On Sunday, March 31st we lost hometown hero and grammy nominated rapper, Nipsey Hussle. Since his death people from all over the world who have been touched by his music and his message have shared stories, pictures and videos of him. Still, there is an overwhelming amount of hurt the community is feeling towards the loss of someone who was here to hussle and motivate.
Everybody mourns death differently and I want to focus my energy here less on the fact that we are grieving and more on what I see transpiring online on this very open wound we have in our community.
The alleged killer, Eric Holder, has been arrested and is in police custody. He will see his day in court, and if he did the crime he will be rightfully incarcerated for the crimes he has done. Now, I know this does not ease the pain of the loss but we should look at his arrest as a positive. I know that as a black man, and a member of the hip-hop community. Looking towards the court system and law enforcement to help us seems ironic, but - and I say this from my personal opinion - this is what Nipsey would have wanted.
Throughout my facebook, twitter and instagram are loving eulogies, quotes that nipsey said and even the dietary teachings of Dr. Sebi. All of these things remind me of the legacy and influence that Nip had. What I also see are mugshots of Eric Holder, and a lot of anger and hatred from the original post and the comment section.
According to TMZ Eric Holder is in solitary confinement right now because the police are worried that his life is in danger. The police also sought to arrest the alleged killer quickly to prevent the hood from murdering him as well. Nipsey was about to meet with LAPD and Roc Nation on ways to reduce gang violence and keep the peace in our community.
Keeping the peace is not what I would say I am getting from my comment threads however.
I’ve seen calls for the public killing of Eric Holder. I’ve seen people make claims that we are going to see riots and conversations about what block is going to be ‘hot’ for a while. I think of the legacy and change that Nipsey was trying to create and what I see boiling up in people who admire him is the exact opposite of what he was trying to create.
When I think of ‘justice’ I’m not just thinking of holding his murderer to account for their actions. I think about doing justice on behalf of the name of Nipsey Hussle. Which is why our talk about the streets killing Eric Holder and all that anger and hatred that is being built up, we have to shut that shit down. Immediately. For every other person who has walked a similar path to Nipsey, for the kids and budding black and brown entrepreneurs who were able to use his CoWork facility Vector90, for all of the good that Nipsey was creating. Do justice by Nipsey and remember what he stood for and not fall victim to our demons.
The circumstances leading to to Nipsey’s demise, the personal relationship that Nip may or may not have had with Eric Holder don’t mean shit to me, all due respect. We shouldn’t let it matter to us. Relationships, just like how we grieve, are complex. People’s life’s stories are complex. At the end of the day how many people from any walk of life, end up having a philanthropic heart like Nipsey Hussle? The answer is not many. TO show pictures of Nipsey and Eric Holder, and to turn it into some teachable moment about friends, family and loyalty are wrong. Even if there is some truth to the statement, think about the consequence of us speaking like that. How are we going to build stronger foundations if we fear trusting our loved ones? If we take his death and say this is why Black people can’t come together. What do we gain? Nothing. Hell, in reality we lose, because we’re going backwards.
Trust is difficult. Love is difficult. Forgiveness is difficult. Grief is difficult. Life is difficult, and that’s okay. What’s not okay, is just retweeting rumors. What’s not okay, is retweeting people who are just being negative and hurtful. Just inciting hatred. I see people who are speaking very reckless online, but it’s never an original post. It’s a retweet. It’s always someone who thinks it’s their duty to shed a light on this hatred that none of us need to feel, from voices that we don’t care about, about someone who we admire.
This power that we all have on the internet can magnify and silence voices by what we choose to share and consume. When you share things that are hateful, that are hurtful you’re adding to the negativity. Especially if your intention is just to get people who are already hurt, angry. And if you have a significant presence online what you add to the conversation holds even more weight. Just use your head.
To summarize. Do justice by motivating people and sharing Nipsey’s hustle or shut the fuck up.
This post was contributed by Calligraphy,
Calligraphy is a writer, DJ, and Business owner.
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