The Oppression Olympics: Death

Updated: Jan 28

(The Oppression Olympics is my look into people wanting to compete over who has it worse in a zero-sum game.)

I’m making this one really general because I feel like I’m going to have to post it several times in the future. It’s partially a reaction to a current event but it seems to happen each and every time.

You guys have got to stop doing All Lives Matter when it comes to death. Especially when it comes to a celebrity death. Knock that shit off.

Here’s the thing: the death of a person you didn’t like or know does not lessen the deaths of the people you do, nor does it bring actual awareness to your people. It just shows that you’re a petty bitch who isn’t happy when people aren’t talking about your thing. We’ve literally gone over this a million times over the last decade with Black Lives Matter and people showing up like, “well, actually…” when it’s not even their turn. The example that comes up a lot is if you’re at a fundraiser for AIDS research and someone asks why we’re not talking about cancer. No one says we can’t talk about the other thing but either wait your turn or do it elsewhere. Literally, nobody asked you.

Do you know why the world stops when celebrities die? Because as a celebrity there’s always a level of awareness and influence. A famous singer could have died due to a drug overdose but that doesn’t mean they also didn’t touch thousands or millions of people in a positive way before then. They could have made the soundtrack for a dark time in peoples’ lives and brought hope to people who thought they had no one to turn to. Yes, they were an individual just like any other individual you know, but that individual was known by infinitely more people than so many others. That’s the absolute wrong time to bring up the fact that thousands of people die from drug overdoses yearly just to discredit the feelings of those who are in mourning. That shows that even YOU don’t care about the other victims because you’re only reacting to the death of another, not bringing it up independent of this incident. You weren’t bringing that up before and if you were then it would be a normal day of you saying something. But when you have to preface it with, “I wish people felt the same way about…” knock that shit off.

Death is a hard thing to deal with for anyone. When your family member or someone close dies, you want the respect given of grief they’re not going through. When you get that news, you may cry, break down, fall, or even start lashing out in the days, weeks and months afterward because you’ve experienced a loss that no one else is going through. Now imagine that the moment that news is given to you, someone flippantly hops in your face and says, “my so-and-so died, too. I wish you cared about when it happened to me,” and then walks off. You don’t think that person has a point, you think that person is an asshole. Now look at you posting about servicemembers, addicts, law enforcement and others directly at a time when others are going through it. Now you’re an asshole, too. Congratulations.

Also, plenty of people understand that they’re not in their career fields or living their lives to be mourned by tons of people after their deaths. Some are just ordinary humans who didn’t check for the spotlight and others would have rather lived instead of being a part of your mission to be dismissive of other people.

Are you allowed to have a critical response to bad people dying? Absolutely. Can you bring up the fact that someone else died because you truly care about these people as those events happen? Please do. But are you ONLY bringing up the death of a person or group to disparage the very real feelings and emotions of those you can’t relate to? Great job, now you’re just being an oppressor. No medals for you.

Knock that shit off.