Other than my poem, A Lesson Deferred and a Facebook status post, I have been pretty quiet on the whole Trayvon Martin matter. A friend called me on it knowing I must have some opinion. My response was along the lines of simply not wanting to go there again. Today, I read a comment from a fellow blogger’s Slice of Life post from yesterday and she has nailed my feelings right on the head…
“I am so very tired to being quiet, of having to be concerned about the degree to which I can express my feelings because I have to worry that people will label me an “Angry Black Woman””
This is how I feel in a nutshell.
What does it say when a public figure such as Rush Limbaugh regularly feels free to spew vitriol on a variety of subjects, but I feel that I feel the need to self-censor? The very fact that I feel this restriction, this need to play the “Good Negro” just makes me more angry.
I reference Whitney Houston in the following as she has become the latest occurrence of that which has garnered my ire, but I mean this in deference for all troubled celebrities who pass…
Does any one remember “don’t speak ill of the dead”?
I don’t understand this vitriol that occurs whenever a fallen celebrity dies. I concede my interest in Whitney Houston of late began and ended within the length of whichever song of hers popped up on my iPod. I enjoy the beauty of her voice for however long I may (or may not) have the song on replay until I move on. She was a talented singer and that we my never her anything new from her again is a loss for those who enjoyed her singing.
Those of us that don’t find the humor of such disrespect (especially within minutes of the announcements of the person passing) and dare call the critics to task don’t know how to take a joke or are taking things too seriously. No I, like millions of other Houston fans, did not scour the Internet each day for all news Whitney. That did not make us any less of her fans or make her passing any less meaningful to us in our own little ways. The disrespect of the dead is bad enough and some also choose to also belittle the living who want to take a moment to offer their respects even if it’s only something as simple as a single line Facebook status.
Did she take a superstar career and blow it all to smithereens? Yes, no one denies that. Ninety-point-whatever of us in this world get to fuck-up in relative private and will never have our laundry out but to a select few. In this world of information overload, most celebrities don’t have that luxury and intentionally or not, Houston’s laundry was there for all to gander. Eventually, even she owned up to her mistakes. Yet, because she (and other celebrities) don’t get a chance to “redeem themselves” in the public eye, it justifies the internet critics carte blanche to spout whatever snarky bullshit they feel like in the guise of being funny. Why? Just because the dead and their grieving family will likely never read it, does not make it any less hurtful. It is not gallows humor, it is just mean. So no, I do not feel compelled to pat such behavior on the back.
Just remember whether you (the critics), become famous, infamous or not, some day you will die and someone is going to talk about you.