The National Rifle Association (NRA)—which was silent when the officer who killed Black legal gunowner Philando Castile escaped jail time—identified grassroots movements led by people of color as the enemy in a recent pair of video ads. A group of Los Angeles-based racial justice groups responded with their own clip today (July 7), condemning the NRA’s fearmongering message about activists and demanding that the orginazation remove its ads.
The above video features Black Lives Matter Los Angeles member Funmilola Fagbamila imitating the NRA videos’ dramatic narration (courtesy of conservative commentators Dana Loesch and Grant Stinchfield) while describing the ways White supremacy impacts Black communities:
They use their guns to assassinate Black people. They use their schools to funnel Black students through a school-to-prison pipeline. They use their state institutions, bought politicians, business conglomerates and White supremacist domestic terrorists to incite violence over and over again. And then they use their new president to enact a "law and order" administration. All to make them shoot first, to make them ask questions later, make them scream, "I thought he had a gun in his hand" and "I feared for my life" and "he matched the description of a suspect" and "she was threatening us."
She continues along this thread until the video’s last minute, when the background changes to reveal family members of Keith Bursey, Charleena Lyles and Kisha Michael—Black people killed by police—standing behind her. She then delivers a damning criticism against the NRA:
We’re talking about our lives here. When the NRA issues a public call to their constituents inciting violence against people who are constitutionally fighting for their lives, we don’t take that lightly. We know that we are not safe, but we are not scared either. We will continue to produce media, teach students, march and protest to not only protect the First Amendment as fiercely as the NRA protects the Second, but to protect our lives from gun-toting racists.
"Many of our folks continue to be harassed, threatened and killed," explains Dignity and Power Now founder Patrisse Cullors in a statement. "We are tired of White supremacists calling for our death and we want the NRA to know we won’t accept their bullying.
The organizations also issue a call to action: phone the NRA at 800-672-3888 to demand it remove the videos, and use the hashtag #WeDeserveSafety to post rebukes to dog-whistle rhetoric on social media.
(H/t The Washington Post)