Burying The Lede On Nipsey Hussle: With No Cops To Blame The Media Moves On
Grammy nominated rapper/ entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle (born Ermias Ashgedom) was gunned down in cold blood in front of his clothing store in Los Angeles on Sunday. L.A. police say they have detained a suspect, who is also black, in the shooting.
The 33-year-old Hussle had had an association with something called the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips, one of Los Angeles' largest street gangs. He’d claimed, "Having strong enemies is a blessing."
But it was clear that as his career prospered he’d crossed a Rubicon in his own life. According to reports he was planning to meet with L.A. police to discuss gang violence this week. He “had developed an interest in technology and community development, and he was part of a team of artists and entrepreneurs who developed Destination Crenshaw, an open-air museum devoted to honoring African-American artistic achievement.”
He’d also taken a critical look at black culture. ”In our culture, there's a narrative that says, 'Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers,'" he told the Los Angeles Times last year. "And that's cool, but there should be something that says, 'Follow Elon Musk, follow (Mark) Zuckerberg.’”I think that with me being influential as an artist and young and coming from the inner city, it makes sense for me to be one of the people that's waving that flag," he said.
The Eritrean-born artist whose first hit was “Bullets Ain’t Got No Name” also decried the messages being sent to black youth in current music, the "ignorance and self-destructiveness in the narrative that was pushed on us through music in our generation."
"I see how damaging that was, for myself included, and we're all subject to the social pressure. I wasn't above it. Each of us are impacted by what's going on around us. For me, understanding the platform I have and who it speaks to, it's about being strategic."
Hussle had laid out the outlines of a story on black murders for the national legacy media. Instead, Hussle’s death was played as an isolated, irrational tragedy. A senseless act by a desperate criminal. There has been no attempt to examine the “ignorance and self-destructiveness in the narrative”.
Hussle will be one of between six and seven thousand blacks murdered by other blacks in America in 2019. In urban centres like L.A., Chicago, St. Louis and Baltimore (to name but a few) there is a slaughter going on in real time. From just 12 percent of the population, gun-murder victims in the United States, 57 percent were black between 2007-2016. Black males made up 42 percent of all cop-killers over the last decade, though they are only 6 percent of the population.
Hussle knew these grisly details firsthand and was belatedly trying to address the cultural issues in his community that are producing the carnage. "I wanted to redefine the lifestyle and what we view as important,” he told the L.A. Times. He was trying to emulate the positive messages about black life promoted by the Obamas— one the incurious mainstream media finds boring in the age of Trump.
That’s not the sexy Killer Cops narrative pushed by the voices of Black Lives Matter and their accommodating liberal allies. Had Hussle been gunned down by a cop there’d still be 24-hour coverage on the cable news networks and print media. The incidence of cops (of any colour) shooting unarmed blacks is infinitesimal next to the staggering body count of blacks killing blacks.
While it portrays Hussle’s murder in isolation, the mainstream media choose to publicize every one of the 16 unarmed blacks (from a population of 37 million) shot by cops in 2016 as part of a national killing spree. The same reporters who descended on Ferguson, Ms., or Baltimore Md. in the wake of cops shooting black men there are curiously disinterested in why young black males murder, assault and rape at rates that are as much as ten times their proportion of the population.
Because he was shot by a black man Hussle’s death is something to be quickly forgotten so that progressives can get back to the approved story being hustled by Colin Kaepernick. Namely, police are targeting blacks for killing and incarceration. Kaepernick and his disciples get plenty of oxygen on that narrative from media still invested in Lyndon Johnson’s idea of The Great Society.
In the wake of Hussle’s shooting, one local black community leader tried to suggest that this wanton gun play is why police might be trigger happy when approaching black suspects. He was shouted down by the media’s go-to voices in black culture. Statistics were quickly marshalled on how blacks in the U.S. and Canada are routinely stopped by cops for no reason at all.
If you want to sample the excuses trotted out for this violence you just need only to consult the Wikipedia page on murder statistics in the U.S. where it offers “Explanations for racial discrepancies". It’s the liberal litany of deflecting blame.
Hussle’s death is a terrible loss. Probably the greatest tragedy in his murder will be that none of the real-life lessons behind his life and death will receive the attention they deserve. Style will trump substance. And you can thank the legacy media and their fellow travellers for that.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the publisher of his website Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com). He’s also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also a best-selling author whose new book Cap In Hand: How Salary Caps Are Killing Pro Sports And Why The Free Market Could Save Them is now available.