Justin Kirkland, his manager, told The Associated Press that his former client “probably had one of the best personalities around, super-positive, happy all the time."
This latest American tragedy stands on its own as another sad commentary on modern life in this nation. But what’s made it even worse in the four days since is the reaction, via the Internet, of everyday people who’ve in many cases leaped to conclusions about the killing, conclusions that say more about the popular speculation in tragedy, and the current of rage loose in the public mood, than anything else.
Within hours of the news of the performer’s death, people across the blogosphere weighed in, most summoning the reflexive anodyne expressions of support for his parents, and his three children. These commenters, writing in The Root and The Huffington Post, among other outlets, veered from judgment to take the wider, human view: We are diminished by this loss. Their mommas raised ‘em right.
But a number of others went in a different direction, using Mega’s death as an opportunity for punitive, moralistic grandstanding about hip-hop culture in general, an opportunity for mean-spirited racial generalizations that the evidence at the crime scene didn’t support.
Jojo1983 weighed in early at The Huffington Post: “I'm not criticizing this man's life. It's unfortunate that he lost his life due to the hip hop culture that glorifies gang banging and violence. I criticize the culture, not the man.”
Jim Hagerman @ HuffPost: “It's more newsworthy when violence DOESN'T break out in the hip hop community, Seriously, it's friggin' ridiculous. And this has nothing to do with race (as convenient and simple-minded it is to play that card), it's about a segment of the music industry that refuses to gets it's own house in order.”
Yourbuffers @ HuffPost: “people always say ‘Sad’ and ‘Sensless’ after it happens, meanwhile they still promote thug lifsyles and ‘ganstas’ as glamourous and promote the pimping, the ultra-tough guy with guns and women and dominence as a valid way to live.”
Bexarpaw @ HuffPost: “What’s really sad is that it is black men killing black people!”
Eric Daniels (in reply): “How do you know the person killed him was black? making a lot of assumptions are we?”
Lonnie Gonsalves, commenting at The Root, called the incident “Another example of us being our own worst enemy, not the ‘white bogey man in sheets’ holding us down.”
Clarke replies: “how in the hell do YOU know WHO killed this man.”
Some people were willfully off-message. Gosner29 @ HuffPost: “Was Corey McGriff's show that bad, that someone would want to shoot him? Can't they just change the station, in New Yawk, that they're listening to? Shooting the talking head seems a bit drastic and over the top, doesn't it?”