Following this article, I emailed Henry Rollins regarding his ableist attack upon people who have committed suicide. I publish the full correspodence below, in order to ensure that Rollins stands by what he committed to in his emails.
Email 1 – Me to Rollins
I used to love your music and writing. I have recently come to realise that you are a vile, disgusting and pernicious human being.
I have written an article in response to your ableist shit about Robin Williams. Read it. [Link was included.]
I am disgusted by you and I demand a response. How dare you spew such reprehensible nonsense. How dare you publish this filth.
Jame R. Bell.
Email 2 – Rollins to me
James, thanks for the letter. I have been learning from the letters I have been getting that there is a lot about severe depression that I don’t understand and I need to educate myself to evolve on the issue. I wish RW was still around. It is difficult for me to understand how someone could leave his kids and all the people all over the world who loved him. I could never do that. Then again, I don’t have severe depression. I have had a few people I know get killed. When someone takes themselves out, I get mad about it all over again. Thank you for taking the time to write. Bye. Henry
Email 3 – Me to Rollins
This appears to be standardised.
I appreciate that it is difficult to understand the impulse that goes into depression. However, in no manner does this legitamise the publication of sentences like this: ‘Almost 40,000 people a year kill themselves in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In my opinion, that is 40,000 people who blew it.’ When you publish things like this, not only are you insulting the dead, you are insulting their families, their friends, everyone who knew them. The 40,000 people who “blew it” (to use your digusting nomenclature) deserve and require a public apology from you and a retraction of your article.
Not understanding the phenomenon is not an excuse. An apology in an email is not enough. Real fucking people die from this. Your condesention is not enough.
James R. Bell
Email 4 – Rollins to me
No, not standardized, I wrote you back. I live in Los Angeles, it’s death city. So many people I know have been murdered, killed themselves. I drive around and see places where I used to see people alive and now they’re gone. I am sick of it. I carry them around with me and it doesn’t get better. I have not committed any crime. If I am ignorant on something, I’ll educate myself. I think not understanding is an excuse. Not wanting to learn, that’s not an excuse. Thanks. Henry
Email 5 – Me to Rollins
Then educate yourself before you publish articles attacking people who have no other choice in the matter.
I’ve been suicidally depressed myself. I’ve attempted it. I’ve known people that have killed themselves. The article you published makes it something that these people should feel guilty about that. That is heinous.
As I said, these people deserve a public apology and a retraction of your article. Will this happen? If so, when?
Email 6 – Rollins to me
I wrote a thing that will be out soon. Thanks and glad you’re still around. Henry
Email 7 – Me to Rollins
I will be publishing these emails in order to ensure that happens.
Email 8 – Rollins to me
gee, thanks for asking me!
Email 9 – Me to Rollins
When you publish statements condemning people that commit suicide, you should expect people to retaliate. It’s entirely justified.
Email 10 – Rollins to me
What precisely Rollins’ next article will say, only time will tell. Comment will certainly be available on this blog.