I was happy when Tupac died.
It happened in 1996, but yet I remember this day like it was yesterday!
I walked into my parents room and starred at the black and white TV nestled on the top of the TV stand. As the news headline flashed across the screen “Tupac Shakur dead.”
I remember that moment, because I felt happy. It’s weird saying that today, but that’s truly how I felt.
You see we were taught in church that Tupac was the enemy, that rap music was an evil tool that was leading millions of people to hell.
Thus, Tupac was our sworn spiritual enemy, the one who kept us up at night, the one we prayed against every day, the one we battled fervently in tongues.
And on the day of his death I was happy, because I believed that somehow our prayers had worked. And that God had finally heard us and gotten rid of Tupac!
But today, I look back at my 1996 self in disbelief and shame. How did religion make me celebrate the death of a man I knew so little about? How did I get to that point?
Today, I speak to Parents on “How To Raise Children Without Destroying Their Creativity.”
But almost every time I get to the inevitable topic of “Religion” and explain how it kills our children’s intelligence and creativity, I meet resistance. Like people get really upset and very defensive.
Thus, I have to carefully dance around the topic trying unsuccessfully to not offend people, while simultaneously driving home the message that “Religion when used wrongly, can not only kill Intelligence and Creativity, but can fill our children with subconscious hate!” The type of “hate” that they are not even aware they have, because it is disguised as religion.
I mean I was very young when Tupac died, but yet filled with hate without even realizing it.
But things started getting clearer when I started “back-sliding.”
I remember listening to 2pac’s Greatest Hit album around 1999 and when I heard songs like “Brenda Has A Baby” and “Changes” I was blown away by his message. By the words of Tupac. By his thought process. By the love and belief he had for his community.
I regret being “happy” over his death, but I am thankful that I was able to understand Tupac before I myself died.
I mean, Tupac was not perfect, he was a very flawed person, that created contradictory music.
One moment he was praising women “Dear Mama” and then next second he was sexualizing women “How Do You Want It.” But despite his flaws, being happy about his death was a wrong reaction.
Which is why in the last few years, I have learned to filter out man-made religion from my ears and learn to reason for myself. And to love people regardless of their background, tribe, race or religion.
That does not mean that I will not lay the hammer down against bullshit.
But I have learned to love people first before I judge them. Because the truth is that we are all sinners! No religion, no pastor, and definitely nobody is perfect, so we need to stop judging and start loving first.
“Don’t Judge Someone Just Because They Sin Differently Than You Do”