It's been a crazy news cycle this week with the events surrounding Steve Stephens and Aaron Hernandez. Two accused killers - one convicted and serving time, one on the lam attempting to evade capture with very different backgrounds, yet both men's lives both came to a self-inflicted end. The social media commentary on both men has been heavily split, with many people vilifying Stephens for his random act of violence, while showing compassion for Hernandez, who left behind a fiance and a young daughter.
In case you've been under a rock all week, Steve Stephens took to Facebook Live to reveal his intent to cause a “Easter Sunday massacre,” blaming his ex-girlfriend and his recent money woes to lead him to his breaking point. He also claimed to have killed others, although authorities have yet to confirm any of those claims after searching the areas he referenced in the video. After riding around “looking for someone to kill,” Stephens shot 74 year-old Robert Godwin Sr while broadcasting the entire event on Facebook Live. Hours afterwards, the video went viral and was shared thousands of times on several social media and blog websites, leading to several different conversations (and arguments) about Stephens' mental state, his intentions and the validity of his claims to having killed others previously.
Hernandez is the former New England Patriots tight end who was in the mist of a very properous NFL career when, in 2013, he was arrested and charged in the shooting death of Odin Lloyd, who was found shot to death nearly a mile from Hernandez's home. Hernandez was eventually convicted and sentenced to life without parole in 2015, after evidence presented proved that he orchestrated Lloyd's murder and was present at the time of the crime. Hernandez was also accused of a double murder in 2012 of 2 men after leaving a nightclub where he was present, and also was sued for shooting another friend in the head after leaving a strip club in Miami and leaving him for dead, but the friend survived. Neither of these accusations led to any convictions
If you know me personally, you know I'm a big fan of Lil Duval, the comedian most famous for his cameos in T.I's music videos and his hilarious stand up. He used to ask on his social media “What y'all fake caring about today?” Fake caring isn't anything new, but it's gained much popularity in today's social media driven society, often too focused on "doing it for the Gram" and "flick me up one T." When the news of Stephen's reported rampage went public, my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter timelines were filled with opinions from celebrities, hoteps and part-time criminal investigators who list "Gettin' Money" as their occupation.
Wild accusations of a "mass murderer" and "serial killer" were thrown around and people attempted to crucify the police for a slow response and a perceived lack of effort in pursuing Stephens (the Cleveland chief of police, Calvin Williams, is my fiance's cousin, so of course I took those jabs personal.) Once Stephens was found in Erie, PA and reported to have committed suicide before police could apprehend him, sickening posts of "Rest in shit, you piece of trash" arose, further adding to the narrative that Stephens doesn't deserve any type of sympathy, because he was an awful human being who took the easy way out.
However, when it was reported earlier today that Hernandez had committed suicide in his maximum security prison cell, hanging himself with a bed-sheet, a different narrative was cast, more than likely due to the fact that Hernandez was a star player on one of the most popular sports teams in the country.
Did y'all forget that Hernandez's ultra-paranoid ass killed a friend of his fiance's, who was dating her sister? Someone he considered part of his inner circle, who he had murdered in cold blood, literally over nothing. Let's also not forget how he attempted to cover his tracks by having a cleaning crew come to his house the day Lloyd's body was found, and presenting his cell phone as evidence to police - reportedly in pieces. Despite all of this, Hernandez draws sympathy from the fake caring crowd because of his fall from grace, but Stephens' mental state after suffering heartbreak and financial loss is disregarded as soon as he pulls the trigger on Robert Godwin. Hernandez threw his life away because of his own choices but it was a life that most of America would kill to have - millions of dollars, budding pro football career, beautiful family. Nobody wants to be Stephens; he was a loner who's girlfriend kicked him to the curb and had previously filed bankruptcy. Perceiving both men in that type of light is where the fake caring goes into overdrive. But if you can tell me with a straight face that Hernandez and Stephens should be held to 2 different standards and that your perception of either one is different because one was a superstar millionaire and the other was Joe Schmo, then I will send for the Lord to retrieve you because your time on God's green Earth clearly has not been spent wisely.
Murder is murder, straight up, no chaser. Neither one of these men were defending themselves or their families; Stephens lost his marbles and broke bad while Hernandez was a dust-head who didn't trust anyone, and could lose his shit at the drop of a hat. That's the simple of it, so quit trying to convince me or yourself that Hernandez's death was tragic, while pissing on Stephens for what he did, like they weren't one in the same. People lost loved ones because the actions of these two men. how about we show some respect for that?
Can't wait to see what y'all are fake caring about tomorrow.