As you well know, race relations are pretty fucked up in America right now, with much attention over the past year centred on police brutality and the heavyhanded methods enforced by American police officers, that too often has resulted in the death of unarmed citziens.
Hip-hop duo Run The Jewels spoke to the BBC about what they think about riots and how they actually instigate social change. Killer Mike said: “Riots work, and I’ve never said that in that way before. I’m an American because of a riot. The Boston Tea Party is sold to us from the time we’re kindergarteners to the time we graduate high school, we’re told that Americans and patriots got so fed up with paying taxes to the crown that they decided to burn some shit to the ground. That’s where they sell to us.”
He spoke about the effect riots had on the city of Ferguson after they’d finished. “So when people say ‘Riots don’t work,’ Ferguson was over 60 percent black as a community. They had less than 60 percent representation in politics, post-riots they have two new black city council members, they have advocates in the community now and the police chief retired so if it was argued that riots worked for Ferguson, abso-fucking-lutely they did.”
This comes a year after unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Run The Jewels drove to the area to perform the day that the jury decided not to indict the police officer that killed Brown. They’ve always fought for this.