The Socialist Rifle Association would like to thank award-winning rapper and political activist Killer Mike for giving us a shout out last night on MSNBC with Joy Ann Reid! Mike Render has always been an ally of the left, and a strong defender of African Americans' rights to own and carry guns. His hard hitting lyrics, his political activism with Bernie Sanders' 2016 Presidential Primary campaign, and his work organizing in the Atlanta area since, have been a massive help to progressives and left wing gun activists everywhere.
Mike's comments regarding the NRA are absolutely correct. The NRA in the first half of the 20th century acted as a politically neutral sportsmans organization focused on advocating firearm safety, ownership, and proficiency. In 1957 the NRA granted a charter to African American activist Robert F. Williams to establish a rifle club for the defense of the black community of Monroe, North Carolina from the Ku Klux Klan.
However, during the course of the 1960s, white members of the NRA became hostile to the Civil Rights movement and pushed the organization to the right. Racist organizers in the NRA's lower ranks pushed to disenfranchise black gun owners, and in 1967 the NRA backed the Mulford Act in California, which disarmed the Black Panthers. In 1977, in an event called the "Cincinnati Revolt", radical right wing members of the NRA voted out the existing moderate leadership and placed themselves in charge. From that day forward the NRA became a de facto arm of the Republican Party.
Like many others on the left we were disappointed when Killer Mike's interview was used in support of the NRA's violent rhetoric against the Parkland survivors and various figures of the liberal media, such as Joy Ann Reid. We think that action was poorly considered and allowed the NRA to use Mike Render as a shield against criticism of their racist rhetoric and actions.
However, Mike has copped to his mistakes and taken his lumps. We believe his intentions were good and that the NRA misappropriated his words and his stance on gun ownership to push a false narrative. It's understandable that with so few left-wing gun organizations on the ground, it's difficult to advocate for guns without having the NRA involved in some manner, so we can't hold it against Mike that he went to them to voice his views.
And that's why we're here. To build a new gun culture, a left wing culture based on solidarity, humanity, and mutual aid, so that we can rid the liberal and leftist gun community of the baggage of the NRA's racism and violent paranoia. To make our voices heard, and to let the world know that liberals, minorities, people of color, queer people, and political dissidents also have the right to bear arms, and to let the world know that we will not forfeit our right of self defense.
Thank you Mike for your words of support! Solidarity!