The 5 Times Killer Mike Nailed Racial Justice

June 16th 2015

Laura Donovan

Run the Jewels rapper Michael Render (also known as Killer Mike) announced via Instagram on Monday that he's running for Georgia’s House of Representatives for District 55's special election following Rep. Tyrone Brooks' (D) recent resignation. Unfortunately, according to CNN, he did not have the proper paperwork, so five hours later he announced he was no longer running as a write-in candidate.*

Render, who grew up in Atlanta, has been very active in speaking out about racial issues in America. (And he hinted that despite this truncated candidacy, he'd run for office again.) Here are some powerful things he's said and done in the name of racial justice.

1. Last year, he took to Instagram to mourn the death of Michael Brown.

We are human beings. We deserve to be buried by out children not the other way around. No matter how u felt about black people look at this Mother and look at this father and tell me as a human being how u cannot feel empathy for them. How can u not feel sympathy for their pain and loos. These are not "THOTS, niggas/niggers, hoes, Ballers, Divas. These two people are parents. They are humans that produced a child and loved that child and that child was slaughtered like Game and left face down as public spectacle while his blood drained down the street. Look at the pain of this mother, look into her eyes. Look at the Man behind her. Look at that father made helpless and hurt that he cud not defend his seed. Don't debate. Don't insert your agenda. Save me the bullshit Black On Black Crime speech and look at these to Noble creatures called humans and look at what govt sanctioned murder has done. It has robbed them of their humanity and replaced it with pain and shame, suffering and hurt. I don't care if others rioted or why. I don't care that ball players and Rappers are what they shud be. I care that we as humans care as much about one another more. I care we see past Class, race and culture and honor the humanity that unites our species. Stop talking and LOOK at these PEOPLE. LOOK at these HUMANS and stand with them against a system allows a Human PIG to slaughter their child. Forgive any typos love and respect u all.

A photo posted by Killer Mike (@killermikegto) on

2. He wrote about being the son of a cop and excessive police force

Render, whose father was a cop, wrote in an August 2014 Billboard.com column that he understands police work is unimaginably difficult but that the deaths of Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of authorities were completely inexcusable and senseless.

"We trust police with the power of life and death and with that trust comes a greater responsibility to be better than the current standard of policing I see across America everyday. Being a cop must be hard. My dad was one, and never wanted any of his children to follow in his footsteps. Being a cop is often seeing the worst of the human condition and behavior. With all of that said, there is no reason that Mike Brown and also Eric Garner are dead today -- except bad policing, excessive force and the hunt-and-capture-prey mentality many thrill-seeking cops have adapted ... I have chimed in about the brutality that killed this child, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner, and so many others. It's shameful, but these are not simply words to commiserate; these words, I hope, serve as a wake-up call to all Americans. Our rights are being violated by people we pay daily. This must end, or every American has failed."

3. His song "Early" depicts harsh police treatment of Black people

Run the Jewels highlights harsh police treatment of Black people in the music video for "Early," which includes lyrics such as, "Please don't lock me up in front of my kids and in front of my wife, man, I ain't got a gun or a knife, you do this and you ruin my life, and I apologize if it seems like I got out of line, sir cause I respect the badge and the gun, and I pray today ain't the day that you drag me away right in front of my beautiful son."

4. He talked about Ferguson in St. Louis

After the Ferguson Grand Jury chose not to indict officer Darren Wilson for Brown's death later last year, Render delivered an emotional, tearful speech about the decision at a Run the Jewels show in St. Louis:

"I knew it was coming, when [former Attorney General] Eric Holder decided to resign, I know it wasn't going to be good," Render said. "I have a 20-year-old son, I have a 12-year-old son, and I'm so afraid for them ... I can promise you today, if I die when I walk off this stage tomorrow, I am going to let you know this: it is not about race, it is not about class, it is not about comfort, it is about what they killed him for. It is about poverty, it is about greed, and it is about a war machine."

5. He talked about Ferguson on CNN

Render further expressed his emotional thoughts on Ferguson during a late 2014 interview with CNN reporter Brooke Baldwin:

Speaking to Baldwin about his first reaction to Ferguson, Render said, "We watched the verdict come down, my wife walked to the bathroom and started weeping ... I just cried like a baby. I just held her in my arms and I just cried. When your wife looks at you and says, 'I don't know if God loves us,' I'd never heard anything that hopeless in a moment since I'd read a passage from a Holocaust survivor that questioned the validity [of whether] God existed because of the conditions that they were living under."

*This post has been corrected since it first published to include the information that he did not have the paperwork to run as a write-in candidate.