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.
“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.
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.
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.”