Killer Mike wants change, and he wants it now. During his Wednesday night lecture at USF’s Marshall Student Center, the rapper-turned-social-activist spoke to a packed room about the necessity of learning from people who are different from you, even if it means being a little uncomfortable.
“It’s okay to be wrong, as long as you’re willing to be corrected. It’s okay to converse, even if you disagree. It’s okay.”
The Atlanta rapper and one-half of Run the Jewels has received a great deal of attention recently for his very public support of Bernie Sanders. He touched on this briefly, explaining that racial equality can’t be expected without first addressing economic inequality. This was a sentiment echoed clearly and vocally by the audience, which erupted into chants of “Bernie! Bernie!”.
His political leanings weren't the main focus of the evening, however. His presence on this night was as the official Convocation Speaker of USF’s 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Week, and his primary concern was promoting the idea of supporting and relating to people who don’t look like you. He was emphatic and relentless in his insistence that nothing can change until we use our voices to advocate for those who might not otherwise be heard. Complacency isn’t acceptable. His call to action was this: students everywhere need to tutor kids in their community and ensure that the person who takes their spot at their university is someone who doesn’t look like them.
He warned not to expect change to happen quickly or easily. The road to racial equality is not a smooth one, but it is one that each of us has the ability to help pave. “We have to be brave enough to say wrong is wrong. The world never gets better unless you make it better.”