America is a nightmare, a reality that’s hardly lost on Killer Mike of Run the Jewels. In a new op-ed for Colorlines, the rapper and activist has called on black communities across the country to embrace the second amendment.
“My message to Black people across the country is the same today as it was a year ago: the only person you can count on to protect yourself and your family is you,” Killer Mike wrote under his legal name Michael Render. “God gave you the right to use whatever tools are available to defend your rights. Nothing—including gun ownership—should be discarded. I encourage gun ownership to my wife, my son and daughters, your sons and daughters and all Black people.”
Killer Mike went on to reference several historical figures who shared similar sentiments, particularly Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, and Malcolm X, adding, “Even the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. applied for a concealed carry permit in 1956.” He also mentioned a number of current organizations that support gun ownership such as the National African American Gun Association and My Sister’s Keeper Defense.
“My main point here is that the notion of gun ownership among blacks as ‘radical’ is one that is advanced by people divorced from history and by people who benefit from Black people’s refusal to embrace all of our rights,” Killer Mike stressed. “Black people have always wrestled with how to protect themselves and their families. Today is no different.”
The op-ed arrives in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on Monday night. The incident was caught on tape, which has since led to the firing of all four officers.
Read Killer Mike’s full op-ed here. In related news, Run the Jewels’ highly anticipated fourth studio album arrives next Friday, June 5th and features Zack de La Rocha, Josh Homme, Mavis Staples, and more.