Killer Mike, whose stage name suddenly sounds fitting, chose a peculiar platform and timing for an African American to voice support for gun rights.
The rapper aligned himself with the National Rifle Association in an interview on the gun lobby’s NRATV. His choice of platforms is raising eyebrows. The NRA points to “good guys” with a gun as the solution to gun violence, but the organization is silent when Black men with a license to carry a firearm are deemed suspicious and attacked.
Timing is everything. The interview with host Colion Noir, the NRA’s token Black spokesman, was posted to YouTube on March 22 but surfaced on Saturday, as thousands of students and their supporters gathered in the nation’s capital for the March For Our Lives rally to demand meaningful gun control legislation.
“I told my kids on the school walkout: ‘I love you. If you walk out that school, walk out my house,’” Killer Mike said. “We are a gun-owning family. We are a family where my sister farms. We are a family where we’ll fish, we’ll hunt. But we are not a family that jumps on every single thing an ally of ours does because some stuff we just don’t agree with.”
The NRA has shown repeatedly that it doesn’t care about Black gunowners. Philando Castile’s mother criticized NRA chief Wayne LaPierre in February for failing to speak up for her son. A police officer fatally shot Castile in 2016 during a traffic stop after he told the officer that he was legally carrying a weapon. The group was also silent when a White vigilante assaulted Clarence Daniels, a Black concealed carry permit holder, in a Florida Walmart in 2015. Those are just a couple of examples.
The rapper stands with an organization that had no sympathy in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting. LaPierre went on the attack in a speech at he annual C-PAC meeting one week after the school shooting. The NRA continued that attack on Saturday, saying that that billionaires and Hollywood activists with an anti-gun agenda are manipulating the student protesters. The gun lobby even used Saturday’s March for Our Lives rally to boost its membership.