Death is not a punchline.

Dying isn’t funny. It never has been, never will be. It shouldn’t be the butt of a joke, ever. It’s not okay to tell people that they should die or kill themselves. It doesn’t matter how funny you think you’re being, it’s not a laughing matter. When someone dies, it’s a tragedy that breaks the hearts of many people around them. Imagine if it were your sister, brother, father, mother, beloved aunt or uncle. A close friend. Imagine them gone from your life, for good. Never a chance to speak to them again, to tell them you love them, no more chances for hugs or laughing together or a silly fight. Are you still laughing? No? Didn’t think so.

Whether an accidental death, or a suicide, it’s not a joke. And joking about people dying, about killing people, or about people killing themselves only adds to insensitive attitude that we seem to have toward death. We see it in movies, on TV, we “kill people” in video games. We think nothing of it. Until its someone close to us. Then suddenly it takes on a whole new meaning.

Your words and how you use them matters.

It matters because it affects everybody around you. Your words become your beliefs, become your habits, become your life. It matters because what you think has a direct correlation with what you think. And what you think and say affects what others say and think. Tell somebody that they should kill themselves one too many times, and they do it. Tell someone that death, or someone else’s pain, is funny too many times, and you end up with people who have no ability to empathize. You wind up with bullies and abusers.

If you think death can or should be part of jokes, then talk to someone who’s had a friend die in a war, in a car accident, or from suicide. Ask a soldier who’s watched men die, maybe at his own hands. Ask someone who’s been told that they should die. Look at their scars, physical and emotional. Then tell them its funny. See how they react.

What disturbs me is when people say that Muslims should die, or go kill themselves. There is a viral post on Facebook (I won’t link to it, you can go find it if you really want to) that is supposed to be a joke, about how American women should walk outside naked on a certain day to “week out the terrorists” since Islamic men must commit suicide if they see a woman other than their wife naked. The post goes on, mocking Islamic beliefs about nudity, alcohol, and sex. It essentially equates “Muslim” with “terrorist” and insinuates that they should all go kill themselves. There are other connotations made in this post about Americans that are equally as shameful, regarding nudity, respect for our bodies, etc. but that’s for another post.

But nobody should ever be told that they should kill themselves. Regardless of skin color, religion, body type, sexuality, musical preferences (yes, people actually tell other people to go commit suicide because of their musical preference), grammar, spelling, years of schooling, political preferences, or any other reason, ever. Ever.

It’s not okay.

Making death a punchline is never okay.

I know too many people who are pained daily by the actual loss of family members or friends, or who do, or have, struggle(d) with suicide because of the hurtful words of others.

So please, just stop. 

Death is not a punchline.

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