I have listened and read our responses to the murder of Nipsey Hussel - rapper, father, brother, husband, son, friend, a leader in the community, gang member, entrepreneur, hustler, protector….and the list goes on for the many adjectives we can use to describe this man. However, I see him as a Black man, human, flesh and blood…vulnerable. He is my brother, he is an extension of me. However, as we go out into the world our lives become entangled with other’s; our morals, standards, beliefs, happiness, hurts, fears, and pain, just to name a few become entangled with everyone else’s. We try to align ourselves up with everyone else, but sometimes it just doesn’t jive. Even when we share some of the same life experiences it doesn’t mean that we will make the same choices. Nipsey chose to elevate himself and his community, he chose to educate and feed the minds of his community into thinking, no, into KNOWING they were greater than their environment. He showed them through his ACTIONS that anything was possible, that determination and a desire for better could get them anywhere, and he did not leave them when he easily could have, he stayed to help bring them with him, he stayed to be a light to his community and to show them the way to a better life, he never abandon them. Some would say that this is what got him assassinated, victim blaming – I say that outright jealousy got him assassinated. I would say that cowardice got him assassinated, I would say that entitlement got him assassinated, I would say weakness got him assassinated…the perpetrator was a coward, he was jealous, he felt entitled to something he wanted to be GIVEN, and he was weak.
I was so angry at us when this happened, that for the first time, maybe the second time, I verbally called us NIGGERS. Why can’t we celebrate one another? Why can’t we work together to make a better life for ALL of us? We are in constant competition, we are constantly allowing the opps to play us, to control us. When will it end? We call ourselves Kings and Queens, that’s sadly comical. Royalty does not allow peasants to control them…so how the hell are we kings and queens? We want to be like them, so we try our best to look the part, play the part – pretend to have power that we don’t have, and don’t know how to harness…we want to be acknowledged as being human, but we have somehow allowed ourselves to be fooled that in order to be seen as human by the ops, we have to live a certain way, look a certain way…wear jewelry, drive expensive cars, live in big houses…and those are just not the things that make us Royal. They laugh at this because they know those things don’t mean shit without power. See, it’s those things that are not seen that make us great, how we work together, how we build our communities, educate our children, improve our economic well-being, how we politic as a group, build systems that work for US…and not worry about ‘them’. White America will remain dominant as long as we focus on stupid shit, like fancy clothes, jewelry, cars, and all the other bullshit that supposedly means you are prospering and have power. They control what kind of music we make, movies we take part in, sports we excel in…. we are their puppets. They will not play positive music on their radio stations that we support by listening to, they will not cast us in positive movie roles that we flock to see, they will not bring certain sports to our communities and they won’t do it because we don’t demand it. We take the crumbs they give us because we are too afraid to suffer, we are too afraid to sacrifice our so-called pleasures. We want to be entertained perpetually…we don’t want to boycott their systems in order to make them listen to us and give us what we demand…true freedom…true equality…true equity. We don’t want to give up shit to get anything. The bus boycott made a difference…they walked everywhere or caught rides with one another…hell asking someone to participate in a protest march against this system of oppression will get you side-eyed…we are our worse enemy. We must do stop looking to them to make our lives better…WE must do it ourselves. We built their country with our blood, sweat, sperm, and tears…we must now do it for ourselves.
I have no idea how we get ourselves out of this…Nipsey tried in his community, but a coward killed him because he was allegedly chastised for being a snitch. I don’t know how I feel about this ‘street code’ thing but, killing someone that g-checked you with their hands is more respectable than using a gun, which in these cases is a street coward’s tool. I do know that we must do something to change our way of life. We have to do something to get through to the masses because the last thing I ever want to do is make ‘niggers’ a common word in my vernacular. I’m exhausted from the carpet burns on my knees from praying, I’m exhausted from hoping, and I’m exhausted from all the TALK. But I’m clearly aware of how my generation dropped the torch…I’m acutely aware of how I dropped the torch.
Generation X, we did not hold onto the torch and continue the forward movement, we did not teach our children about pride in being Black, we did not teach our children about nation building, we failed to teach our children about being creditworthy, being financially healthy, we did not teach our children about what real power is…we only wanted to give them the things we didn’t have, the latest Jordan’s, fresh haircuts or hairstyles, manicures and pedicures, name brand clothing…we taught them that these things meant status…and we were so very wrong - we created these entitled, status desiring lil monsters. Notice I didn’t blame the generation before me, and I could have because I was never taught anything about credit and power from my parents. I was told just to have good credit, not how to have good credit. Anyway, we must take accountability for our own actions and what we are teaching the next generation. Teaching our children to only WORK hard is just passing on the slave mentality…teaching our children on how to work smart, how to work on improving their environment, how to navigate the system, how to work as a group to combine resources to nation build, how to be financially healthy, those are the things that help the entire group. And this is the shit we are NOT doing. I can only hope that we go back to our roots combined with the new seeds of knowledge we now have on how to nation build – UNIFY. We must stop being moved by what ‘they’ are doing and remain diligent and focused on US. We must appreciate and work with the Nipsey Hussel’s of our community. We must get away from wanting to be stars on Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat – trying to go viral, get likes, or virtual followers that you lead to nowhere. Let’s stop balling on a budget…let’s start building on a budget. Let’s get away from clout chasing and focus on power chasing.
No, I do not have the blueprint on how we even begin, but I know we must begin. I am open to any and all ideas…not the same ole same ole…we must write our own constitution, our own declaration of independence…we have to build our own Black nation, or we won’t survive.
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Read the extension of our podcast as hosts, Charli, Kay and Phoenix write about issues concerning woc simply because when you know better, you'd do better. Do better, sis.