I’ve studied under civil rights leaders and I know that power is not grounded in pleas or patience. I know that, while uncomfortable, protests and demonstrations matter. They push critical issues to the forefront of the national psyche and force the public to pay attention. They provide an opening to talk about uncomfortable issues, and they offer an on-ramp to discuss progressive solutions.
» COMPLETE COVERAGE: The Atlanta protests
When I joined Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ press conference last week, I wanted to encourage young people, particularly young people who felt the level of rage I felt following the acquittal of the wicked cops who tortured and beat an innocent Black man. I wanted them to know that, while police violence can leave us feeling powerless, there are avenues and vehicles to channel our frustration and increase our power. Joining these organizations is not meant to replace protests, but rather to ensure young people and youth have a base of support and a place to plot, plan, mobilize and strategize.
» WATCH VIDEO: Killer Mike addresses protesters angry about George Floyd's death after protests turn violent in Atlanta.
Killer Mike addresses protesters mad about George Floyd's death after protests turn violent in Atlanta.
It is immoral for police officers to assassinate Black people, only to have prosecutors be on the fence about whether to hold such officers accountable. It is unconscionable to experience police terror, only to watch some in the media put the victims on trial, instead of the perpetrators. It is distressing to watch subversive forces infiltrate peaceful demonstrations, only to have the blame placed solely on Black people and not the white nationalists showing up in these spaces.
As I think about how we got here, I am clear that the boundaries of Black bodies have been violated one time too many. What we are seeing is a passionate cry for justice, a cry that is neither timid nor uncertain, a cry that is conveying in the strongest sense possible that we will wait no longer. While it is not my place to determine how and when oppressed people raise dissent, I am hoping that, in all we do, we will connect with the grassroots groups in our respective communities that our fighting for Black lives. Groups and organizations like the Angela Project, Next Level Boys Academy, Racial Justice Now, the New Georgia Project, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and LIVE FREE campaign are why I am able to maintain a sliver of hope that change is possible.
Joining forces with them, we will bring life to the phrase “plot, plan, mobilize and strategize.”
» VIDEO: Who is Killer Mike?
Killer Mike, whose real name is Michael Render, is one-half of the Atlanta-based hip-hop duo Run The Jewels.
» READ MORE ON AJC.COM | OPINION: Lives must matter in a most-serious time for us all
Michael Render, professionally known as Killer Mike, is an activist, Grammy Award-winning rapper, one half of the rap duo Run the Jewels, and host of the Netflix series, “Trigger Warning with Killer Mike.” His father was an Atlanta police officer. He and his wife Shana own the SWAG Shop barbershops in Atlanta.