Is it okay to celebrate someone's death, no matter how much you disliked them. Photo of Andrew Breitbart public domain.
Truthfully, I don’t know a lot about Andrew Breitbart. I know he was a political activist, a comedian and a pundit who died last week at the young age of 43. I know he left behind a wife and four young children. I know he was controversial and polarizing and had plenty of enemies. I also know he was behind those videotape exposes on Planned Parenthood, showing the organization seemingly turning a blind eye to an underage pregnancy, which, if true, would have violated statutory rape laws. Andrew Breitbart was also responsible for the whole Anthony Weiner debacle when Breitbart obtained a photo of the congressman in his underwear whom Breitbart exposed, was allegedly sent to various female interests.
In 2010, Breitbart sought to humiliate a USDA official, Shirley Sherrod, by suggesting she was racist. Breitbart was accused of using footage to show Sherrod expressing racial remarks, but Breitbart allegedly failed to show the rest of the footage in which Sherrod used the ‘racist’ remarks to prove an anti-racism message about how she had changed and overcome prior prejudice. Sherrod is now suing Breitbart for defamation of character. If she wins, she may be have rights to part of Breitbart’s estate or Breitbart’s children’s inheritance.
Breitbart was a flame baiter for sure. He was often times offensive and so politically motivated that he sometimes made Wikileaks look as protective of information as Fort Knox. During his short life, (43 is young), he managed to conjure up a sort of hatred and loathing that was downright viral.
Even knowing all of this, and whether you agree with Breitbart’s convictions, politics and ideology, is it right that people are celebrating the death of a young father simply because they don’t agree with his core values? It would be one thing if he tortured kittens, spit on babies, took children’s candy and scribbled in library books, but he’s done none of that — that I’m aware of.
People who despised the man’s politics seem to be taking great pleasure in his death. Rolling Stone made no apologies when their headline read “Death of Douche”. I personally witnessed comments telling Breitbart’s family to not let the coffin door hit ‘em on the way out. I heard people personally say, “Good riddance, you liar and cheat.” His death seemed to bring joy to some.
Now, Breitbart was unique in that he seemed to thrive off his haters. He wore the insults and the disparaging comments like a badge of honor, so many, in turn, are simply saying that he celebrated free hate speech, so why not honor it in stating exactly how they feel.
Still though, he had four young children. They don’t deserve to have their father ridiculed and dishonored in death. If you take his politics away, what human being deserves to have their grave danced upon, especially a father so young? His kids probably idolized him and were too young to understand his political motivations. Now they are left grieving with a legacy of comments from people and the media about how they’re all too happy that the man suffered a tragic death.
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