Killer Mike Calling For Peace Amid A Spark of Nationwide Protests
Killer Mike, one of the members of the Rap band Run The Jewels, gave an emotional and compelling speech on Saturday May 30th , telling protestors that now is the time to “Plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize.” And to not “burn your own house down for anger with an enemy.” The rapper would go on to say that he did
not want to be in Atlanta to give this speech, but felt he had to out of duty.
He even appeared at times, very emotional and fraught with anger which he seemed to be holding down with
immense effort. He would go on to say that he does not have any solutions right now, but his message was clear, protest but do it peacefully. He would also go on to call for the arrest and prosecution of all four officers who were involved.
A unique twist in his speech came when Killer Mike referenced the “Cornerstone Speech” that was given by fellow Georgian and at the time, the Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens in 1861, where Stephens stated that whites are superior to black people. Killer Mike would go on to state that “The officer believed that speech because he killed that man like an animal.”
All in all, I feel that Killer Mike’s speech was honest, direct, and clear. You can easily see that he was filled with emotion and wanting to express his rage, but knew this was not the time or place and would only serve to throw gasoline on an already raging fire. I can truly respect his temperament and his guidance, as he showed a road map for a calculated and measured response that will hopefully lead to lasting change we are all in sorely need of.
The protests we are seeing spark up around the country seem to have some sort of hint of pandemic fatigue and I believe people overall, have had enough of authority and are itching to get back at a system that appears to be broken and not operating in their interest. Unfortunately, even with Killer Mike’s influence and measured response, I fear that I do not see this unrest coming to an end shortly. Another innocent black man killed by a racist cop, while being clearly filmed, in the midst of a global pandemic that is now starting to be viewed as an over reaction, where people are
starting to feel the economic pain of the lockdown, is looking to be like a perfect storm for civil unrest for a long period of time.
However, it was refreshing to see a musician by trade, step up and offer leadership and guidance in a time of need. In times like these, where government authority is viewed as an enemy, it’s interesting to see that power and respect can shift to musicians, and specifically in this case, it couldn’t have shifted to a better one that has the means, temperament, and intellect to do so.