Killer Mike raised eyebrows – and invoked strong reactions on Twitter – after he repeated what he said was a quote from a progressive woman about her support for Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary.
The rapper and Sanders supporter said he had a conversation with a woman named Jane Elliott, who he quoted as saying, “A uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president of the United States. You have to have policy that’s reflective of social justice.”
Killer Mike shared the quote during a Sanders rally at Morehouse College, as part of a broader critique of social issues.
He said: “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.”
Elliott is an anti-racism activist and feminist who gained attention for staging a “blue eyes-brown eyes” experiment in her classroom to illustrate how discrimination works.
In a series of tweets after the event on Tuesday evening, the artist stressed that he was merely projecting the quote he had been told, and that he did not mean to impugn Clinton or her campaign to be the first female president.
“I didn’t say that a progressive activist woman said to me,” he wrote in one.
He also said he would support other women for office, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. And he pushed back hard at the claims that he was sexist.
“So Women are being told to not vote Hillary is sex betrayal & Becuz another progressive woman says something disagreeing I’m sexist. Lmfao,” he tweeted.
“But i don’t and never will Hate or think less of woman. Sen. Nina Turner is my Next Great Political Champ but I’m sorry No HRC for me,” Killer Mike continued.
Clinton and Sanders are locked in a fierce fight, both looking to expand support among minority voters and among women, as their campaigns turn to contests in Nevada and South Carolina.
Clinton’s Press Secretary Brian Fallon called the rapper’s words “disappointing” Wednesday.
“It’s disappointing. Obviously if the suggestion there is that Hillary Clinton is asking anyone to vote for her based on her gender, that’s completely off base,” he said on CNN’s “New Day.”
“This is just unfortunately the latest in a series of instances where some of Sen. Sanders top surrogates have made comments, to say the least, that are off script.”