While the world watches the funeral of the late legend Whitney Houston, Newark gang leaders have set today aside as a day of peace in her honor.
According to NJ.com, Hykine Johnson — a former high-ranking member of the Sex, Money, Murder Bloods who is better known around Newark by his street handle “HAK” — put out a Facebook post Wednesday night, calling for citywide peace on the day of Whitney’s funeral service at the New Hope Baptist Church.
“If anyone out there is gang banging lets show Whitney Houston respect by commiting no crimes on saturday ……No shootings No robbing No car jacking basically no crazy (stuff) let us show some respect she helped alot of people in Nj lets show lov,” wrote Johnson, who now works as an author and filmmaker, publishing works intended to show young people the perils of gang life in the city.
His Facebook message quickly spread throughout the streets, with an member of the large Mob PIRU Bloods set promised her crew’s members would fall in line with the call for peace. ”We can guarantee there won’t be any violence from our end, and we just wanted to let him know we’re supporting this,” said Jada, a “Big Sis” with MOB PIRU and founder of the non-profit group Nine Women Strong. “I intend on speaking to a couple of the other brothers from the other sets this evening. I believe that it’s gonna be a real quiet day in Newark.”
Jada asked that her name be withheld.
A member of the 135PIRUML Bloods, who asked to only be identified as Jiwe, said, ”I wish we could do it every damn day, but I’m gonna send the word out to some cats on the street, they should really kick up hoping that nothing’s gonna happen.”Jiwe, whose mother attended New Hope Baptist Church with the Houstons, continued, “I’ll send the word out. It’s crazy that something like this would get us to even do something like this, because obviously what you want is for generally nothing to happen.”
Johnson said he’s received calls from several other gang leaders who agreed to comply with the post. “Whitney Houston did a lot for the community, so I feel as though everybody owes her this at least,” he said. “I don’t condone the violence any other days, but that day right there … If I’m ready to step up, all the other leaders should be ready to step up.”
Anything to inspire peace, I guess. But like Jiwe said, this should be something that happens every day. While I realize that Whitney had a huge impact on her hometown, her funeral shouldn’t be the only day these gangs try to settle their differences and make peace. However, any day of peace is a good one, so I’m sure Newark will take it.
You can watch Whitney’s funeral live online now, or on major networks such as CNN, BET, and E! RIP Whitney!
Photo via NJ.com