Tensions have been running high throughout the country following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota on Monday. Protests began in Minnesota early last week and have spread throughout the nation, as citizens expressed their fury as well as solidarity with each other. Many protests in various cities have turned violent, including in Atlanta, which prompted one of its most prominent citizens, Killer Mike, to plead with them to bring an end to the destruction during their protests.
Joining Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and T.I. for a press conference during the protests, Killer Mike began by expressing his feelings on the death of George Floyd. “I’m mad as hell,” he said. “I woke up wanting to see the world burn yesterday, because I’m tired of seeing black men die.” Speaking about Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck, Killer Mike said, “He casually put his knee on a human being’s neck for nine minutes as he died like a zebra in the clutch of a lion’s jaw.”
“We don’t want to see one officer charged, we want to see four officers prosecuted and sentenced. We don’t want to see targets burning, we want to see the system that sets up for systemic racism burnt to the ground,” Killer Mike said later in his speech. Despite his outrage, Mike expressed disagreement with the approach of protestors and their violence.
“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,” he said. “It is your duty to fortify your own house, so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization.” Killer Mike would also remind viewers that “Atlanta is not perfect. But we are a lot better than we were and we are a lot better than a lot of cities are.”
You can watch Killer Mike’s speech in the video above.