LeBron James, Eminem and Others Praise Killer Mike’s Powerful Atlanta Protest Speech
The Run the Jewels star–who is the son of an Atlanta police officer–appeared at Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ press conference on Friday night to address the local community’s response.
“I am duty-bound to be here to simply say: That it is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with an enemy,” Killer Mike said. “It is your duty to fortify your own house, so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization. And now is the time to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize.”
— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 30, 2020
“MANDATORY LISTEN!!!!” LeBron James tweeted. “@KillerMike always on point! So passionate and smart (knowledgeable) as hell!! Man I love you G!”
Eminem echoed a similar sentiment, tweeting, “I’m with @KillerMike on this one. Incredibly well done.”
— Marshall Mathers (@Eminem) May 31, 2020
“The whole country needs to stop right now and listen to Killer Mike,” another Twitter user wrote. “He’s verbalizing what a lot of us don’t know how to express.”
The whole country needs to stop right now and listen to Killer Mike. He’s verbalizing what a lot of us don’t know how to express pic.twitter.com/yiBEaicRGT
— ment nelson (@mentnelson) May 30, 2020
As Rolling Stone notes, Killer Mike also referenced the Atlanta police department’s first African American police officers, known as the “original eight.”
“I don’t want to be here,” Killer Mike began. “I got a lot of love and respect for police officers down to the original eight [Black] police officers in Atlanta that, even after becoming police, had to dress in a YMCA because white officers didn’t want to get dressed with n*****s. And here we are, 80 years later and I watched a white officer assassinate a Black man and I know that tore your heart out. I know it’s crippling and I have nothing positive to say in this moment because I don’t want to be here.”
— Read Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire (@JoshuaPotash) May 29, 2020
At the same press conference, rapper T.I. shared a similar message, saying, “Atlanta has been here for us, this city don’t deserve that. I understand that a lot of others do, but we can’t do this here, this is Wakanda. It’s sacred. It must be protected.”
Floyd died after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin restrained him on the pavement, knee on his neck, during an arrest for allegedly trying to use a suspected counterfeit $20 bill. Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder, but disturbing video of Floyd’s arrest has sparked protests across the country.
According to Atlanta-based ABC-affiliate WSB-TV, thousands of people turned out in the city to protest the death of Floyd. Most gatherings have been peaceful, but some confrontations with police have turned violent. Two Atlanta police officers were fired after a viral video showed them using excessive force against college students.
Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman have also spoken out in the wake of Floyd’s death, while UFC champion Jon Jones physically confronted two young protesters vandalizing buildings in Albuquerque, taking away their spray paint cans.