The recent death of Aaron Hernandez, ex-NFL football player to the New England Patriots serves as a testament as to just how far this nation has to go before any of us are truly free.
On April 19th, 2017, Hernandez was found hanging in his jail cell. Left behind were three suicide notes-one to his daughter, another to his wife, and the last to an alleged gay lover he’d acquired while incarcerated. Much speculation distinguishes the motive behind Hernandez’s death to the fact that he was bisexual and that this verity also served as the catalyst in the murder of Odin Lloyd, his fellow teammate back in 2013 who may have known the truth about Hernandez’s sexuality.
But let’s for a moment forget the varnish that is celebrity. Strip away the identity of professional football player and what do you have? You have a guy, ordinary beneath the surface, struggling with his truth because living in such a light would cast a formidable and heavy shadow of prejudice. The ensuing isolation and disownment of fans and loved ones and the vociferous voices of religious groups who condemn said feelings and actions can be unbearable and overwhelming. It could damn right drive you insane.
(Aaron Hernandez in court during the proceedings of his case.)
I’ll admit, even I assumed him to be a monster after the 2013 report came out. But with the surfacing of these particular truths comes the need to sympathize with this human being afraid of how much his life would change, personally and professionally, with living his truth. What Hernandez did back in 2013 was cowardice behavior, a behavior that is inadvertently promoted within our own society.
I’ll elaborate. It takes true courage and bravery to dismiss the white noise of the prejudice. To live one’s truth. However, such bravery has a price. Simply put, not many people are willing to pay that price.
According to the CDC, gay and bisexual men are four times more likely to take their life in contrast to the likelihood of women and represent 79% of all United States’ suicides. A staggering statistic, indeed because it only calculates America. Gay and bisexual men are also more susceptible according to the CDC to exhibit violent behavior because of homophobia, harassment and violent acts that are committed against the gay community by non-homosexuals.
The fight for freedom has been an ongoing battle here in America and it’s frightening to for a second consider the possibility of regression. With new President Trump sullied with controversies, leading a very redux mentality, emboldening dangerous thinkers who believe in the supremacy of one race, none of this steers America in the direction to be “Great Again.” These ideologies, if not rectified and silenced swiftly, will dismantle the nation of America, the land of the free. Wars are already ready rupturing in our own backyard like those in California. Is what we saw in California the quiet before the storm?
The results of prejudice in America in the year 2017 is unrest and anarchy. People are willing to murder, kill themselves, or fight against those who willing oppress. Let’s not make it okay for cowardice behavior to lead this country. Let the brave step forward and declare liberty, freedom, and justice for all.