The spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King has multiplied since his death in 1968, emanating eloquently, for example, through the words of Killer Mike's exclusive op-ed piece published Monday (Jan. 19), the national day of reflection on King's life and legacy.
"Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Revolutionary, simple and plain," Mike wrote. "He did not get to live a regular life and have an 86th Bornday. He died a murder victim because he had the audacity to challenge a war machine bent on keeping people impoverished and men and woman dying for an illegal war."
The piece follows up Mike's impassioned impromptu speech delivered during a performance the night St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announced the non-indictment of police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown. That night, Mike revealed that he and his Run the Jewels partner, El-P, are the same age that King was when he was fatally shot: 39.
He added that he has two sons for whom he is afraid. "You motherf**ers got me," he said repeatedly.
In the op-ed, Mike calls for all of us to be like Martin. "Be more than an American that simply enjoys the fruits of his labor by taking a day off. Be a keeper of his challenge to government. Be a source of agitation to policy-makers. Be an ally to those young people in the streets, fighting against corrupt police departments. Be a friend to the poor and to prisoners. Be more like Martin, Malcolm, Che, Hampton, Assata. ... We have to be revolutionaries and nothing less."
Mike, a prolific emcee and child of a former police officer, often puts his message where his music is. His most recent release, the Run the Jewels album Run the Jewels 2, dropped in October.
Read his full op-ed on Okayplayer.
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