COLUMN: Whitney deserves respect

Usually the death of someone is a time of mourning, where respect is shown to the deceased and their loved ones.

Unfortunately, with the death of Whitney Houston, while most have shown such dignity, others have engaged in less than respectful actions.

Upon the announcement of a private funeral, some of Houston’s fans became angry that they would not be able to attend.

Instead of coming out and criticizing Houston’s family for choosing to hold a private funeral, the respectful thing would have been to quietly allow it to go forward and mourn in peace.

As much as a fan may have “loved” Whitney Houston, nobody loved her as much as her close friends and family, and to become angry at her loved ones for choosing to hold a private funeral is simply disrespectful.

What was even worse was when Sony Records increased the online download price of Houston’s albums and songs. Sure, America is built on capitalism, where scarce commodities are valued at a higher price, but even the most die-hard capitalist should have seen that this was an extremely inappropriate move.

Instead of trying to make a quick buck, Sony should have had some respect for Houston and left the price alone. Shortly after outcry over the move, Sony reversed the price increase, but the damage was already done.

While Sony was to blame for this particular incident, it is the American obsession with celebrities as a whole that led to their action. Ultimately, celebrities are just people. They have specific talents, but they are no better than any other person.

On the flip side of that coin, they deserve the same respect as everyone else.

Like everyone, celebrities eventually die, but when they do, they deserve the same respect as any other person. That means from their fans as well as from the people they worked for.

In the future, record companies will hopefully respect that while they may make more money from driving up the price of a recently deceased singer, it is fundamentally wrong to do so.

Fans of celebrities will hopefully also realize that the family of the deceased should have complete control over the funeral, and if they choose to keep it private, respect their wishes.

Death eventually comes to everyone, and the dead deserve respect, whether they are famous or not. To deny someone this basic respect is utterly disgraceful, and shows the sad state of our society’s views of celebrities.

Nathan Inks is the president of College Republicans. The column does not reflect views of the organization.


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