Revisiting a Sad Yet Important Story
A mother's appreciation: Accolades to SF Weekly staff writer Albert Samaha for his beautifully written article [and blog posts] about the shocking death of my son, Dylan Yount, in Hallidie Plaza, San Francisco, on Feb. 16, 2010 ["Public Influence," feature, 1/2]. Samaha's thorough research, exceptional writing abilities, and human compassion gave this difficult story the attention it finally deserves. Most everyone, it seems, from complete strangers to Dylan's family and friends, have been moved by what happened to my son in his final, tortured hour. Not many mothers see their sons encouraged to die and savagely cheered at death, especially one as gentle and good as Dylan, so I struggle constantly not to become cynical. I had never heard of suicide-baiting until his death. I had never read a police report. I am still as shocked as I was when I first learned of his death. And, of course, Samaha was completely right: Dylan's death has a digital afterlife.
At the same time, I have found much comfort reading the comments and tweets about this story coming from all over the world. It has helped me tremendously to know that people really care about the injustice my son suffered before he died, miserably dehumanized and afraid. It helps to know that others think what happened was outrageously brutal and preventable.
It is my hope that Samaha's work will strengthen all people to champion what they know is right. The threat of anonymous cruelty is ever present. We are defined as a society by how we respond.
I hope SF Weekly realizes exactly what a rising star the publication has. Surely, no one could have articulated these thoughts any better than this young journalist did. Many thanks from Dylan's mom.
People should have yelled "Don't!": I just read the article about Dylan's suicide. I am overwhelmed with sadness that this successful young man didn't find a reason to live. Worse, I am sickened by those who yelled "Jump!" What has happened to people who do not value the life of others? I don't know what else to say other than I appreciated Samaha's insightful article and I sincerely hope that those who yelled "Jump!" read the article and feel responsible for his jump to death. More should have yelled "Don't!" Thanks for publishing the article; I hadn't heard about the suicide.
Blog Comments of the Week
Feud over, but doesn't mean it's the last: Bully Chris Daly can't help himself ["Chris Daly: I am No Longer Haunting David Chiu," Joe Eskenazi, the Snitch, 1/9]. Daly will be haunting someone else before long — if he isn't already. Someone must be reining him in because he can't rein himself in. It won't be long until there is another story and it will be "on like Donkey Kong" with someone [else].
People shouldn't forget Muni isn't free on Sunday either: Sorry, but free parking on Sunday is a legacy from an era when shops were closed Sundays ["Here's Something You Can Do If You're Pissed About Paying for Parking on Sunday," Erin Sherbert, the Snitch, 1/7]. If people are actually leaving San Francisco over parking, then I'm pretty sure those folks are better suited to a suburban lifestyle in the first place. I'm sick of my taxpayer dollars going to fund everyone's private car parking on public streets. Last I checked, Muni still costs $2 on Sundays.