Killer Mike began trending on Twitter Saturday, as users of the social media platform continued to respond to Bill Maher calling himself a “house nigga” during a segment of his HBO show, Real Time With Bill Maher. Users and fans may have sought out Mike’s take due to his previous appearances discussing race-related matters on CNN and MSNBC. Killer Mike has also made multiple appearances on Real Time With Bill Maher, with the most recent visit coming roughly three weeks ago.
NE Sen. Ben Sasse invited Maher to Nebraska to "help in the fields". Maher responded "I'm a house nigga"— Alan Richard (@BornABillsFan) June 3, 2017
A few users pointed out Mike’s multiple visits to illicit a response, and while Killer Mike gave dozens of responses, his counterargument appeared to boil down to three central arguments. Mike pointed out Maher is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech, Maher should be responsible for his own words and actions, and that there are larger issues than a how comedian uses a racial epithet or if said comedian should even use the epithet at all.
As it related to Maher’s comments within the perceived list of issues plaguing the black community, Mike told one user, “black [sic] have BIGGER things than NIGGER to concern our selves with: Black Banks, Gentrification, Economics & Trade Education. Love, My Nigga.”
black have BIGGER things than NIGGER to concern our selves with: Black Banks, Gentrification, Economics & Trade Education. Love, My Nigga. https://t.co/nTtvRkXKkF— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) June 3, 2017
The Run The Jewels member further went on to engage another user on accusations that he was defending Maher. Mike said, “Bill can ‘defend’ Bill [and] I can not care. That is my actual stance. I care about [money] in our community.”
I was specific in saying I defend the 1A. Bill can "defend" Bill i can Not care. That is my actual stance. I care about 💵 In our community https://t.co/gVi7eZNGzU— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) June 3, 2017
If users were angling for Killer Mike to provide some outright condemnation of Bill Maher, they didn’t get it Saturday. However, Mike did say he co-sign one user’s statement of, “Fuck Bill Maher for this” and added that he didn’t have to agree with Maher on everything they discussed.
“I don’t like his views on Islam but I have no right to stop him from saying stupid shit,” Mike added.
his arguments are valid, still fuck bill maher for this— Daye Jack (@dayejack) June 4, 2017
I can agree and co sign the Fuck U, Bill 😑but it's still in check ya shit 😒way not I'm emotionally moved to rage...... 😏 https://t.co/H2V3PJMjLu— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) June 4, 2017
He makes, Jewish, religious, sexists, political, fat and many other jokes. That's his job. Not always funny but that is what comedians do😐 https://t.co/ok55CqBPBP— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) June 3, 2017
I defend the 1st and I don't care how that looks. I don't like his views on Islam but I have no right to stop him from saying stupid shit https://t.co/jn9lX4jW6O— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) June 3, 2017
Twitter is often criticized for the brevity caused by its 140-character limit, but an argument can be made that some of the best commentaries on Maher’s comments came via Twitter Saturday. Before Maher’s official apology, there was a wide range of opinions. Chance The Rapper advocated for removing Maher’s show from the air, while Larry King caped for Maher with the tried and true excuses of “I’ve been a friend of Bill Maher's for years” and “there’s not a racist bone in his body.”
Please @HBO Do Not Air Another Episode Of Real Time With Bill Maher.— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) June 3, 2017
I've been a friend of @billmaher's for years and there's not a racist bone in his body. Let's accept his apology and move on.— Larry King (@kingsthings) June 3, 2017
With Maher’s apology and HBO’s announcement to remove the offensive segment from future airings, things appear to have been smoothed over. For those leveling the criticism against Killer Mike that advocating for economic empowerment within the black community and calling out a comedian’s failed attempt to joke about cruel but common practice established during slavery, the discussion may be resumed with Roland Martin.
Yes let's do it on your show as well. The word NIGGER is NOT our dire issue. Self reliance and building black economic dignity is. I feel https://t.co/NOmPgZkXQ6— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) June 3, 2017
TVOne’s Roland Martin asked Mike to further discuss the issue, and it appears Mike was willing to take his arguments to Martin’s show.
“Yes let’s do it on your show as well,” Mike replied. “The word NIGGER is NOT our dire issue. Self-reliance and building black economic dignity is.”