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Nipsey Hussle and Deray feud highlights issues of masculinity, Blackness

It’s safe to say that the outrage over H&M’s reveal of their ‘The Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” hoodie yesterday was both loud and warranted.

The retail brand faced extreme scrutiny, with everyone from LeBron to Questlove weighing in on the matter. H&M lost collaborating partners like The Weekend due to this egregious misstep and lack of oversight.

Among those who weighed in was West Coast artist, activist, and entrepreneur, Nipsey Hussle. Yesterday the “FDT” rapper uploaded a picture on Instagram of a group of young Black boys, where, in the caption, he stressed the importance of positive representation.

What he didn’t know however was that he also offended the LBGTQ community in the process.

According to the prominent social activist and openly gay man Deray McKesson, the post was out of line and homophobic. After reposting Nipsey’s IG post to his 1.3 million followers on Twitter, the two had a temporary back and forth, which sparked an entirely different convo.

The “agenda” Nipsey is referring to is an idea shared by certain members of the Black community that the media conspires to show Black men in a light that either makes them appear too violent or feminine. It is for this reason why Nip is facing scrutiny.

While the LBGTQ community are indeed still fighting for rights, describing Nipsey’s words as “violent” and “homophobic” are a stretch.

Stating that Blacks don’t have as many straight, positive, non-violent representations may be unfounded and baseless, but it’s an observation, and it does not mean he’s against the cause.

Regardless, Nipsey chose his words extremely carelessly here. Hopefully he can realize his misstep and get back to working for his community.