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Brooklyn White
November 16, 2017 5:00 pm

This morning, I woke up to an Instagram post from a friend discussing rapper Lil Peep. The two had met before, and she described the young artist as “polite, sweet, [and] creative.” It took all of a second to realize that this was her goodbye to Lil Peep, who passed away last night from a drug overdose at the age of 21.

Not long after, I saw #LilPeep was trending on Twitter. Celebrity condolences from Pete Wentz to Juicy J began pouring in. Fans shared their profound sadness about the musician’s overdose via social media.

Unfortunately, though, not all young people are emotionally evolved enough to feel empathy or pain following a peer’s death — or about death in general. It is absolutely normal to feel less than glorious when someone passes away, especially when they have been so vocal about their struggles. It does not matter if you knew them personally or if you were a fan.

A few people on Twitter used their voice to cruelly state that they “didn’t care.” Others are using this sensitive time to give their stigmatizing two cents on mental illness and substance abuse.

Newsflash: belittling a person’s struggles with addiction is just as heartless as saying “I don’t care.” It is astounding to me that the people doing the most “diagnosing” and shaming of folks’ mental health battles usually have no medical degree or credentials.

I should not have to make a horrible situation revolve around egotists for them to understand its depth.

The fact that Lil Peep is a human being who is no longer here is enough reason to treat his memory with respect.

This is especially the case since, through his music, he did what I perceive to be his personal best to make the world a better place.

To those judgmentally tweeting about Lil Peep, I just gotta ask: Where is the humanity? Are our words about love, understanding, and care reserved only for those who are neurotypical? Are we pretend activists who only carefully tweet about human relations when we want to make ourselves look good? Why can’t we just be quiet when our words are useless and harmful?

Lil Peep had just turned 21.

That is so very young. But in his young life, he was able to grab the attention of millions with his music, viewpoints, and expressive image. He is worth remembering.

There are a few ways to combat people’s lack of compassion towards Lil Peep’s passing. One, which might be the easiest, is to simply remain silent on social media and reflect internally. Not every happening needs your opinion. Secondly, be kind to yourself and those around you, whether it is in word or deed. Text your homie who is having a hard time; let them know you care and see how they’re doing.

We will miss you, Lil Peep. Your battles, lyrics, and courage will not be forgotten. We are sorry that others are disrespecting your life, but we will do our best to overpower that hate with love.

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