Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American, died on May 25 after being apprehended by a white police officer. Officer Derek Chauvin has since been sacked and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Speaking to The Guardian on the subject of rioting, Mike said: “It feels like nobody gives a shit when you’re black. That’s why you burn down your own community, not because you want to burn down your own community, but because you feel like nobody gives a shit.”
He continued: “It really does feel like nobody gives a shit, even when they do, because the media is […] not going to tell you that there were white people on the ground and black people on the ground, different races and sexes.
“They’re going to preach separation, they’re going to preach fear, conservatism v liberalism – they’re going to keep stoking those fires. So, we have some action to do now. Giving a shit is the first phase: now let’s progress it.”
The interview was conducted before Mike’s impassioned speech to residents of his native Atlanta about the protests went viral on Saturday (May 30).
In that speech, he said: “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 systemic racism, burn to the ground.”
In The Guardian‘s interview, meanwhile, Mike’s Run The Jewels partner El-P said: “I want motherfuckers to know that there are people from every cultural line that are ultimately not going to accept this.
“I don’t want them to think they are off the hook. I look at these riots and I see white people, black people, Asians, women and men – and I know this shit is coming to a head. It’s getting to the point where your whole system of racism does not apply any more to the spiritual and mental mindset of the new generation.”
Elsewhere in the interview, the pair also discussed their forthcoming record ‘Run The Jewels 4’, which they have decided to release for free in the wake of the protests.
“If anything, it’s a source of mild discomfort to us that our music is seemingly relevant,” El-P said. “The best thing that could ever happen to the world is if Run the Jewels was just blathering nonsense”