When a black man and Hip Hop artist dares to challenge the narrative and speak the truth, many of those in his own community turn on him. That is exactly what Hip Hop artist Killer Mike is discovering after he chose to appear in an NRA-TV video standing up and stepping out in support of private gun ownership.
Michael Render, better known as Killer Mike, made his debut with OutKast back in 2000 and has since emerged as a solo artist releasing five full-length albums. In 2013 he collaborated with fellow rapper EL-P forming Run the Jewels. Throughout his musical career, Render has also been known as an avid social and political activist, focusing on subjects including social inequality, police brutality, and systemic racism. He was also a visible and highly vocal supporter of Bernie Sanders during his 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, notably refusing to back and support Hillary Clinton after Sanders left the race.
As a public figure, he believes he has a responsibility to represent his race, stating “I feel I have to be politically active and I have to be a credit to my race.” Born and raised in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area he has also been vocal on the subject of police misconduct, his father being a former police officer. So when Render speaks out in support of gun ownership, it does not go unnoticed.
Sitting down with Noir in the new NRA video, Render states -“You can’t continue to be the lackey,” he said, referring to left-leaning individuals who tout anti-gun views. “You’re a lackey of the progressive movement because you’ve never disagreed with the people who tell you what to do.”
He continues the conversation discussing how he discouraged his own children from participating in the mass walkouts conducted by students in protest of gun violence. He stated – “I told my kids on the school walkout: ‘I love you—if you walk out that school, walk out my house…’ 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.”
Mike closed the interview with Noir by stating – “We are raising a generation of kids where everyone gets a trophy. But in real life, everyone don’t get a trophy. In real life, the cops don’t come on time. In real life, depending on where you live, you’re not gonna have the time to try to logic your way out of something.”
Throughout the video, Noir expresses his empathy for victims of school shootings and random gun violence. Noir previously faced backlash himself with accusations of “taunting” Parkland teens after the school shooting. Noir stated of the Valentine’s Day school shooting at Margory Stoneman Douglas High School – “To all the kids from Parkland getting ready to use your First Amendment to attack everyone else’s Second Amendment at your march on Saturday, I wish a hero like Blaine Gaskill had been at Marjory Douglas High School last month because your classmates would still be alive and no one would know your names, because the media would have completely and utterly ignored your story, the way they ignored his.”
Blaine Gaskill is a St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Deputy and school resource officer in Southern Maryland. The 34-year-old SWAT-trained officer who engaged a teenager who shot his ex-girlfriend at Great Mills High School keeping casualties to a minimum. Unlike the cowardly acts of former SRO Scott Peterson in Parkland, who refused to engage Nikolas Cruz as he gunned down students and staff alike, Gaskill is viewed as a hero. At least he is by those that know his name, which of course is Noir’s point. But that point was missed by many in the mainstream media it seems, as well as many on the left.
Meanwhile, Render is also facing backlash for appearing in the NRA video on social media where those in within his own community were quick to call him out. Shaun King was one of the first, stating –
“Brother, I have to respond publicly because your NRA video was public. 1. They aren’t simply a news platform. 2. They’ve abandoned us many times over. 3. They’ve targeted & threatened & cruelly insulted us many times over.
@KillerMike – I love you. You played yourself.”
I have to respond publicly because your NRA video was public.
1. They aren’t simply a news platform.
2. They’ve abandoned us many times over.
3. They’ve targeted & threatened & cruelly insulted us many times over. @KillerMike – I love you. You played yourself.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) March 25, 2018
Others had an even stronger message claiming people such as Render were why white people need guns, stating – “just to be clear- killer mike is the reason all of those ppl cling so desperately to their assault rifles in the first place. a 6′ tall, 300 lb black man is PRECISELY the driving force behind white anxiety. his very existence is EVERY irrational fear made manifest. but okay.”
just to be clear-
killer mike is the reason all of those ppl cling so desperately to their assault rifles in the first place.
a 6′ tall, 300 lb black man is PRECISELY the driving force behind white anxiety.
his very existence is EVERY irrational fear made manifest.
— fooler initiative (@metroadlib) March 24, 2018
The Root also called out Render in an article stating – “Listen, Killer Mike can believe what he wants about gun rights and be friends with whomever he chooses, but the problem most folks have is his appearance on an NRA-funded platform. In case you didn’t know, the NRA cares nothing about black people. Killer Mike mentioned Jordan Davis without, at least in the video, explicitly calling out the NRA for not supporting his mother. Same with Philando Castile and other black people shot and killed by cops.”
It seems too many people want to make this about race and social justice issues, and other things that it just simply is not. This is about a man that regardless of the backlash he is currently receiving chose to think and speak his own views rather than the acceptable party line. And frankly, regardless of whether I see eye to eye with him on his politics or not, I commend him. I commend him for speaking up on an issue that greatly affects his community and his home and choosing to be different. I commend him for choosing to protect himself and his family. And most of all, I commend him for choosing to think. Thank you Mike Render.