Can You Celebrate The Brutal Murder of an “Asshole,” And Also Support Victims of Violence?
Ezinne Ukoha

Thanks for writing this. I discovered X a few months ago when he made headlines for his “?” album going number one while simultaneously being a horrible human being. I was appalled at his personal life but left in awe at his raw talent when I finally gave him a listen. I can hold these two contradictory thoughts together and process them. I think any reasonable human being should be able to do so because that’s life — full of contradictions. Damon failed at nuance here. I love his writing but he gets on these moralistic rants sometimes that really turn me off. I can’t tell if he’s doing it for reads or he actually thinks like that. Either way, I just hope he’s never caught doing something he’s not proud of. And yes, we have a responsibility to make this world a kinder place (particularly for marginalized groups), but celebrating someone’s death never achieves that. I can hate what X did to his victims but can mourn the loss of his life and art. I can condemn his personal actions but understand how X’s music affected millions of teenagers going through depression and anxiety. I can believe X had the power to transform while believing we should fight for his victims. I can also mourn the fact that X felt he had to act that way. Abusers don’t just appear — though still his choice, it’s likely his behavior was a result of his own trauma and victimization. The whole thing is tragic for everyone involved.