In recent weeks Sean “Diddy” Combs has been receiving much praise and adoration for his support of the Black Lives Matter movement, but a recent post on Instagram may have tossed him right back out of the Black community’s good graces.
Diddy has joined a list of stars that are encouraging the Black community to continue the fight for justice while simultaneously urging those in their own community to stop aiding police forces in their elimination of Black lives.
It’s the type of message that has been at the center of debates within the Black community.
The message came after New York rapper Lionel “Chinx Drugz” Pickens was fatally shot during a drive-by on Sunday. Police have not identified any suspects in the killing and some fear that they never will.
The death got the hip hop mogul thinking about the same type of instances the fueled Kendrick Lamar’s “Blacker the Berry,” a song that was at the center of both controversy and praise. Diddy’s message insisted that people in the Black community are assisting in their own “genocide” despite pushing the now international Black Lives Matter movement.
“For the last couple of months we have experienced a lot of injustice and wrongdoings to a community,” Diddy wrote on Instagram along with a video of a 9-year-old motivational speaker known as King Nahh. “But there is a flip side.”
It’s when stars start exploring that so-called “flip side” that the dialogue gets murky and intentions become unclear. Diddy, like many conservative pundits and other Black stars, insisted that nobody will “respect” the Black community if Black people don’t show the same respect for one another.
It’s a message that isn’t hurled at white people even as they continue to kill one another. Nobody scolded the white community about loving one another after biker gangs in Texas unleashed a wave of bullets on one another.
Nobody told white citizens that they needed to show respect for their communities and for each other following the countless incidents where sports fans took to the streets after a devastating loss or win following a major sports event.
Yet the Black community can never seem to escape the scolding of their very own as isolated incidents of violence are somehow continuously attached to a movement about police brutality—an act that is far from an isolated occurrence.
“We are committing genocide on ourselves,” Diddy charged. “We are always looking for scapegoats. We as a people hurt ourselves more than anyone has ever hurt us. That makes no sense. We as a people including myself have to take accountability and do whatever we can do individually or together to stop the madness and realize that we are KINGS and QUEENS AND Must love ourselves and each other.”
Backlash online insisted that the hip hop mogul was too disconnected from the Black community to understand their plight despite the fact that he had previously acknowledged the hardships that the Black community faces.
“The black community are the forgotten ones—just like people are in poverty all over this country, but especially the black community,” he said during an interview with the Associated Press earlier this month. “So you have a lot of built-up frustration especially in the kids that see their future is bleak and they are being forgotten. People need to pay attention to that…”
So while Diddy’s comments ruffled up some feathers on social media, it’s fair to note that he also had some supporters rallying behind the comments.
A poll posted by the Huffington Post found that more than 75 percent of the publication’s readers agreed with Diddy’s Instagram post and comments on the picture included the thoughts of the mogul’s followers who felt like he certainly had a point.
But even those messages in support of the statement about loving one another tended to urge Diddy to remember that such isolated acts of violence are a completely separate issue than the ones being addressed in the Black Lives Matter movement and therefore shouldn’t be connected to one another.
The nation has seen the failure of respectability politics over and over and over again and linking the death of a rising hip hop star with the international issues at the heart of #BlackLivesMatter can, understandably, be seen as a serious undermining of the greater battle that Black people are already engaged in all across the globe.