Horrific car accident takes the life of a Furry Raider
On June 6th, 2017, on a bridge in Charleston, South Carolina a furry who went by the fursona name Xzavior Wolf died during a car accident. After the initial crash, he had left the car and as a result was crushed between vehicles due to another vehicle hitting the current wreckage.
The incident is a stark reminder of the fragility of life, and that it can be taken in an instant. It is usually during these times that we reflect upon their life, and celebrate what they brought to the table. However, this is where things get a bit awkward and complicated. For the one who had lost their life that night happened to be a part of an infamous organization within the fandom that had ties with the closure of a convention a few months prior and reworked Nazi symbology.
Xzavior, was indeed, a member of the Furry Raiders. And so when the news of their death was confirmed by the group on Twitter, the reactions were as divided and controversial as the organization in which he was affiliated.
Reactions in the Fandom
While those in the Furry Raiders, and other philosophically alt-right organizations mourned and shared condolences, they were not alone in their respectful tones. One example of a person overcoming their disagreements to show sympathy for the loss is BoilerRoo, who is known for having a character with an anti-fascist stint. They even starred in propaganda punching a nazi furry who looks similar to the Raider leader’s constructed fursona. However, in the end, they put aside the vast disagreement with their political philosophy to wish them condolences for their loss.
Of course not everyone believed that empathy is a proper way to respond to those that showed patronage to a an organization that shows none in life. Others took the Bill Mahar v. Jerry Farwell approach. One particularly harsh tweet questioned: "Who would win in a fight? A greasy Nazifur or the new Buick Lacrosse?" Tweets such as this have brought up rowdy debate on hypocrisy on both sides. Those in the alt-right wing point out that such jokes about the deaths of minorities would be considered heinous by those making this joke and so are showing that those on the other side of the aisle are not against low brow humor, but only favor it when it meshes with their politic. Those on the left counter with the argument that the deceased had made jokes about the holocaust and other tragedies and therefore they should expect equal treatment in kind.
Reflections upon a tragedy
Personally, I find it tragic on many levels. A life cut short is always the loss of potential. While a person may have had poor world-view in the moment of their death, there was always opportunity to turn away from that in time. Particularly the youthful, vulnerable, and angry could easily turn away from such feelings as they mature. But the capacity for any chance at redemption here was lost.
In addition to that, on most obituaries we would tend to discuss the things the fur created in life. We would talk about what their contributions were to the fandom at large. Whether it be the webcomic they poured their life into, the convention they toiled to get off the ground, or simply being a supportive friend who backed the talents of others; there should be something here.
Unfortunately, the only thing visible here to talk about is that they joined the Furry Raiders and that they had died. The controversy over the reaction to their death is the only thing they at this point that they will be remembered for in the fandom. And in the end, I would hope that we would wish to be remembered for more than just an armband and the way we died.