Killer Mike Speaks About The Importance Of Voting In Local Elections (Video)
Outside of his work as a veteran solo artist and one-half of Run The Jewels, Killer Mike is a well-known entrepreneur and social activist. In the latest episode from BET’s Finding Justice, Mike uses his platform to discuss yet another important topic as one of Rap’s more trusted social voices.
In a video shot in front of an Atlanta polling station, Killer Mike discusses how voter suppression affects Black communities, including the critical importance of local elections. In the opening, Mike unpacks the election currently running in his home state of Georgia. The Grammy Award-winning rapper begins, “We have a statewide election going on in Georgia where we pick our governor and our lieutenant governor. We vote on a few amendments, like a forestry amendment we have. There’s a homestead exemption for people 64-and-over. So, we’re voting on important issues trying to take care of our community.”
Then, Mike dives into the rich history of the Collier Heights community in which he grew up. “Collier Heights community is a part of Atlanta, Georgia. It is essentially a community that was gentrified by Black people in the ’50s, and it has survived and thrived for over 50 years now. I grew up in the Collier Heights-Adamsville community. That is a community that when segregation was happening, Black people had to live together. So if you were rich and Black, poor and Black, working class Black, you all live together. I grew up in these houses that are working class houses that border a richer enclave. Herman Russel lived here. [James Edward] “Billy” McKinney lived here. I’m proud to be from here. I’m proud my family still lives here.”
Continuing, Mike discusses the importance of local elections nationwide, using Georgia to illustrate. “The state of Georgia gets a chance to pick a governor. That is important for state allocations of funds and resources, and who gets what, and what goes where. But, [local elections] is why voting is important. So, before you ever get to what your governor controls, what your city controls, and those statewide amendments locally. So, if you take something like the 65-and-older homestead exemption, that’s going to give people who live in this neighborhood. This neighborhood is a 65-and-older neighborhood. So, these people that are being priced [and] pushed out, or gouged out by gentrification—by property values going up because their neighbors are moving in will get some tax relief. They were promised that by the last governor. They were actually promised to freeze [taxes], and they didn’t get it. So that’s an important deal. So that’s why I came out and voted in a state-wide election, but it affects these people locally, and these are the people that are essentially reared.”
To finish, Killer Mike discusses the tactics used by both Democrats and Republicans to garner votes during a time of social unrest, and how to combat it with your vote. “When politicians on both sides, when they think they’re going to do okay, no one really cares if you come out and vote, right? But, when racists get heated, and there is a lot on the line, [across elections] especially between Democrats and Republicans, everybody’s using every trick in the book they can. What we’re finding out is that some of the tactics that are being used in terms of purging people who may be questionable on things in terms of what paperwork is filled out how feels an awfully a lot like voter suppression. [It] feels an awfully a lot like, ‘I’m going to deny the proletariat the ability to vote based on my want to win.’ I don’t believe that our ancestors solely died for us to vote, but I believe that they died for our freedom. And I believe that freedom is necessary and by any means necessary you should acquire it, and voting is one of the means that is necessary.”
Ambrosia For Heads recently sat down with Mike to discuss his Netflix television series, Trigger Warning, which has become yet another creative outlet the R.T.J cohort uses to combine all of his characteristics, convictions, and lessons into one cohesive dialogue. That video is available on AFH TV to watch in full. Subscribe to watch in full. We are currently offering free 30-day trials.