John Legend took to Twitter to denounce the glaring hypocrisy of the National Rifle Association (NRA) after the Minnesota police shooting death of Philando Castile.
Castile was shot dead when reaching for his identification that the police officer himself requested. After the officer pulled Castile over for a so- called routine traffic stop, the officer discovered that Castile had a gun.
At that point the officer sent the situation downhill, and when Castile reached for his wallet, complying with the officer’s request to prove that he was legally allowed to have the weapon, the officer shot and killed him.
As an African American, Castile’s race has been widely cited as a factor in his death. Another issue that has arisen is that Castile was completely legal in his possession of his gun.
For days following Castile’s death, the NRA was conspicuously silent. As critics cited, if the victim had been white, the NRA would likely have spoken out nearly immediately in his defense. After all, he had been wrongly killed based on a refusal to honor his right to carry a gun.
But, Castile wasn’t white, he was black. The NRA, instead of speaking out immediately in defense, instead complicity announced to the world that Castile had somehow deserved to die. Of course, the basis for this from the NRA is Castile’s race.
And music star John Legend was among many who would have none of it. Hours after Castile was murdered- and his death livestreamed on Facebook- Legend tweeted what you can see below.
Let's go NRA. I know y'all are for the 2nd amendment. Are you also for equal protection? https://t.co/PaKMcZ7ina
— John Legend (@johnlegend) July 7, 2016
Legend was far from the only one to notice the NRA’s silence.
Twitter user Emran El-Badawi got straight to the point, discussing the financial gain to the NRA inherent in refusing to speak out in Castile’s defense- and therefore welcoming the continuing of the epidemic of American gun violence, which only lines the pockets more and more deeply of NRA executives.
— Emran El-Badawi (@emrane) July 7, 2016
The only reference to Castile’s death that the NRA ever coughed up was reported on by the Washington Post.
‘The NRA appeared to drag its feet on the Falcon Heights shooting, taking more than a day and a half to address it publicly. When a statement was posted on the NRA Facebook page, the group obliquely referred to “reports from Minnesota.” It neither named Castile directly nor took a position on the shooting.’
The NRA refused to even honor the dead enough to mention his name.
We will- rest in peace, Philando Castile.
Legend has already made his voice known politically lately as a vocal supporter of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.