Illegal Immigrant Threatens To Jump Off the Golden Gate Bridge
The PostSecret blog posts confessions people have sent in ranging from having hairy toes, to being a 26-year-old virgin, to questioning one's marriage. A message posted earlier this month read: "I have lived in San Francisco since I was young....I am illegal...I am not wanted here. I don't belong anywhere. This summer I plan to jump off the Golden Gate."
Here's the post:
|Image from PostSecret.com|
Should we take this seriously? Is it just a ploy to whip up support for immigration reform? Surely, this person would qualify for the pending Dream Act, which would give a pathway to residency to immigrants brought to the country before they were 16 who go to college or join the military.
If the confession is a true cry for help, the person has certainly gotten it. While the web can be a Wild West of snark and cynicism where anonymous trolls tear each other apart for fun, this episode also shows how the web can also be harnessed for good. A Canadian woman started a Facebook page called "please don't jump," where thousands of people have become members and shared messages of compassion with the anonymous immigrant. PostSecret put up an email from someone who'd been inspired to go visit the bridge for the first time after reading the suicide threat, and claimed to have talked a potential jumper off the ledge.
No one knows if the maelstrom of support online has reached the apparent suicidal immigrant. A representative from the California Highway Patrol, which monitors the bridge for jumpers, told us they weren't aware of the internet phenomenon.