Published Nov 25, 2014Last night (November 24), a grand jury in Ferguson, MO, ruled to not indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in August, a decision that led to protests across the U.S. and much public outcry. Run the Jewels rapper Killer Mike was one of those voices, and he gave the crowd at nearby St. Louis' Ready Room a passionate speech touching on the case, issues of race, the class system and poverty.
Mike, who has been vocal about the Brown case since the summer, took some time ahead of the group's performance to discuss the non-indictment verdict, saluting the life of Brown while also expressing the fear he has for his children's future. He expressed his frustration and anger, referenced the life and death of Martin Luther King Jr., and urged people to unite against the U.S. "war machine."
You can read and watch Killer Mike's powerful speech down below.
I would like to give all thoughts and prayers to the people out there peacefully protesting. I also give thoughts and prayers to the people who could not hold their anger in because riots are only the language of the unhold. We usually come on to Queen's "Champion," but I just got to tell you today, no matter how much we do it, no matter how much we get shit together, shit comes along and kicks you on your ass. Tonight, I got kicked on my ass when I heard that prosecutor. You motherfuckers got me today, I knew it was coming when Eric Holder decided to resign. You motherfuckers got me today. You kicked me on my ass today, because I have a 20-year-old son and a 12-year-old son, and I'm so afraid for them today.
When I stood on the bus, and I cried, and I hugged my friend, I said, "these motherfuckers got me today." When I stood in front of my wife, and I cried like a baby, I said, "these motherfuckers got me today." You motherfuckers will not own tomorrow, we will not bend to your fear, we will not accept your pain, we are not going to keep playing that race card, because we know you don't value my skin. We know you do value his [El-P's], but we're friends and nothing is going to devalue that.
There was no peace in my heart and I wanted to walk out to "Burn This Motherfucker Down." But I got to tell you, I'm from Atlanta, GA, something said, "Just look for something [Martin Luther King Jr.] might have said," so I googled Martin King and Wikipedia popped up, and he was 39 years old when you motherfuckers killed him. He was the same age as I am, the same age as [El-P]. He was a young man when you killed him.
But I can promise you today: If I die when I walk off this stage tomorrow, I'll let you know this: it is not about race, it is not a class, it's not about colour, it's about what they killed him for. It's about poverty, it's about greed, and it's about a war machine. It's about a war machine that uses you. So as I go tomorrow, I might go the day after, the one thing I want you to know is that it's us against the motherfucking machine!