Did rapper Killer Mike cross the line?
Killer Mike, a campaign surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), created a political firestorm Wednesday for saying “a uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president of the United States” referring to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
In a presidential campaign that has offered plenty of controversial phrases and over-the-top remarks, Killer Mike’s comments ranks at the top of the list.
Who would have guessed that the word “uterus” would be incorporated into the high-profile presidential campaign by a hip-hop surrogate whose real name is Michael Render.
According to The New York Times, Render told a crowd of about 4,800 people at Morehouse College in Atlanta that he was supporting Sanders.
While introducing Sanders at the rally, Render recalled a conversation he said he had with feminist activist Jane Elliott.
“When people tell us, ‘Hold on, wait a while’ — and that’s what the other Democrat is telling you – ‘Hold on Black Lives Matter, just wait a while. Hold on young people in this country, just wait a while.’ And then she get good, she have your own momma come to you, your momma sit down and say, ‘Well, you’re a woman.’
But I talked to Jane Elliott a few weeks ago and Jane said, ‘Michael, a uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president of the United States.’ You have to be, you have to have policy that’s reflective of social justice. Paying women a fair wage is social justice. Making sure that minorities have jobs is social justice.”
Render’s comments prompted widespread outrage with many saying Render is irresponsible and sexist.
It does beg this question: What was Render thinking? Although he was quoting a feminist, he should have realized his ill-timed comments would be taken out of context for media fodder.
I don’t know if Render’s remarks will hurt Sanders’ standing with women but I’m guessing Render probably won’t be headlining any more rallies for Sanders in the near future.
Render’s comments come just three days before the Nevada Democratic caucuses, where a new poll shows the race between Sanders and Clinton in a dead heat. A CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday shows that 48% of likely voters are supporting Clinton, while 47% will back Sanders.
Both Clinton and Sanders are aggressively courting African-American voters nine days before the South Carolina primary where Black voters are expected to play a critical role in the South’s first presidential contest. Clinton has a wide lead in South Carolina.
Render says his comments were taken out of context.
“I think the reaction is because a man said what I said,” he said. “If a woman had made that statement there would have been no problem, but because a man said it, it becomes a sexist statement. It’s a ridiculous thing to be upset about.”
I’m not sure if Render’s explanation will calm women who feel he’s a sexist. When you’re in a hole, you should probably stop digging.
What do you think?
(Photo: Killer Mike IG)