Reaction to XXXTentacion’s murder further highlights the lack of sensitivity and compassion in the world right now
Words by Charles Odugbesan
On Monday, June 18th, 20-year-old rapper XXXTentacion was killed in a shooting. The Florida native whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy was leaving a motorcycle shop in Deerfield, Florida when he was shot by two men. He was later rushed to hospital but shortly after was pronounced dead.
Now, this won’t be another write up about the never-ending issue of gun violence and the number of lives it is claiming in the process over in the states. Because we’re over here. Gun possession is not legal in the U.K so it’s difficult for us to relate to the widescale problem it causes. We only understand and are horrified by the outcome a lot of the time – single or several men, women or children losing their lives as a result. But like I said, that’s not what this is about.
On and offline people bemoaning how ‘sensitive’ other people are these days is becoming more and more frequent. You can’t have an opinion on certain topics, tell certain jokes or bring up certain ideologies without offending someone right? We live in such a politically correct time right? Everything is too filtered nowadays, isn’t it?
Meh… I don’t know about EVERYTHING. Especially when it comes to social media. Let me explain.
There was a disturbing buzz around social media on Monday night after news broke out that XXXTentacion had been shot and reportedly was unresponsive. All major twitter platforms had similar (inconclusive) updates and a number of celebrities all voiced their shock and well wishes to XXX. Nothing too out of the ordinary on the surface. I decided to go a little further beyond my timeline into Twitter and see if there was any more to the story and I came across a video. The video was of XXX’s lifeless body slumped in his car with a man checking his pulse. The person filming stood from a distance and zoomed in on XXX’s body. He already looked dead. An hour or so later his death was confirmed.
The video was upsetting. Knowing that XXX had passed made it all the more horrific. But the most alarming thing was that videos like this were becoming a regular occurrence. Fellow US rapper Lil Peep who had overdosed and was physically blue in the face came to mind. Over on these shores, SIXTEEN-year-old South London emcee Showkey, stabbed and lying in a pool of his own blood in the street came to mind. For all the supposed hypersensitivIty that this generation is accused of adopting, it seems like a pretty regular thing to see each other’s dying or lifeless bodies posted up and down our timeline.
It’s like we’ve been brainwashed by WORLDSTAR culture. Whether for selfish promotional reasons or because of an unhealthy obsession with a ‘hot take’, it’s become second nature to get out our phones and film somebody in serious distress or potentially dying, rather than offer help to diffuse the situation and potentially save a life. And how about just showing some respect! Once videos like this are disseminated to the masses on the INTERNET, they are hard to remove or unsee. XXXTentacion, for example, has a family. Now they as well as his fans, friends and the rest of the world can easily view an uncomfortable filming of his last moments before anything is made official. It’s the ultimate lack of compassion.
No matter what any of us thought of XXXTentacion as an artist or personally it is worth noting that nobody deserves to die. And lastly… we as people need to demonstrate more compassion and respect and try and rid ourselves of all this INSENSITIVITY.
REST IN PEACE JAHSEH DWAYNE ONFROY