October 23, 2021

It Is Immoral to Talk Negatively About a Dead Person

By Alagi Yorro Jallow

Fatoumatta: People grieve in many different ways over someone’s death and mourn the dead the way they like when someone dies. It is usual for people to mourn every death, but that the living must draw the proper lessons from the lives of those who have passed away. That is what makes our society make progress and builds peace in our community. There is an English saying that urges us never to talk ill of the dead. Unfortunately, some make people feel like they have to open their mouths with their itchy fingers on the keyboards spreading hate speech and hurting loved ones after death. We are here to say it is okay to keep processing and talking about these issues if you need to. You may want to choose your audience wisely.

However, you can draw positive lessons from the deceased’s life and history. Depending on your situation, friends or family may not be the best people to support these types of conversations. It would be best if you were not gloating over someone’s death. Decent human beings do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove snd turn his wrath away from them.

When someone is removed physically from our lives, there is an impact, no matter how we felt about them. It changes the relationship, and it can impact our understanding of the past and the future. Even if the hole left in your life is a hole you believed you always wanted, that does not change its emotional impact. You can deeply miss someone you had a complicated relationship with, so permit yourself. The human heart is funny that way.
Fatoumatta: It is sad for anyone to die, and you speak poorly of them with malign influence. You may have imagined that all those complicated feelings would somehow get resolved once the person died or was entirely out of your life. Nevertheless, there is a good chance that the problematic emotions are still there, even though they are not. You would not be the first or the last. The reality is the pain of an inappropriate relationship does not die just because a person has died. History is recording files saved for posterity.

You must not care about what kind of divinity, religion, or belief system we ascribe to in death times. In the circumstances such as a death of a patriotic Gambian, the point here is that a public officer served his country with honor, dedication, and distinction. It would be best if you had decorum and countenance during this mourning period, Alhagie Mamour Jobe, irrespective of your beliefs. Instances like mourning the quintessential senior police officer provide us with moments for inner reflection on the frailties of being human life. Understanding that, at one point, we may find ourselves on the same path, irrespective of our Islamism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Atheism, or any other isms that we have fashioned for ourselves.

Fatoumatta: It is politics, stupid. Furthermore, people make dumb comments. The postings and broadcasting on social media on the death of the late Inspector General of Police Alhagie Mamour Jobe. It would be best if you had, and not so much for the optics of gloating on his death. You talk a lot about optics — how something will look to those around you. That does not look right, we say. Think about how that will look to the rest of the world, we say.
As I attempted to move on, I stumbled upon one man’s take on the late Inspector General of Police’s passing. A stranger to me, he had broadcasted on social media criticism of Alhagie Mamour Jobe. This is certainly not the first time those haters wished bad and gloat to Alhagie Sarjo Barrow’s dead journalist and probably may not be the last. About certain people affiliated with a political party dislike late Sarjo Barrow’s political views and disapproves of journalists leaning toward President Adama Barrow.

It is immoral to talk negatively about a dead person, whether living or dead. There is a saying: ” You become what you associate with.”So if we are talking about the bad qualities of someone, there is just a matter of time those same bad qualities may creep into our character. Usually, people after death can harm us, and it is a general culture not to speak evil about them.

‘I cannot wait for Sarjo Barrow to die so I can skip his funeral,’ the WhatsApp stranger broadcasted when Gambian were mourning him. It hit me hard and other Gambians. I did not ignore it. We envisioned a life without someone still larger than life. I was sad, and I did something I rarely do — I replied to a stranger’s post.

‘That is awful,’ I wrote. ‘No matter how you lean politically, Sarjo Barrow is someone’s father. That is awful.’ It is a joke. Someone wrote below me. It is satire. You cannot, in turn, celebrate a dead man’s tribulations and say, “let your disbelief heal you.” Alternatively, “let your belief heal you.” As moral human beings, you can only offer goodwill, empathy, and the hope that things will get better.

Fatoumatta: You may disagree on many fronts, including religion, politics, form, and manner of worship, prosperity gospel, the existence of a divine being, etc. Still, it would be best if you never turned into empty animals that celebrate the dead or illness, for we are all mortal beings. It would be best if you also acknowledged that belief is deeply personal. You cannot impose your beliefs on others nor pretend that what you believe is better than others think. That is what the Atheism of these people is attempting to do. Your Atheism must not seek to be “better” than my religion and vice versa. The belief is deeply personal. Your Atheism must remain yours, my faith, or lack thereof, mine.

Fatoumatta: You can debate the demerits of miracles, prayer, etc., if you take the liberty elsewhere, but not framed as against the tribulations of a dead man and his family. In this instance, I must submit that the group of people spreading hate speech are exemplary idiots. Wishing someone dead is never a joke. There is nothing satirical about wishing the ultimate grief upon another. Do not expect someone dead. That is never fun.

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