Nipsey Hussle Was Tragically Murdered—And Identity Politics Is Still Bad.

Cody Libolt
For the New Christian Intellectual
4 min readApr 2, 2019


I’m going to share a Twitter exchange I had with a fellow Christian.

I could be wrong. I really could be an idiot.

I’m going to say that upfront.

You be the judge.

And please help me out if there’s something I’m missing. I welcome your feedback.

Is this comment from Tyler Burns a noble summons to show more kindness toward all people? Or is it another bitter complaint designed to inflame a grievance culture already engulfing and dividing the church?

Here is the full thread:

It’s sad to think that Black Christians will still be processing the #NipseyHussle tragedy this coming Sunday, and many of our churches will probably have nothing to say about it and no place for us to process our grief. #Disconnected

This man’s agenda is not to help his white brothers in Christ, but to condemn them. If you think someone is your enemy, don’t be a hypocrite about it. Tell them straight.

1. I didn’t even mention anyone white so the assumption is slanderous
2. I go to a black church so maybe I’m talking about us too (but again you assumed)
But I know you don’t want good faith dialogue so this will be my last engagement with you

@CodyLibolt How stupid do you think people are? Do you want to claim that your statement was directed at congregations that are predominantly black? And that your claim is that pastors in such churches are disconnected? You are perhaps the world’s most incompetent liar.

@Burns23 I mean you’re answering your own question with this exchange.
It was a statement for all churches. But you had to insert yourself into the convo to prove…idk what?

@CodyLibolt Tyler, I’m thinking through what you’re saying. My original claim is true. Your goal seems to be to criticize everyone who doesn’t identify primarily as a “Black Christian” for not knowing/caring enough about an influential black man’s tragic murder.

You’re criticizing church elders in whatever setting — whether it is black elders or white elders. You live in a country that is not majority black, and your criticism is toward all churches in which a black person could feel especially affected by Nipsey Hussle’s death.

What is your goal? To show that not all cultures and sub-cultures are aware of the same important public figures? To complain about this fact?

Your original post looks like a complaint designed to propagate a narrative that black people are oppressed outsiders and it is someone else’s fault. Is that the case?

I mean, if you wanted to post about how important Nipsey Hussle was and how much he meant to you and other people you know, you could have done that without bringing a critique against people who are not sufficiently informed about your own subculture.

Also, there was no need to divisively name your subculture “Black Christians.” Is that how you identify? Really?

I’m grateful that Tyler Burns made me aware of the life of Nipsey Hussle. I believe all churches can — and should — show consideration for news that affects their members.

I also believe that we should be careful about turning a person’s death into a talking-point to wield as a grievance against other people.

What do you think?

PS —

There’s more.

And there’s still more:

I received this comment (par for the course):

“That’s dangerous and very irresponsible for you to assume that he was talking about white people. That tweet was in no way directed at white Christians.”

My Reply:

If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I appreciate your interaction with my viewpoint.

As Tyler pointed out, “It was a statement for all churches.”

I did not say he was talking exclusively about white people. Some other people have read that into my comment.

My concern is not that Tyler was talking to white people. (He was talking to everyone.) My concern is that Tyler is making statements that are racially charged, rooted in bitterness, and unproductive.

He is setting up “Black Christians” of a certain kind (young and interested in rap culture) as being a marginalized group. Whether he means people are being marginalized by his own pastor (an older black man) or by other pastors, white or black, he is peddling a tired grievance narrative: Poor us.

I’ve listened to some of his podcasts and read articles from his site. I have a bit of context to be able to evaluate his aims. Check this out from his site for a look at what they are doing: