Sometimes—I just don’t know about Killer Mike, man.
I mean, I appreciate that he cares as much as he does about the political process and how Black people might leverage it. Still, it just really often seems like he’s contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. I just grow tired of people who make “unpopular opinion” remarks they think are unpopular because they go against the grain when they’re actually unpopular because they’re almost never backed by any real substance and seem to be aimed at stirring the proverbial pot more than anything else.
In a recent episode of Comedy Central’s Hell of a Week with Charlamagne tha God, the Run the Jewels member praised Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for “running an effective campaign” because Kemp “went to an all Black boys school that’s ran [sic] by a conservative Black man down in Albany, Georgia.” He’s literally giving Kemp brownie points for taking a photo op with Black boys, and at the same time, implying that Kemp’s opponent, Stacey Abrams, isn’t doing enough to appeal to Black voters.
Now, to be fair, Mike isn’t disparaging Abrams. He’s simply advising Abrams to follow Kemp’s strategy in reaching out to the Black community. His heart is probably in the right place. The problem is, as usual, that there are no factual indications that he knows what he’s talking about.
There is not a single Georgia poll that doesn’t have Abrams leading Kemp by a landslide in Black voters’ support. There is no real indication that Kemp is gaining ground with Black voters and it would be demonstrably false to imply that he spends more time in Black communities in the Peach State than Abrams does.
In fact, Abrams—who is currently achieving the daunting task of being a Black woman running a neck-and-neck gubernatorial race, for the second time, against a conservative white incumbent in a historically red state—addressed the idea that she’s lacking in support from Black voters.
“I think the manufactured crisis [is] designed to suppress turnout … I’ve done more than fifty events in the Black community,” Abrams said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, The Hill reports. “I’m excited about the turnout we’re seeing — I’m excited about the engagement that we’re seeing. I know however that every election cycle, there has to be some worry, and in this case, it is a worry that’s being manufactured.
“But it is always an opportunity to engage. I do not take any voting bloc for granted. I may be African-American, but I’m not entitled to a single vote that I don’t earn,” Abrams continued.
At the end of the day: Men lie, women lie—numbers don’t.
From the Hill:
Abrams narrowly lost to Kemp in the 2018 election. While she won the majority of the Black vote in the race, 97 percent of Black women supported her while around 8 percent to 9 percent of Black men supported Kemp in 2018.
Abrams is five points behind the Kemp in the latest InsiderAdvantage/Fox 5 poll ahead of their re-election matchup. Among Black voters, Abrams leads Kemp 83 percent to 9 percent.
In a separate Atlanta Journal Constitution poll, Abrams has about 79 percent support from Black voters, with 75 percent of Black men supporting her.
It’s worth noting that the real concern when it comes to Black voters is not whether more of them will vote for Kemp—it’s about whether they’ll vote at all. This is also a thing Abrams has taken the time to address.
From ABC News:
In Georgia, where some Democrats have expressed fears that the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abrams, has hit a slump with Black male voters, Abrams’ campaign has invested in outreach to Black men and other untapped voters of color.
“What we know is that Black voters are not deciding between whether they’re going to vote for me or for [Gov. Brian] Kemp. They are deciding if they’re going to vote for me or not vote,” Abrams said on a call with Black journalists on Monday.
There are signs that Democrats, in Georgia and across the country, should be concerned about Black voter turnout. According to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, 55% of Black voters said they intended to vote in comparison to 72% of white voters — a result that advantages Republicans, whose support is strongest by far among white voters. Plus, Biden’s strong approval with Black voters is at a career-low 31%, according to the same poll.
The issue I have with Mike is that he’s praising the governor of making Black votes disappear because of an anecdotal instance in which Kemp took a break from being a full-time MAGA-nationalist to do a little “Black friend” campaigning, as opposed to Abrams, who is regularly in the Black community appealing to Black voters—to the point where she was instrumental in flipping Georgia blue, at least for one election cycle. It’s like telling Dr. Strange he needs to take tips on doing real magic from some random street magician doing card tricks.
Anyway, Black Twitter has been mostly unkind to Mike and his unsolicited advice to Abrams.
My question is this: If Mike’s aim here is to show he’s not a partisan commentator and that he gives equal criticism for both sides, he’s going to need to explain why he appears to have more smoke for Abrams than he did Herschel Walker, who he basically baby-sat with soft questions when he interviewed the GOP’s great Black hope on his show.
Also, where exactly is Mike’s criticism of Kemp? Since Mike blessed Kemp with a pointless “Black friend” photo-op in 2020, all Kemp has done is continue to lie about critical race theory, pass voter suppression laws based on Donald Trump’s “stop the steal” propaganda and pass right-winger-placating gun laws that data shows are far more likely to hurt Black people than empower us.
For the most part, I like Killer Mike, but I do find myself wondering if the man is a closeted conservative rather than the man he presents himself to be, which is one who isn’t loyal to any one political party or ideology.
CORRECTION: 9:45 a.m. ET, Oct. 11 — A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the show on which Stacey Abrams appeared. The text has been updated to reflect this correction.