Much like everyone else who possesses access to the internet, I have been following the chaotic mess of the Rob Kardashian-Blac Chyna feud over the past few days. Because it's my job to follow such things, sure, but also because it has held me spellbound. The way we react to such things... the sort of gleeful power and joy so many social media users have been taking in Kardashian's rage-filled attack, initially on Instagram and then on Twitter. I suppose it's sort of natural, but it gives me pause. Because there are things people shouldn't say about Rob Kardashian, like that his outbursts are "funny" or that this is the result of the fact that he is "crazy," or has previously struggled with mental illness.
On Wednesday, Kardashian spent the day posting incredibly inappropriate words and images about his ex and the mother of his child, model Blac Chyna. The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star insulted her, shared naked images of a woman who was allegedly her without her permission, and accusing her of cheating on him and having plastic surgery. Perhaps worst of all, though, he publicly insinuated she was a bad mother to the couple's daughter, Dream Kardashian, because she used illegal drugs after Dream was born. Chyna's representative hasn't responded to Romper's request for comment, but there is no proof of his allegations so far.
His Instagram account was suspended by Instagram after he repeatedly posted the nude photos of Chyna, and instead of ending things there, he took to Twitter to share more photos of and accusations about Chyna.
And the internet ruthlessly cheered him on.
Kardashian has a long history of struggling with mental illness; before he began his relationship with Chyna in January 2016, he had been largely out of the public eye for at least two years. Which is saying a lot, considering the incredibly public nature of the rest of the Kardashians. He even missed his older sister Kim's wedding to Kanye West, skipping out at the last minute due to a bout of extreme anxiety, according to The Huffington Post. Kardashian was hospitalized in December 2016, in part due to his physical health (he was diagnosed with diabetes in 2015) and his mental state, according to Us Weekly.
So perhaps all of this encouragement of his deplorable behavior is not what he needs. His family, always a close knit group, is allegedly horrified over his outbursts. And his mother Kris Jenner has reportedly been trying to get him to stop. He shared this since-deleted (and transphobic) post not only mocking his mother, but his former stepmother Caitlyn Jenner as well.
Kardashian's struggle with mental health does not excuse his behavior. He is a grown man and a father, and obviously needs to consider the long-reaching effects of his actions. There could potentially be legal ramifications for him down the road if Chyna chooses to pursue charges against him for sharing naked images of her (revenge porn is illegal in California), though as of now there are no charges against Kardashian and his representative has not responded to Romper's request for comment about such charges.
But all his fans have a hand in this, too. The more attention he gets, the more he seems to seek. And it's the wrong kind of attention — the kind that is based on small-mindedness, cruelty, and tearing people down. As of now, he doesn't appear to be well. And laughing at his antics while he is in the midst of what could very well be part of his struggle with mental illness will continue to make things exponentially worse for all concerned while yet again treating the mentally ill as if they are a side show rather than people deserving of help and support.