During a panel discussion on MSNBC on Sunday afternoon, radio personality and commentator Charlamagne tha God briefly stunned host Alex Witt by first saying he wished shooting victim Ahmaud Arbery had been armed to defend himself before being gunned down by two white Georgia men — then advised African-Americans to legally purchase a weapon so they don’t meet the same fate.
With the Rev. Al Sharpton also on the panel, Lenard Larry McKelvey, who goes by the Charlamagne professional name, was blunt in his assessment of the two men– since arrested — who were filmed killing Aubery which led to their arrest two months after the incident.
“My thoughts are rest in peace and condolences to his family,” Charlamagne began. “I wish that brother had a gun on him while he was jogging to defend himself against those thugs, those goons, those terrorists. I call them ‘Vanilla ISIS.’ They hunted him down like he was a deer.”
“I would tell my brothers and sisters to go buy yourself a legal firearm and learn how to use it to protect yourself and your family,” he continued. “I think, when you are a black person in America, owning a legal firearm is a form of self-care. I wish he had a gun on him while jogging. I would much rather see him in prison fighting for his freedom as opposed to being in a casket right now.”
“Could I ask you, since these two, they’ve been charged with murder, we don’t know if they’ll be anybody else who will be brought into the charges, this father and son,” Witt replied. “The legal system, the reverend talked about what changes he like to see in the legal system. Talk about that, because while I can understand the emotions behind what you said about what you wish people would do within the black community, I’m sure you also understand that the prospect of everybody going out there and using guns to make their points or defend themselves or attack, that may not turn out well in the big picture.”
“Well, that is not what I said,” he explained. “I didn’t say people should use their guns and go out there and attack. I said people should own legal firearms to defend against these kind of attacks. that is what i said.”
“Now as far as the justice system, I don’t have in faith in the justice system,” he continued. “I see plenty of white people get off for killing unarmed black men in this country so I don’t have any faith in the legal system so therefore that is what I’m telling all of my brothers and sisters to buy yourself a legal firearm and learn how to use it to protect yourself against these kind of threats. Second Amendment — the Constitution is for all of us, right?”