Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Hey guys and gals. This post is one of a more somber note. Former American mobster, turned FBI informant, Henry Hill Jr. died today at the age of 69. I know a bit about his story because I watched the 1990 Martin Scorsese movie based on his life, Goodfellas, where famous actor Ray Liotta played Hill.
Since the news of his passing has spread over the Internet and social media sites there have been a lot of mixed responses from people. Many have posted comments of "R.I.P" and "God rest your soul" while many others have offered an outpouring of hateful words like "rot in hell you fucking rat" or "snitch bitch" or "once a rat, always a rat" and much more disturbing comments.
I am floored at the insensitivity and audacity of people when it comes to an individual that is deceased. Don't get me wrong, I do not condone the violence and criminal activities of the mafia lifestyle but I do not believe we as the general public have the right to defame the name of someone such as Henry Hill who decided to turn his back on it. Words like "disloyalty" and "disrespect" are quick to come to mind when people think of Hill but how many of the critics would have acted differently if placed in a similar predicament I wonder. I'm guessing not too many. We can sit comfortably in our homes and pass judgments but the truth is there are other extenuating circumstances that have to be considered to fairly assess the right or wrong of Hill's decision to become an informant.
It's important to remember that he had a family, children, people he loved. It's no secret that the mafia lifestyle is a dangerous one and the risk to himself and his family must have finally become too great for him. Many people are drawn to the glamour and power of that world but not everyone is willing to die for it, plain and simple fact.
I am not here to judge Hill or his actions because I am not God, but I am here to say that seeing all the negative posts from people about him as a "rat" definitely shone a light on just how hypocritical people can be. It's too easy to call someone a coward or pathetic for choosing to make a decision that is not glorified by mainstream society but it is never that easy to uphold those standards we expect from others. At the end of the day, what resonates with me are those 10 words Christ said in the Bible to the people who tried to stone an adulteress in public, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Well, I damn sure won't be casting stones at anyone anytime soon.