Women's March Organizers Are Taking On The NRA For Refusing To Protect Black Gun Owners

Co-organizer Tamika Mallory cites Philando Castile's case as the latest example of their refusal to acknowledge people of color.

The organizers of January’s Women’s March are taking on the NRA in a protest July 14 and July 15 in Fairfax, VA, just outside of the NRA’s headquarters and in front of the Department of Justice.

Tamika Mallory, co-organizer of the Women’s March said she believes the recent actions of the NRA is evidence that the organization on cares about the rights of white gun owners.

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“In the NRA’s mission statement on their website, they say that they are one of the oldest civil rights organizations. If that is, in fact, the case, if that is the history that they want to claim, Philando Castile should be one of the first people that they speak on behalf of. If you’re following in the tradition of the civil rights movement, Philando Castile is an example of exactly what it means to defend the civil rights of a person who has been violated by this country.”

Castile was a Black licensed gun owner when he was killed by Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez during a routine traffic stop. Castile informed Yanez that he had a licensed firearm on him before he was fatally shot.

RELATED: Solange Honoring Women's March Co-Chair Tamika Mallory At The BET Awards Is A Must-See Moment

The NRA initially claimed it would not comment during the trial and investigation. But the organization has remained silent since Yanez’ acquittal. 

Mallory wrote an open letter to NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre demanding the organization release a statement defending the Second Amendment rights of Philando Castile. Mallory’s letter was in response to NRA’s latest ad which claims that citizens should arm themselves against the threat of violent protestors in big cities, mostly women and people of color. 

RELATED: Disarming Hate: Addressing Our Failed Gun Control Laws On The Anniversary Of Charleston Massacre 

The NRA responded to Mallory’s letter by releasing an ad called “We Don’t Apologize For Telling The Truth” featuring conservative talk-show host Grant Stinchfield who personally called Mallory out in the ad.

 

“I’m talking to you Tamika Mallory. You wrote a letter to the NRA on behalf of the Women’s March claiming our ‘Clenched Fist of Truth’ ad was an attack on minority communities. You call it dangerous and demand it to be taken down? I’m here to tell you not a chance.”

Mallory said she believes the NRA should have publicly defended Philando Castile’s Second Amendment right.

“We [at the Women’s march] believe that the NRA should be speaking on Philando Castile’s behalf. They should issue a very public call for a federal indictment against the officer who killed Philando Castile, because he was in direct violation of not only the civil rights of Philando Castile, but everyone who was in that car was in danger because of this officer’s actions.”

She added that the NRA’s latest ads prove that the organization isn’t dedicated to Second Amendment rights of Black people guaranteed in the Constitution.

Dana Loesch’s NRA ad makes it very clear that not only will the NRA not defend and protect black and brown lives, they will also take up arms against black and brown people.”

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Ladies, make no mistake. There is a state of emergency for black women and we are fighting a battle that is silent. No one is talking about it. And even when they won't talk about it, we have to. We need to be willing to raise hell. About everything that matters to us. [APPLAUSE] We must raise hell for our own say. We have to prioritize us when the rest of the world will not. If no one is showing up for us, we must show up for ourselves just as we show up for every baby shower Every wedding, every engagement party, ladies free before 12. [LAUGH] The red bottom sale that I love so much, Chanel Tuesdays, and everything in between. And even here at the Essence Festival we fall in line whenever there is a celebration, even if it is a home going celebration. But we have to show up for the hard stuff too, show up in the same way that we showed up to support our President, Barack Obama. [APPLAUSE] We have to show up with the same energy that brought 94% of black women to the polls to vote for Hillary Clinton, whether we liked her or not. [APPLAUSE] We have to channel the same energy that brought millions of women out of their home for the March on Washington on January 21st. [APPLAUSE] I hear my women's march family over there somewhere. But all activism doesn't start and stop with voting and marching. No, that's not all that there is, and I am an expert protestor, so take it from me. Practicing self-care is a vital component of your activism. You cannot be your sister's keeper if you are in fact not kept.
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