Atlanta rapper Killer Mike recently appeared on Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club to discuss the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and more. The Run The Jewels lyricist began the conversation by speaking on the constitutional rights that were ignored when Brown was shot six times in Ferguson.
He then expressed his outrage at the overall lack of humanity and lack of sympathy for Brown and those affected by the teen’s death.
“Really what I’m disgraced by is that Americans have gotten to the point where we’re so comfortable choosing sides,” Killer Mike said. “‘Well, I’m black middle class.’ ‘I’m white middle class.’ ‘I’m working class.’ ‘I’m poor.’ We’ve gotten conditioned to pick these boxes to the point that we don’t see the brutal and real truth before us. I don’t care if you argue that kid was a thug. I don’t care if you argue black-on-black crime. I don’t care [about] any of the senseless arguments you have that you argue. An American’s constitutional rights to due process were eliminated with those six bullets. I am an American. I am promised a certain amount of rights by the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution. And any time a policeman puts me in a chokehold and ignores me saying ‘I can’t breathe.’ And I die in front of cameras, in front of other Americans on the New York streets. Or a child dies in the streets of a suburb of St. Louis all of our rights are affected. It makes all of our rights easier to trample on.
“Everyone in the world finds the rights in this country amazing,” he added. “The freedoms that you have. And we take them so for granted. So, my outrage is first and foremost at our lack of empathy and humanity. Our lack of sympathy for this mother and this child and these social conditions that make children—Not just black children, children. Cause kids who are skateboarders get harassed by cops. That make children the enemy. And furthermore, I’m appalled by our apathy as Americans. That we’re not all up there fighting for our constitutional rights. I’m encouraged by artists like Tef Poe and Rocky Knuckles in St. Louis because they’re on the ground providing footage that they’re not showing you.”
Killer Mike, whose father was a cop, later labeled problems with police officers an “American” problem and not solely a “black people” problem. He also recalled riding around with a white driver a promoter assigned to him while in Washington D.C., and the driver’s lack of fear when it concerned being pulled over.
“This isn’t just a black people/cop problem,” Killer Mike said. “This is an American people/cop problem…I sympathize with police officers. Not only was my father a police officer, I’m mentored by Andrew Young who was the mayor of Atlanta at the time when policemen still had revolvers and they were fighting against semi-automatic weapons because they needed ‘em. It was the middle of the crack era…So, I understand the need for policing. I understand the need for black cops.
“I remember we were being driven around—The promoter just put somebody on you. We were in D.C.,” the rapper added. “A little, white girl was driving us around. She did three back-to-back U-turns. We were burning in the car. We was like ‘Oh my God.’ She said ‘Don’t worry. I’m white.’ And I’m not making this a racial thing, but I’m just saying ‘No, everybody doesn’t panic when police get behind them.’ Some people pull over and get angry and yell at the cops because they’re not accustomed to that. And those people are the people who represent a social class that is [nah], if you kill them and leave them in the middle of the street, somebody gotta get some answers.”
Killer Mike previously spoke on the protests in Ferguson, Missouri and the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner during an interview with CNN last week. The rapper was also one of the first artists to respond to the death of Brown via social media.