In the lead up to this weekend’s March For Our Lives protest, the NRA posted an interview with Killer Mike. The clip featured the Run the Jewels rapper discussing his support for the Second Amendment while also chastising African American protestors as a “lackey of the progressive movement.” Not surprisingly, Killer Mike’s comments did not sit well with many of his fans, and he’s now seeking to clarify his position.
During the interview, Mike recalled telling his children not to participate in the school walkouts earlier this month. “We are a gun-owning family, we are a family that my sister farms, we are a family where we’ll fish and hunt, but we are not a family that jumps on every single thing that an ally of ours does because some stuff we just don’t agree with,” he said. That soundbite was edited into the NRA TV video so that it appeared in response to March for Our Lives and the #Enough movements.
MSBNC contributor Joy Reid called Killer Mike out on Twitter for “cosigning” the NRA. Mike responded by saying his interview was “no more a ‘cosign’ than me doing your show.” He added, “That org used my words to Black America to inflame organizers of this worthy march but I ain’t their rep.”
In a subsequent pair of social videos, in which he wore the same “End Racism” shirt he had on for the NRA interview, Mike further clarified his intent. “I did an interview about black gun ownership in this era,” he said. “That interview was used a week later by NRA TV to disparage a very noble campaign which I actually support.”
He went on to say he respects the “leadership” of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and apologized to them directly. “I wanna say first, I’m sorry guys. I’m sorry that an interview I did about a minority — black people in this country — and gun rights was used as a weapon against you guys. That was unfair to you and it was wrong.”
Part two of the video reiterated that his purpose for the NRA appearance was to “help the conversation” about African American gun ownership. He explained that, for black people, the country’s racial history makes it so “some of our nuances are subtly different than allies we have, and we have to always remember in our ally-ship, we still have to make sure that there are certain rights and demands that we make for us in our community.”
Mike concluded by encouraging the mobilized youth to “keep organizing.” “Lead the way,” he said. “I do support the march, and I support black people owning guns. It’s possible to do both.”
Watch Mike’s video responses below.