There is no morally superior response to XXXTentacion’s death

There is no morally superior response to XXXTentacion’s death

There is no morally superior response to XXXTentacion’s death
July 02
12:14 2018

With a quick Google search, I couldn’t find statistics on funeral attendance numbers for people charged with a crime. But my assumption is that a person’s funeral attendance correlates with how “good” they were perceived as when they were alive.

After the untimely death of Jahseh Onfroy, better known as XXXTentacion, grieving became a polarizing decision of morality on social media.

Half of the internet felt no remorse for the 20-year-old artist and had good reason not to. Just before Onfroy’s death, his ex-girlfriend’s deposition — in which she alleged that he beat her and tortured her regularly — went viral. The other half of the internet reacted as if they were experiencing the biggest loss in hip-hop since Tupac Shakur.

Neither of the opinions could live with each other, causing many people to simply unfollow one another on the social platforms.

The conflict came for the hearts of onlookers’ morality. On one hand, the world seems upside down when people grieve for an abuser who may have potentially abused others. And on the other hand, it feels heartless to go out of the way to condemn an abused, dead, young adult who had potential to change.

Unfortunately, the emotions triggered by conflict lead many to argue, talk down upon and cut each other out of their lives. Like we’ve seen before, especially in recent politics, some issues make each faction feel that if someone disagrees, they’re attacking the very values that guide their life.

My opinion on the matter is that wrong and right in this situation cannot be defined by yes or no.

It is possible for different people to have different impressions of one person, depending on many circumstances: when they were introduced to the person, their own life experiences and more. For instance, if you met a 50-year-old who exhibited violence in their teens, it’s still possible you could have a very positive experience with them that impacts you for life.

Emotions are often tied to what we experience rather than what we know. Blaming a young fan for being sad that one of their idols has died would be blaming their brain for functioning.

At the same time, there need to be people who make sure that everyone takes XXXTentacion’s violent history into consideration when listening to his music. Though his life was taken unjustly, forgiving his actions would be akin to dismissing a societal epidemic that can only change with acknowledgment.

The only negative outcome from a situation like this is those who choose to hate one another rather than find a way to understand. Whether it’s yin and yang never allowing humans to unanimously agree, or if our brains just don’t have the capacity to consider everything, it is quite a depressing reality.

If we succumb to the idea that there is nothing but ill intent behind passionate opinions, we are doing ourselves and our thought processes a disservice.

Featured Illustration by Austin Banzon

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Patrick Cleath

Patrick Cleath

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