Can You Celebrate The Brutal Murder of an “Asshole,” And Also Support Victims of Violence?
The deceased rapper XXXTentacion — had a past that was less than stellar — and I wasn’t privy to it or him until his brutal shooting death became public.
This isn’t an attempt to investigate how awful he was or whether or not the women in his life who allege assault — were lying or telling the truth. The intention is not to minimize the pain he caused in life or to try to explain how youthful vigor can take varying forms of expression that are sometimes villainous.
This is an exercise geared towards humanizing us back to order — by condemning anything that deviates from that goal.
In response to the cold-blooded killing of the 20-year-old artist — with the scummy reputation — there have been a handful of think pieces by mostly male writers — who are clearly caught up on the mission statement of the #MeToo movement — and other organizations that are actively in pursuit of justice on behalf of women who are victims of violence.
The one that struck me was the piece by Damon Young of Very Smart Brothers — where he understandably expresses his disgust at the roster of extremely vile behavior showcased by the late artist.
He declares that the world is a much better place without him.
Young also shows no mercy to the titans of the rap world — including — J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Jidenna and Kanye — for the part they didn’t play in helping to provide much-needed guidance — that could’ve potentially prevented the worst case scenario.
It’s a scathing review of a life that was tragically cut short — and it ends with an homage to the young woman who allegedly paid dearly for her association with a real life monster.
In all honesty — the comments section was disturbing enough to keep me from clicking away. The forum was seeped in an aura of unpleasantness that was breathtaking.
While I can’t deny the revolting nature of XXXTentacion’s former existence — I have to say that it’s even more disheartening to witness the callousness of humans — who are choosing to throw confetti in response to the loss of life.
I totally get the task of maximizing this climate of championing the themes of womanhood and feminism — especially as writers and editors — who have to adjust messaging in order to stay ahead of the curve.
And we generally appreciate editorials that co-sign the relevance of validation — particularly in cases that are highly sensitive in nature.
So — it makes sense that an essay that curses the hell out of a young rebel who was cut down in his prime — after amassing a rap sheet of terrible deeds towards the usual suspects — will appeal to readers who are on standby to unleash additional curses in the form of eternal damnation.
It’s natural to wish the very worst on someone who deserves it — but what happens when the very worst actually happens?
Is it possible to celebrate the brutal murder of an asshole and also champion the healing of victims?
Maybe XXXTentacion would’ve continued his streak of violence until his deadly habits would finally catch up to him or maybe he would’ve been blessed with enough years to mature out of his destructive patterns.
Either way — it’s unnerving to read comments from people — that are essentially spitting on the grave of someone they didn’t even know existed — until that very second. Giving high marks to his murderer — and blessing the day of his bloody departure from this earth isn’t really the ideal way to honor the people he brutalized.
If you really care about his victims — or any victim of abuse — you would recognize that pouring more hate on an already toxic issue — isn’t helpful or even progressive.
It’s should be a natural instinct to feel sad for all parties involved — without condoning the deplorable actions of the aggressor.
Just because I’m horrified by the circumstances surrounding the death of the accused doesn’t translate in downplaying the validity of the pain and suffering he exacted on his victims. Neither does it champion the narrative of supporting “men who behave badly” — at the expense of the victims who are often times forgotten.
This ceremony of the maddening crowd makes it hard to remember that we are capable of varying emotions — that can be assigned appropriately without the threat of betraying our principles or leaving stones unturned.
You can’t “cancel” someone who has already been cancelled from life — and why would you want to?
It can’t feel good to applaud the passing of a young life with such excitement — and indulging doesn’t solve an issue that’s still paralyzing our culture.
Victims need love and security — and yes — there’s a level of justice and victory when the system vacuums away scum like Harvey Weinstein — after his legendary run as the untouchable predator comes to a dramatic end.
But — thanking God for killing off a young man with a blotted track record — seems inhumane and doesn’t at all evoke any sense of hope for the future — when it comes to how we effectively deal with abusers and the irrevocable damage that’s amassed.
The field workers who are overworked with the duty of re-shaping young minds will disagree with the celebration of XXXTentacion’s demise. And it has nothing to do with minimizing the life-altering effects on the victims.
The cycle won’t stop without healing — and that encompasses a practical undertaking that can’t be borne from hate. You can hate what happened — but you can’t use hatred as a weapon because it just breeds a wider platform for the virus to infect.
I absolutely abhor the way XXXTentacion allegedly lived his life — and my heart aches for those he left behind — including those who need love — and not the assurance of detestation levied on their wrongdoer.
His life was short and bitingly scandalous with cringe-worthy events that he will never be able to scrub clean. He was faulty AF — and he caused real damage — but his death is not a high note — and I refuse to join those who are writing thank you notes to his killer.
That’s not the way to support those who’ve been hurt and are still hurting. They need the human touch not bot-like reflexes.