Killer Mike implores white America to confront their own historical oppression of Black people during an appearance of the Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
For the past week, the nation has been gripped by daily protests and peaceful demonstrations amid reports of looting and vandalism. Tensions between citizens and law enforcement erupted over the police killing of George Floyd over Memorial Day weekend. When protests first sprang up in Atlanta, Killer Mike helped bring calm to the city and gave a voice to the frustrations of Black American’s in a powerful speech at Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ press conference on Friday (May 29). Earlier this week, the Run the Jewels rapper appeared on Colbert’s late night talk show where he discussed his speech.
"All I said was what was on my heart,” he explained.
While he was understanding of the anger and frustration that led to people protesting, Killer Mike implored people to channel their feelings in productive ways that will lead to actual change. He went on to shout out several grass-roots organizations that he believes are doing good work, including The New Georgia Project, Live Free, The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Movement for Black Lives, and Next Level Boys Academy.
“Those organizations that I named and many, many, more across the country need your help. They need boots on the ground. There’s nothing with having anger and emotion and passion overspill that we saw. Because that needs to happen to ignite,” he expressed. “But now that you’re ignited, I need you on a weekly and daily basis to join a grassroots organization wherever you are.”
Later in the interview, Killer Mike acknowledged that people of color cannot do this alone and outlined ways that white Americans can confront and combat their own racism.
“What I need you to do is send financial help to some of the organizations I just named because those organizations are doing it on the ground. Then get your butt down there and help those organizations in a physical way. But what I need white America to do beyond right now is understand that right now is always,” he continued. “It isn't just helping in the now. It is being a part of fixing it.”
The first task he put before white Americans was for them to research anti-racism activist Jane Elliott and spend at least one hour learning from her teachings.
“She's not just speaking, but she's teaching people about the racism that is given to them, that they aren't even aware they have,” he explained to Colbert.
“If there’s a riot going on in the streets, you gotta start to understand that now is time to stand up with the people who are getting beaten up. With the people who are tired of being treated that way,” he added. “So, my homework for all of white America is to spend an hour learning from Jane Elliott on YouTube tonight.”
Check out Killer Mike’s appearance on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert below.
BET has been covering every angle of George Floyd’s death in police custody, other social justice cases and the subsequent aftermath and protests. For our continuing coverage, click here.