Several days ago, Rutgers student Tyler Clementi completed suicide be jumping from the George Washington Bridge after his roommate released unauthorized video-tapes of him having sex with another male. Since then, discussion boards, marches and “call-to action” rallies have been in the White communities. This is great, but what saddens me is that WE (the African-American community) don’t respond to crisis in the same manner.
I am reminded that just last week, we lost Broncos wide-receiver Kenny McKinley to suicide completion. I wrote a post and sent out a SPECIAL newsletter; the response was silent! SHOCKINGLY, I only received one comment several days later. The comment stated (paraphrase), ” It was very interesting that no one made any comments on the post about Black Male Suicide.”
This morning, afternoon and night, I am endeavoring to get some feedback on why African-Americans don’t want to discuss the issues surrounding mental illness. T.I., Fantasia and now Bishop Long are all iconic figures in our communities who have recently become vulnerable to the media. I believe that mental illness could be a factor in all 3 cases, and this would certainly explain some of the issues that we are publicly seeing. Today, let’s talk about mental illness in the African-American community. Is this still a taboo discussion…
Come on people , let’s talk!