Much of his (online) social circle completely dropped away from him due to what they perceived as his use of bigoted racist language, not because they perceived him as having a temporary lapse in judgement or breakdown. They (the 'twitterverse') did judge him.
I wish a better archive was available of the replies to his ramblings; he was being actively chastised for his use of language by the vast majority of his social circle while a very slim few were asking him to seek professional help.
My point in saying this : if anyone has a friend or loved one that suddenly acts out of character, how about saving the moral and ethical rhetoric and judgement until after you're fully aware that they're not undergoing some sort of crisis and speaking out-of-turn, please?
I witnessed this whole happening in real-time, and knowing the outcome now and thinking back at the community response towards him at the time really disgusts me.
This event made me spend a lot of time meditating on the impact of social media towards those of us who have a hard time discerning reality from fiction, even temporarily. I had thought about it before; but witnessing an event like this from start to 'finish' really drove certain points home for me, and I certainly hope to never experience it again -- even as a spectator.
Completely agree with this in the general sense (not specific to this topic). I feel that with the advent of communication platforms like social media, microblogging, instant messaging, 24x7 news, etc., people seem to have become too quick to judge, and the capacity to have nuanced views and separating different aspects seems to be diminished significantly. If we treat everything as a binary, how will we ever learn and become better with ourselves and others?
Not to excuse the behavior of those who judged him, but the ideal would be to get help before it gets to this point.
If I have a stomach bug, I would hope to get treatment before vomiting all over my food. I would fully expect my dinner guests to be disgusted by my outburst, it's only natural. I have had athlete friends who I have treated to lunch after an intense sporting event and had them vomit in the middle of the restaurant, and I don't blame anyone near us for getting up and leaving. It's not pleasant to see.
Saying "I'm not feeling well and I am getting help" is a lot easier to do before you've proven that fact. After you've had a racist outburst is the time when it's too late to save face. It's not too late to get help for sure, but at that point you're already going to suffer some repercussions.
No one should be blamed for getting help, but likewise no one should be blamed for not sticking by you when you refuse to get that help. It's a two-way street. No one who matters will judge you for getting help, but society will certainly judge you for anything do you do/say before you seek that assistance.