Every American has likely heard a story about someone who tragically died due to drug addiction—especially opioid addiction. Each story is tragic and has its own complexities.
Despite this obvious fact, after 26-year-old rapper Mac Miller’s death was announced on Friday Sept. 7, many took to social media to blame his ex-girlfriend, pop-star Ariana Grande.
Miller was open about battling substance abuse throughout his career. Coincidentally, he refereed to his own death on his mixtape on 2014, according to iNews.
“A drug habit like Philip Hoffman will probably put me in a coffin,” Miller rapped.
Despite his well-documented struggles, some people believe it was Grande’s fault that Miller spiraled. Grande broke up with Miller in May 2018, causing some to needlessly connect his overdose to post-break-up blues.
If Grande felt unhappy in the relationship for whatever reason, she had no responsibility to stay; no one should. Instead, people should recognize that Miller made his own choices and Grande should be allowed to make hers.
There are many people and institutions that could be blamed for the current crisis.
These include government oversight bodies that have still not sufficiently intervened in the opioid epidemic, doctors who over-prescribed painkillers to patients and pharmaceutical companies who pushed their products at the cost of human health. These all deserve significantly more attention than friends and family of victims that struggle with how to handle addiction.
Grande, who also previously received blame for her outfit choice at Aretha Franklin’s funeral after a pastor sexually assaulted her, has been victim blamed repeatedly in the past few weeks. Her experience is not uncommon for women in the public eye, and society must stop attacking people for behavior they can’t control.
At the end of the day, all Grande did was leave a relationship she was not happy in. She did not condemn Miller. She did not wish him bad; in fact, she did just the opposite. After the breakup, she referred to him as one of [her] closest friends in the world, according to People.
Targeting a woman who has suffered an unimaginable loss for something she played no part in is reflective of society’s tendency to assign blame too freely. Grande should be able to mourn Miller without being made to feel guilty, considering she did nothing wrong.
Miller’s death is tragic; attacking and blaming Grande will not solve anything nor bring him back.