Maybe you’ve heard of the inflamatory speech by gay rights activist and “anti-bullying expert,” Dan Savage. I referenced this article about it on my Facebook page yesterday and many writers and bloggers have reported on it.
The craziest thing I’ve heard, though, is how the National Scholastic Press Association, organizers of the event at which Mr. Savage spoke, have issued an apology for his remarks:
“NSPA and JEA consider Mr. Savage’s use of harsh language and profanity to be inappropriate and offensive to many in attendance. This is not what our organizations expected. In his attempt to denounce bullying, Mr. Savage belittled the faith of others – an action that we do not support. Ridicule of others’ faith has no place in our programs, any more than ridicule of the LGBT community would,” administrators said in the statement.
“Student journalism, like professional journalism, is built on the foundation of free speech. It should not shy away from controversial topics and viewpoints,” the statement adds. “But it should promote and engage in civil discourse. Mr. Savage’s speech fell short of that standard, and for this our organizations apologize.”
I’m honestly baffled by the comment, “This is not what our organization expected.” Seriously? What did they expect? Had they never heard of Mr. Savage before? Did they expect him to be something other than he was? Less than five minutes and a Youtube search would have revealed more than enough information on who this man was, what his agenda is and what is tactics are. This is certainly not the first time this man has engaged in exactly this kind of rhetoric. My concern is that they knew exactly what to expect and pursued the invitation anyway.
Regrettable? I’m sure. Surprised? Impossible.