serious crisis for him — no matter how it turned out. He needed immediate reassurance and help.

  47. Eric Thor says

    Rutgers Student who is really actively involved with the LGBT community here. The paper is sighting a protest that occurred the night that the story broke. The protesters were organized by a professor who kind of exploited them, and staged a “Die-in”. The message had a good message, but the timing was horrible, inappropriate, and insensitive The event was really spontaneous, and was frustrating since the people who organized the event were aware that there was a vigil in the works for a couple days later.

    Tonight we are having a giant forum with garden state equality, and some Senators.

  48. NealB says

    “The media put all the blame on the kids instituting this “prank”. But come one! This is straight out of the “American Pie”. It was a prank – yes it was tasteless, and cruel. But that’s how kids are.” – MATT KATS (above)

    That’s how some kids are, but it’s a violation of rules of common decency and socially acceptable behavior, and the appropriate response is to condemn it, loudly, assess damages, and punish it — not condone it. Especially for young people in our schools.

    Or is Rutgers become a boot camp for “toughening up our youth?”

  49. ratbastard says

    Police say 10-year-old Allston girl may have hung herself

    …’A 10-year-old girl was found dead last night around 8 p.m. in a four-decker house on Glenville Avenue in Brighton, according to a Boston Police Department spokesperson. The child is believed to have committed suicide.

    The mother of the girl called police after discovering her daughter hanging in the closet. According to reports, the girl was found with a scarf tied around her neck. The girl’s name has not been released.

    Boston Police and EMS tried CPR on the child. She was taken to Children’s Hospital in Boston and pronounced dead early Wednesday morning.’


  50. ericb says

    I continue to read the comments at the Daily Targum regarding reaction to their controversial editorial.

    After reading this comment:”Neil Kypers is the editor and Aleksi Tzatzev is the opinion editor. Neil just told me on the phone that there is no evidence that the video was even illegally obtained. He doesn’t even acknowledge violence against gay people at Rutgers or anywhere. Again, he blamed the victim in our conversation. This is way beyond the pale.

    Targum 732.932.2012 x 110 Kypers, x 107 Tzatev.”I called the newspaper (732.932.2012) and had a conversation with a representative, asking if the paper had any intention of addressing the controversy over the editorial. She was polite and responded that they were considering such, but would not reveal whether or not they would be responding publicly.

  51. jaragon says

    We still do not know all the reasons this young man took his life- but I can understand the Rutgers paper point of view that some people are using his death for their own political agenda.

  52. MammaBear says

    Very clinically put Jaragon.

    The point is not whether or not we “know all the reasons this young man took his life”, or whether or not “some people are using his death for their own political agenda”. Both are very likely true. Who gives a fuck? Is the implication that only once we know all the reasons, and only if it can be completely divorced from any political agenda, can people take action to help gay kids/adolescents/young adults get help?

    Did you read what they wrote?

    “Yet people’s relentless agendas took his death and turned it into a cause based on false pretenses.”


    “The focal point of Clementi’s tragic death should have been a boy’s inability to deal with the hardships of life. And yet the news and certain organizations picked this up and carried it into the ranks of general causes for major social groups – for their profit.”

    Who has got the agenda, and who is acting like they have all the facts?

    Jesus, is this really where the school paper’s righteous indignation is best focused?

  53. says

    Victim Blaming is the litmus test for the Bully Gene. When I interview my next housemate, I’m going to ask, “Was Tyler Clementi bullied to death, or was he just not tough enough?”

  54. Enzo In Omaha says

    The Targum’s repellent excursion into corpse-kicking elicited a lot of letters which spanked the editorial writer. My favorite was this:

    At many universities, the meatheads are on the football team and the smart kids publish the student newspaper.
    At Rutgers, the opposite appears to be true.

  55. stopit says

    I feel bad for the kid but There is no evidence that he was “bullied” for being gay. As a matter of fact its pretty clear he was effectively closeted and hopped off of a bridge because he was exposed and could not or was not ready to live out loud. Maybe his family was intolerate and he felt he would be cast out. His privacy was invaded but it was not a hate crime, The roomate was being nosy, accessed his webcam, saw him in the act and blabbed. They were being stupid college kids and it ended really badly.

    What can be learned from this is you never know how emotionally stable a person is and you don’t want to be the one to make them jump off of a bridge so be nice.