The outrage over the death of childhood Actor Gary Coleman and subsequent deathbed photos have reached fever pitch on the Web, with website commenter’s taking sides over the ordeal, saying Shannon Price failed to act as a wife (ex-wife actually) while others say she simply did what she could.
But unfortunately, and perhaps predictably, many opinions expressed about the matter have taken Coleman to task for marrying a White girl, and they see the case as a pitfall of interracial relationships.
Yes, as controversial as it sounds, a few commenter’s have compared the incident, in which Coleman supposedly fell down a flight of stairs and lay motionless while bleeding profusely from the back of the head — to a kind of twisted retribution for the botched verdict in O.J. Simpson’s criminal trial.
Now we all know website commenter’s often mean well [don’t you?], and we all have a vested interest in free speech and all, but must everything degenerate into race-based drivel?
Public reaction to the audio tape of the harrowing ordeal – in which a 911 dispatcher can clearly be heard telling Price to “at least give him a towel” — serves as a barometer for a so-called post-racial society that is supposed to be enjoying a stirring moment in U.S. history: the first term of the first African-American President.
But on the Internet, racial lines are clearly being drawn. Below are some comments culled from several popular sites.
“Well, this is what he gets for marrying a sorry-azz white chick who didn’t really care about him at all….now we know and so does he.”
“Like I told my brothers, white girls may be easy to get but they’re not loyal in anyway and would turn on you in a millisecond.”
“ I think the sneaky red headed heffa did kill him.”
“I know sometimes I get on a sista or even call y’all nappy Heads from time to time. But on the real a sista that loves you would never watch her man fade away like this. Black people are usually good-hearted people. If a person is in dying need of help, how in the world you can say I’m not going down there, that’s insane.”
And of course, there have been hundreds of commenter’s that resisted urges to be mean-spirited and countered with levelheaded answers:
“Evil comes in all colors people, please look beyond the race variable. Some Black women have done it too.”
“What the hell does her color have to do with anything. From what it sounds like, she was some cold-hearted woman who did nothing to alleviate her (ex) husband in his final moments. Judge her for her actions and not the color of her skin.”
“AND [she] HAD THE LIFE SUPPORT CUT OFF AFTER JUST A DAY; MY GOD SHE KILLED MY CHILDHOOD IDOL!” (Coleman’s death has not been investigated as a crime nor has Shannon Price been implicated as a potential suspect in any way)
Price, for her part, hasn’t been silent. In a video obtained by TMZ, she said anyone who thinks she’s a gold digger or heartless just isn’t informed. “Why would I want to hurt my husband, are you kidding?”
According to reports Price said she chose to take Coleman off life support because his injuries had irreparably damaged him. “The doctor said even if they took a chunk out of his brain, he wouldn’t be the same … he would have died sooner or later anyway. …. Gary was gone, his eyes were dilated. He was gone.”
Price said she was appreciative for all he had done for her. “He’s done a lot for me, he’s bought me a car … which I didn’t ask him to do.”
Judging from how surreal this ordeal continues to get (Coleman’s estate is plagued by infighting and several wills for the former actor have mysteriously popped up) it’s clear that race is the last thing we, his fans, need to contemplate during this difficult time, no matter how angry we get.
Perhaps, Coleman’s former co-star on “Diff”rent Strokes,” Todd Bridges, said it best, when he tweeted: “To find out pics of Gary Coleman in his last days got out, I hope someone burns in hell for this one.”
Well, they said hell hath no fury, like a woman scorned.