Musician Killer Mike, one half of the Run the Jewels rap group, early Saturday delivered an impassioned plea for people in his home city of Atlanta, Georgia, to stop protesting the death of George Floyd with violence.
Instead, the rapper called ― during a press conference held by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms ― on people to organize, mobilize and beat elected officials up at the voting booth. He also called out Donald Trump’s inflammatory language on the protests, describing the president as a “dumbass.”
“We have to be better than burning down our own homes because if we lose Atlanta, what else we got?” asked the rapper, whose real name is Michael Render.
Killer Mike revealed he’d been made “mad as hell” by the death of Floyd in Minneapolis on Monday. Floyd, a Black man, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck.
The killing was caught on camera and has sparked anger and protests nationwide.
“I woke up wanting to see the world burn down. I’m tired of seeing Black men die,” he said. “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, and we watch it like murder porn, over and over again.”
“That’s why children are burning things to the ground,” added the musician, who was vocal during and after the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 following the death of Michael Brown.
“They don’t know what else to do,” he said. “And it’s the responsibility of us to make this better, right now. We don’t want to see Targets burning, we want to see the system that sets up systemic racism, burn to the ground.”
Check out Killer Mike’s full comments here:
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter