In memory of a Pontiac man who died last week, sign a petition to remove a website mocking his death
Click here to sign a petition on change.org to try and remove a racist website, mocking Malcolm Robert Fairley's death. Almost 30,000 people have signed so far. **
I believe that you can't choose who you fall in love with.
And it doesn't matter the other person's race or gender.
Yet there are people in this world who, for some reason, feel like it's their responsibility to condemn others for who they love.
Iliana Leonicia Ortiz had the worst week of her life last week when her boyfriend and father of her child, Malcolm Robert Fairley, died at only 21 years old from accidentally drowning in Stony Creek Lake. And the week was only made worse when some people, instead of sending her sympathy, judged her.
In the midst of her almost unbearable grieving, Iliana also had to deal with something she never expected — people making hateful comments about her for dating a black man.
It's bad enough for people to degrade others for the color of their skin when they are alive. But to do this when the other person is dead is cruel and downright cowardly.
I know that I usually focus on writing about people who died from suicide. I want to stress that Fairley's death was an accident — it was not a suicide. But I wanted to make an exception and write about him because I wanted to help stand up for someone who can no longer defend himself.
One of Iliana's best friends, Nana Schlak, shared a racist website with me that posted the story I wrote in The Macomb Daily and The Oakland Press about Malcolm in its forum.
Malcolm is called an N-word countless times by users and, even worse, people on the site call him "worthless" and that his death was a "miraculous blessing."
They mock his girlfriend as well and call their baby a "zebra." (Side note: I think their family is beautiful. And it makes me sick that people would say these things.)
Iliana and most of her friends have already seen this website. Could you even imagine, while in the midst of mourning the loss of the love of your life, to stumble across something like this?
Comments on The Oakland Press' website, which have since been deleted, were almost as bad as this — predicting Malcolm, if alive, would not be there for his child either — solely basing this on the fact that he is black.
I know there is a stereotype against black men abandoning their children. But there are bad people in the world of every color. That doesn't mean everyone of that race is like that though. And Malcolm was definitely not like that.
Nana said, "There's a difference between who they called 'N***ers' and black people. There are people who are low-lives and drug dealers. Then there are the decent black people — the smart ones — like Malcolm."
"I don't understand how they can say stuff like that about people when they don't know them — and the comments they were making about an innocent child who can't defend himself."
Nana said she knows the people who made that website have freedom of speech but she is hoping they will get enough pressure from the community to shut them down.