On March 31, 2019, much of the black community was shaken to its core by the news of the murder of beloved father, rapper, and active community service provider, Nipsey Hussle. It was reported that Nipsey, born Ermias Asghedom, was gunned down outside of his Los Angeles store by gang member, Eric Holder.
Nipsey, at only 33 years old, had dedicated many efforts to invest in his community by creating job opportunities, establishing a STEM center where underprivileged students could have a resource for knowledge-sharing, and much more. He was even set to meet with LAPD on April 1st to discuss how they could work to end gang violence. Nipsey was known and loved within and beyond his community for being an outstanding leader, who used his wealth for a great purpose.
His sudden death struck the hearts of many and has caused an unexpected chasm within the black community. At the wake of the news, apart from mourning, many were outraged. Fingers were pointing not at local gang members, or anyone in the black community for that matter, but at the government. Nipsey had been working on a documentary about the late Dr. Sebi (Alfredo Bowman), a Honduran herbalist who claimed to be able to cure all major diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cancer, and etc., simply by having his patients follow a strict alkaline diet.
Now why would this give the government purpose for murdering Nipsey? If Dr. Sebi’s claims were proven true through practice, and more Americans were made aware of it via Nipsey’s documentary, countless illnesses would have been cured naturally, causing a crucial impact on the financial profit of the medical and pharmaceutical industries. So, it is believed by many that the government strategically plotted his murder, framing it to look as if it was just another incident of black on black crime.
Although Nipsey was outspoken about his previous involvement in the gang Rollin’ 60s, he was widely and openly respected in the Los Angeles community, even amongst members of traditionally rival gangs. Because of this, many found it extremely difficult to believe his murder was solely a result of gang violence. Since (and as a result of ) Nipsey’s death, it has even been reported that an unlikely movement of peace has taken place amongst a number of Los Angeles gangs.
On the other hand, as people took to social media to share their thoughts following Nipsey’s death, a second powerful voice emerged within the black community. A number of people began arguing through posts and comments, basically mocking those who believed this was the government’s doing. They minimized those who argued that it was, to mere conspiracy theorists. Some began stating that Dr. Sebi was not even a “real” doctor, and that he was a fraud whose healing techniques were only self-proclaimed, and never actually proven to cure any major disease. Old court records were being shared to show the actual happenings of Dr. Sebi’s lawsuits, supporting the argument that the government would have no reason to be behind Nipsey’s death. In response, those who blame the government claimed that those who doubted its involvement were blinded and falling right into the “trap.”
Regardless of who’s right or wrong, we can agree that something has to change. A life was taken by a senseless act of violence, whether it was the government’s doing or related to gang violence. It was a life dedicated to spreading love and inspiration to a world full of hatred, ignorance, and neglect. A life that had loved ones to take care of and that cared for him. The most important thing that we can do is put our focus on what Nipsey actually stood for: community empowerment, philanthropy, and entrepreneurship. How can we make sure the marathon continues?
We want to know what you think! Why do you think the black community was so split on this issue? What can we do to help continue Nipsey’s mission? Tell us in the comments below.