Civil unrest is at an all-time high across the nation as people continue to demands justice for George Floyd.
Atlanta Hip-Hop stars, Killer Mike and T.I. joined Mayor Keshia Lance Bottoms emotionally, urging ATLiens not to burn down their city as protests erupted in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other victims at the hands of law enforcement.
Killer Mike, who is the son of a retired Atlanta city police officer and a social activist, fought back the tears, and he pleaded with peaceful protesters “not to burn your own house down” while also sympathizing with why they feel the way they do.
“I don’t want to be here,” began Killer Mike. “I’m the son of an Atlanta city police officer, my cousin is a police officer…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 ni**ers. 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.”
While speaking on his family’s history in the Civil Rights movement and activism, he added:
“I’m duty-bound to be here to simply say, ‘It is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with the enemy.'”
T.I. also had a viral moment, while his heart was in the right place, Tip got clowned for referring to Atlanta as “Wakanda” while also urging Atlanta protesters to not burn down the city.
“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.”
Mayor Bottoms took a more motherly tone when speaking with ATLiens telling them to “GO HOME.”
“Above everything else, I am a mother to four Black children in America, one of whom is 18 years old. When I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother would hurt. Yesterday, when I heard there was a rumor about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do: I called my son, and I said, ‘where are you?’ I said, ‘I cannot protect you, and Black boys shouldn’t be out today.’ So you’re not going to out-concern me and out care about where we are in America.
“I wear this each and every day, and I pray over my children each and every day. What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos.”
It’s not certain if the pleas were heard as protesters still took the streets, and while many of them were peaceful, there were pockets of looting and property destruction.
Photo: Bernard Smalls / @PhotosByBeanz