Last night (May 29), rapper and activist Killer Mike gave a speech at the Atlanta Mayor’s Press Conference. Mike’s speech was in response to protests stemming from the death of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis on May 25 after Derek Chauvin, who’s been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, used his knee to pin him down.
Mike begins his speech by announcing his respect for police officers, and mentioning family members who served in law enforcement, including his father. He also acknowledges the fact that black police officers have faced racism within the police department for decades. “Here we are 80 years later, ” Mike said, “and I watched a white officer assassinate a black man.” He continued:
I am duty-bound to be here to simply say: That it is your duty not to
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. And now is the time to plot, plan, strategize,
organize, and mobilize.
Elsewhere in his speech, Mike encouraged voting in local elections, and advocated for systemic change. “I’m mad as hell,” he said. “I woke up wanting to see the world burn yesterday, because I’m tired of seeing black men die. He 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.” Mike added:
So that’s why children are burning it to the ground. They don’t know
what else to do. And it is the responsibility of us to make this
better right now. We don’t want to see one officer charged, we want to
see four officers prosecuted and sentenced. We don’t want to see
targets burning, we want to see the system that sets up for systemic
racism burnt to the ground.
Killer Mike’s speech followed one given by rapper and Atlanta native T.I.. Earlier this week, Mike penned an op-ed in Colorlines supporting black gun ownership.