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Xavier Smith: There’s always the other side

Xavier Smith • Updated May 17, 2017 at 12:00 PM

I rarely liken myself to celebrities, especially those who don’t offer a glimpse into their personal lives, but I found myself in a similar situation as Chance the Rapper a few days ago.

As for my situation, I can honestly say I didn’t see it coming. In case you missed it, I’ll give a brief review.

Friendship Christian School held their annual year end’s Fun Lab on Friday, which was a friendly exercise that featured someone who “stole” the students’ cupcakes, and it was up to them to find the culprit. Long story short, the “thief” was country music star Darryl Worley. 

At the end of the exercise, Worley was “arrested” by Lebanon police Cpl. P.J. Hardy. Once the acting completed, myself, Friendship Christian School officials, another media outlet and Worley and his camp joked and talked about what just took place. It was brainstormed from Worley’s camp that there should be a serious tease before the other outlet unveiled the full story later in the day. It was all meant for fun and to be harmless. 

It was my first time meeting Worley, and he was on board with the tease and laughed at the idea of him being arrested over cupcakes. He seemed like a nice guy from what I could tell, so there definitely wouldn’t be any ill intent to anything I said about him, like any other assignment.

Myself, following the idea, went back to the office and teased with a serious tone (probably too serious) that Worley was “apprehended” at the school. At the same time, I was working on the full story of the Fun Lab that was set to drop a few hours later.

I posted the teaser, and that’s when the world went crazy. I had numerous emails (even from Washington state) and calls about the tease, which called my journalistic integrity into question. 

However, all of that ceased when people realized what actually took place. 

In Chance’s situation, a screenshot appeared of the rapper liking an offensive comment on Instagram of plus-sized models. The comment read, “just puked.”

The Internet wasted little time voicing their opinions about one of the most beloved entertainer’s perceived ruthless and uncharacteristic gesture.

Chance responded a few days ago and said he accidently liked the offensive comment on Instagram. He apologized for the mistake and said it didn’t reflect his character.

I don’t know Chance personally. However, if someone who recently said he would donate $1 million to the Chicago public school system and has consistently used his platform to speak on injustices says it was an accident, I believe him.

From something as simple as a social media like to a perceived unfair article, there’s always two sides to what actually happened. 

I believe I learned a lesson and saw where I may have made a mistake, but my only regret is that the firestorm overshadowed what was a fun day for those Friendship Christian students.

Xavier Smith is a staff writer for The Democrat. Email him at xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com and follow him on Twitter @wilsonnewswritr.

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