Speaking ill of the dead

With Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, I got to thinking about the saying “don’t speak ill of the dead.” It seems like it is another more roundabout way of speaking ill of the dead.

What you’re saying is that the very first thing this person brings to mind with their passing is a social norm against bringing up the faults of the wholly irredeemable if they should die.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand not wanting to be cruel to surviving family. And I get not wanting people to perceive you as ghoulish, relishing in the suffering of others.

But when a death has comorbitity with an end to active harm, it’s hard to see the value in that custom. And if the nicest you can muster is,  “I don’t want to be mean to a dead guy”  and their family should see that, doesn’t that convey the same message?

Anyway, even if you don’t speak ill of Scalia now, it’s about impossible to not see the end result as a boon for America. If that message of optimism is in violation of this norm, I think that it’s worth violating.

Speaking ill of the dead

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