A gun safety instructor has come under fire for telling black students during a class in Las Vegas to “always lick the chicken grease off your fingers before shooting” and to always “make sure there is a white person around” to “blame.”
Nephi “Khaliki” Oliva, owner of Vegas Conceal Carry Weapons, was instructing a class at the Clark County Library on Sunday when he showed slides titled “Firearm Safety for White People” and “Firearm Safety for Black People,” the Review-Journal reported.
One slide featured a stereotyped caricature of a masked black man wearing saggy pants and flashing an apparent gang sign as he holds up a sideways gun.
“Always lick the chicken grease off your fingers before shooting,” the slide says, evoking the racist food stereotype.
“Always shoot the gun right side up,” “always make sure there’s a white person around so you have someone to blame for everything that goes wrong in your life” and “always aim for small children to ensure you actually hit another gang member,” the other eyebrow-raising bullet points say.
The slide aimed at whites, meanwhile, showed a bearded, pot-bellied man wearing a cap while holding a beer can in one hand and a rifle in the other.
One of the pointers it offers is to “always make sure there are no minorities in your backdrop.”
Kelvin Watson, executive director of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, told the Review-Journal in a statement that the “district condemns hate speech in any form” and it will be meeting to review its room rental policy.
“The group in question rented a meeting room from the Library District and it is in no way connected to our organization, beliefs, or views,” he added.
Roxann McCoy, president of the NAACP Las Vegas, told the paper that the display went “beyond poor taste.”
“It is, pure and simple, callous racism,” she said.
After the lesson backfired on him, Oliva insisted that his slides were not racist.
“People got equally roasted in my class at the library last Sunday,” Oliva said in a tweet, adding that “I am a minority and I was the one telling those jokes.”
“I am an Afghan American and I come from a Muslim family. For you to use my comedy and my event as fodder for your political nonsense is shameful. That audience was MY audience and it was comprised of a wide mix of races,” he wrote.
“Those of you missing the true context of my humor. I am going somewhere meaningful and you seeing it out of full context is unfortunate,” he said in another tweet.
Several Republican candidates and officeholders were listed as special guests at the event, including Clark County sheriff hopeful Tom Roberts, congressional candidate Noah Malgeri and North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee.
It was unclear how many of them attended the class.
Malgeri reacted to the incident with a statement on Twitter.
“I am a strong supporter of firearms education and the Second Amendment,” he wrote. “I have never attended one of Nephi’s classes before and have no role in the curriculum, but I don’t believe that Nephi is in any way racist,” he wrote.
“I understand that his presentation included content directed at several different groups represented in the audience but that he mostly directed his humor at himself. The constant ‘moral outrage’ attacks on free speech and comedy in particular have become tedious, and are resoundingly rejected by most regular people, including me,” Malgeri added.
Roberts said he attended the event and gave a speech but was not present when the slide was shown.
“I wouldn’t use or condone the use of material like that,” he told the Review-Journal.
Lee could not immediately be reached by the newspaper for comment.