Rapper, activist, and staunch Bernie Sanders supporter Killer Mike raised some eyebrows recently with his remarks regarding Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton and her record on racial issues.
During a rally for Sanders on Tuesday, Killer Mike referred to a conversation with fellow activist Jane Elliot, saying, “I talked to Jane Elliot a few weeks ago, and Jane said, ‘Michael, a uterus doesn’t qualify you to be the president of the United States. You have to be – you have to have policy that’s reflective of social justice.”
After facing backlash from Clinton supporters and feminists, Mike appeared on The View to clarify his comments.“It is a system that I am fighting. I have no qualms with Hillary Clinton. I have nothing against her. I have something against big money being in Politics,” he said, going on to add that he is not okay with the idea that people have been told to vote for Hillary simply because they are Black, or because they are women. “This is what social justice is…If Black people were offered tomorrow night every right that we have ever desired, at the cost of a woman’s right, or a gay right, or an immigrant’s right, I would say thank you, but no thank you…social justice is wanting for me what I want for all of you.”
Sanders, for his part, wasted no time standing up for his most vocal supporter. “I think the media is blowing this thing up. What did Mike Say?... Mike quoted an internationally known educator. That’s what Mike said,” Sanders told reporters on Thursday. “I think this is again gotcha media politics, which I think is being blown out of proportion.”
Whether or not Mike's statements rub people the wrong way, he is undoubtedly consistent in his quest for social justice. The rapper penned an op-ed with Erik Nielsen for CNN, highlighting the double standard of free speech with it comes to hip hop.
Written in defense of Taylor Bell, who rapped about two of his high school’s coaches allegedly engaging in sexua behavior with students, emphasized the importance of hip hop when it comes to giving a voice to the disenfranchised. For the record, while Bell was disciplined for his lyrics, the two teachers reportedly faced no consequences for their behavior.
“Rap, which grew out of Black and Latino communities that were facing urban decay at its worst, has been contentious, sometimes polarizing, for as long as it has existed.” He went on, rather related to his statements regarding Clinton. "No doubt, this is in large part because of rappers' willingness to confront institutions of power and openly defy social conventions with language that is provocative, even offensive, to some."