“I didn’t want to come and I don’t want to be here,” said Killer Mike at the beginning of a speech on Saturday. The rapper, actor, activist, and co-founder of supergroup Run The Jewels spoke alongside the Mayor of Atlanta at a press conference this weekend, urging protestors to refrain from the violence and destruction that has surfaced across the nation following the death of George Floyd.
With tears in his eyes, Killer Mike described the respect he has for police officers, as several members of his family serve on the Atlanta force. He then explained the pain, anguish, and sadness he felt for George Floyd and affirmed his support for the protests.
“We have to be better than burning down our own homes, because if we lose Atlanta, what else we got?” he said, condemning the actions of a small group of rioters among the larger peaceful protest. “It is your duty to not burn your own house down for anger with an enemy. It is your duty to fortify your own house, so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization,” Killer Mike continued.
“Now is the time to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize,” he pleaded. Instead of turning to violence, Killer Mike suggested that people use their voices at the voting booth. While acknowledging that Atlanta is better off than other cities when it comes to racial justice, he didn’t shy away from describing the anger he’s feeling and empathizing with those who feel they have no other options than causing chaos.
“I’m mad as hell. I woke up wanting to see the world burn down. I’m tired of seeing black men die. [Derek Chauvin] casually put his knee on a human being’s neck for nine minutes as he died like a zebra in the clutch of a lion’s jaw, and we watch it like murder porn, over and over again. That’s why children are burning things to the ground—they don’t know what else to do.”
Mike called for the prosecution and sentencing of all four officers involved in Floyd’s death and called upon the City of Atlanta to institute a community board to hold police accountable.
He then commented on CNN, whose headquarters was set ablaze during the protests on Saturday: “I love CNN, I love Cartoon Network, but what I’d like to say to CNN right now—karma’s a mother. Stop making people feel so fearful. Give them hope. I’m glad they only took down a sign and defaced the building and not kill human beings like that policeman did. I’m glad they only destroyed some brick and mortar and they didn’t rip a father from a son, they didn’t rip a son from a mother like the policeman did.
Watch Killer Mike deliver his impassioned speech below.
Killer Mike Speech – Atlana Mayor’s Press Conference
[Video: Bringing Down The Band]
As far as Run The Jewels is concerned, the rap group was originally scheduled to tour with Rage Against The Machine this spring, however, the ongoing health crisis forced the band to reschedule until 2021. Head to Run The Jewels’ website for the latest information and check out Live For Live Music‘s concert cancellation tracker for daily updates on shows around the world.