Killer Mike Writes Op-Ed on Police Brutality + Baltimore Unrest
Days after his lecture on race, the music industry, politics and police brutality at MIT, Run the Jewels rapper Killer Mike has penned an article detailing his experience attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner while riots broke out in Baltimore a mere 40 miles away -- unrest resulting from the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody.
In the piece, Killer Mike writes about the uncomfortable dichotomy: simultaneously feeling honored to attend the White House dinner while watching Baltimore riots unfold on social media.
“I saw that Baltimore was burning,” he writes for Billboard. “As I sat there and watched my timeline, I felt helpless, hopeless: ‘Here I am at this lavish event -- the most powerful man in the world is black, and people like him are being killed by the citizens who are paid to protect them.’ I left the dinner numb.”
“And in the days since, I’ve watched Geraldo Rivera and [Wolf] Blitzer pander to the audiences of oppression on TV,” the rapper continues, later adding, “they’re players in the game that sensationalizes and objectifies this in the worst ways -- I don’t trust that they want to see the change.”
Later, Killer Mike expounds on the motivation behind creating Run the Jewels’ music video for “Close Your Eyes (And Count to F---).”
“As a black man, [the music video] shows what it’s like to wrestle with police in this culture, and secondarily it shows that most police don’t want to be doing this,” he writes. “These men are exhausted! And we need police -- everyone knows that, and I don’t have a problem with them. I do have a problem with a culture that uses illegal roadblocks to search Americans.”
Killer Mike concludes his essay by wondering “if this country will ever truly be what it promised in our Constitution for people who look like me.”
Read Killer Mike’s entire Billboard piece here.