Killer Mike Defends NRA Interview, But Apologizes for How It was Used

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Killer Mike of Run The Jewels performs at the Spotify House at SXSW 2015 on March 16, 2015 in Austin, Texas

Credit: Alli Harvey/Getty Images

Killer Mike has recently come under fire for a recent interview he did with the National Rifle Association, in which he discussed African-American gun ownership and critiqued certain parts the current narrative of gun control being advocated for by many progressive-minded people today. In the interview, he specifically criticizes National School Walkout Day, which was an event in which students across the country walked out of classes in demand of stricter gun control laws.

The interview was released through the one of the NRA’s Twitter accounts, @NRATV, on the same day that the March for Our Lives rallies were being held in Washington, D.C. and across the country. Additionally, the tweet in which the interview was posted used the hashtag #MarchForOurLives, as if to frame the interview as a response or retaliation against the march. March for Our Lives was the second largest student protest in U.S. history, advocating for various gun control laws to be passed, such as a ban on high-capacity magazines. It was organized in part by the students of Parkland High School in Florida, where the most recent mass school shooting occurred on February 14. We encourage you to watch the full interview below.

After the interview was posted, Killer Mike quickly drew criticism over social media for his interview and affiliation with the NRA. The day after it was posted, Mike posted a couple videos on Twitter apologize for how the interview was used, saying it was never his intention for the interview to be used to disparage the march. Here’s an excerpt of what he had to say:

”I sat with a group called the National Rifle Association. I did an interview about black gun ownership in this era. That interview was used a week later by NRA TV to disparage a very noble campaign that I actually support. March for Our Lives is a youth-ran campaign… by kids all around the nation. I, being a former youth organizer, currently an activist and organizer, respect their leadership. So I want to 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, and it disparaged some very noble work you’re doing.”

Killer Mike goes on to explain that many other social activists that he has worked with on other issues were in attendance at the march, and identifies himself as an advocate, a friend and an ally to those who were in support of the march. In the part two of his PSA, Killer Mike explains that the main focus of the interview was to continue a dialogue on African-American gun ownership, and encourages the youth to continue to organize around important social issues.

For those that may quick to judge Killer Mike based off of his affiliation with the NRA, take a moment to consider his track record when it comes to social justice. His music has often reflected his identity as an agent for social change, like on his tracks “Reagan” and “Early”. On top of making impactful statements to news outlets after the shootings of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and Eric Garner, he’s also given lectures about race relations at universities across the country. Those are just a few of the accomplishments that speak to Killer Mike’s character as an advocate for social justice; more can be found with a little research.

Regardless of whether you agree with Killer Mike or not, he’s got an opinion that deserves respect, especially because his activism backs up the passionate rhetoric he’s been known to share. What do you think about the whole situation? Let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to SHARE this article!

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