Las Vegas firearm safety presentation that warned black people to ‘lick the chicken grease off your fingers before shooting’ sparks outrage – but gun instructor says it was a joke
- Nephi ‘Khaliki’ Oliva, a gun safety instructor, presented slides featuring racist stereotypes that have circulated online since they were posted April 10
- At the VegasCCW event, Oliva featured slides titled ‘Firearm Safety for Black People’ and ‘Firearm Safety for White People’
- It instructed black gun users to ‘always lick the chicken grease off your fingers before shooting’ and to ensure a white person was in the vicinity
- The slide addressing white people contained bullet points reading ‘always make sure there are no minorities in your backdrop’
- Some audience members can be heard laughing and others can be heard voicing their displeasure at the racially motivated slides
- The instructor, who is Afghan American, has denied that he is racist, saying he was trying to ‘shock their system’ to remember ‘an important safety rule’
A gun safety instructor who told black members of a Las Vegas class to ‘lick the chicken grease off [their] fingers before shooting’ denies that he was being racist, saying his presentation was meant to ‘shock the system’ so attendees would remember ‘an important safety rule.’
At the annual Vegas CCW event at Clark County Library on April 10, Afghan American Nephi ‘Khaliki’ Oliva showed slides featuring a caricature of a black man wearing sagging pants wielding a side-cocked gun, and another slide showing a beer-bellied white man holding a cold one and a rifle.
The slides were labeled ‘Firearm Safety for Black People’ and ‘Firearm Safety for White People,’ respectively.
Oliva read bullet points pictured alongside the black caricature to the audience: ‘Always shoot the gun right side up’ and to ‘always lick the chicken grease off your fingers.’
‘Always make sure there’s a white person around so you have someone to blame for everything that goes wrong in your life,’ he continued, and ‘always aim for small children to ensure you actually hit another gang member.’
Alongside the white man, the bullet points read: ‘Always put your beer down before handling a firearm,’ ‘always keep your finger out of your nose while shooting,’ ‘always wear a wife beater on the range’ and ‘always make sure there are no minorities in your backdrop.’
In videos from the event posted to social media, some members of the large audience can be heard laughing at the racially motivated jokes, while others voice their displeasure.
Many denounced the messages and wondered how the quips were relevant to a class for concealed carry permits. The discourse has prompted Oliva, who also considers himself a comedian, to take to social media himself to defend himself and the style of his class.
Oliva told KSNV that he included the slides ‘to take a very mundane subject that gets forgotten very easily but is very important and making it memorable by shocking their system.’
‘Always keep the weapon pointed in a safe direction, that’s the joke,’ he said.
He also told the outlet that there were ‘other segments in there that equally went after every group,’ and that the audience ‘busted on [him] right back.’
Oliva has been the lead instructor at Vegas CCW for more than four years, according to his LinkedIn page. He was previously employed by ‘Las Vegas Gunfights’ for more than six years.
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Instructor Nephi ‘Khaliki’ Oliva, pictured, has been slammed online for using racially-motivated jokes to teach a gun safety course on April 10 – but he argues that he was trying to ‘shock their system’ so they would remember ‘an important safety rule’
Several GOP candidates, including Nevada Congressional candidate Noah Malgeri, North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee and Senate candidate Sharelle Mendenhall were in attendance at the VegasCCW event
Oliva showed a slide featuring a caricature of a black man wearing sagging pants wielding a side-cocked gun, along with a series of racially-motivated ‘gun safety tips’
Some audience members could be heard laughing when the slides were shown, while others voiced their disdain
But many were critical of Oliva, with one user writing: ‘This doesn’t belong in a CCW [conceal carry weapon] class. But you seem to enjoy playing the part of the fool as any court jester would.’
‘This has nothing to do with a CCW course,’ Jake Wiskerchen tweeted. ‘Now, thanks to bad judgment, anti-gun people are running wild with cherry picked screen cap accusing gun owners of being a monolithic culture led by racist Republicans.’
On Facebook, Oliva shared another clip from the event where he denounced racism.
‘I think racism is funny. In order to be a racist you’ve got to be so ignorant. To me, racism is about fear. I fear you so I want to try to control you because I’m afraid that if you are left to your own devices you will rise above me,’ he told his audience.
‘When somebody talks about the racist s***, I think they’ve revealed themselves in a way that is quite humorous to me.’
Marcus, a black man in attendance at the event, told KSNV that he wasn’t offended by the jokes that others thought were in poor taste.
‘If that joke was directed to me as an individual, meaning how we’re having this interview right now maybe I’d take offense to it,’ he explained to a reporter. ‘He didn’t just point out one particular group or minority and just focus.’
But many on social media were outraged by the slides.
Oliva, pictured, said he he included the slides ‘to take a very mundane subject that gets forgotten very easily but is very important and making it memorable by shocking their system’
Oliva posted about the social media backlash on the Facebook profile for VegasCCW
Oliva sat for an interview with KSNV Wednesday after the slides gained traction online
‘What a disgrace! Revoke their gun permits. I am appalled,’ wrote @stillpersister. ‘Make this more public! NOT OK!!!”
Nevada Congressional candidate Noah Malgeri, a Republican who was in attendance at last weekend’s event along with current North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee and Senate candidate Sharelle Mendenhall, came to the instructor’s defense.
‘I don’t believe that Nephi is in any way racist,’ Malgeri wrote on Thursday.
‘I understand that his presentation included content directed at several different groups represented in the audience, but he mostly directed his humor at himself.’
But his opponent Joey Gilbert, a Republican who vied for the attention of far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones at the Capitol riots, didn’t take the ‘jokes’ so lightly.
‘The slide that was used at the CCW class that I was invited to attend, but did not attend and had no involvement with whatsoever, is abhorrent and I condemn the blatant racism,’ Gilbert said. ‘Period.’
Mendenhall and Clark County Sheriff candidate Tom Roberts both told news outlets that they gave speeches and left before the offending slide was shown.
ACLU Executive Director Athar Haseebullah told KSNV that the racism displayed at the event was a disgrace, and questioned why the politicians in attendance didn’t vet the instructor more carefully.
He also wondered why it took days for some to condemn the language.
Several Republican candidates, pictured, were invited to the event – ACLU executive director Athar Haseebullah questioned why none of them raised issue with Oliva’s behavior sooner
Oliva wrote on Facebook that he was ‘laugh[ing] in the face of racism by taking its power away.’
‘It’s truly sad to me how people and the media will do anything they can to spoil what is an amazing experience for some… to satisfy the need to virtue signal and press a political agenda,’ he wrote on Wednesday.
‘The people that attended our mass CCW event laughed… cried… and were educated in a way that they will remember for a lifetime.’
He also argued that he, an Afghan American, was a minority, tweeting: ‘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.’
Now, according to KSNV, the library that hosted the event is reviewing its rental room policy.
‘Library District condemns hate speech in any form and will be meeting to review our room rental policy,’ spokesperson Kelvin Watson told the outlet.
‘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.’
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