Musician and activist Michael Render, AKA Killer Mike argued that rioters in Baltimore who destroyed a CVS only destroyed “an economic eyesore” on Friday’s “Real Time” on HBO.
Render was asked, (relevant remarks begin around 3:10) “why did they [rioters in Baltimore] burn down the CVS?” He remarked, “People always say that ‘well, they burned down a CVS.’ They stole stuff they needed. You know, you need medicine. You need socks. You might need a blood pressure regulator.”
He continued, “But when people say, ‘why do you burn down a CVS? And why are you burning down your own community?’ Well, because of black people being denied loans, because of black people being snookered out of their homes and gentrifiers coming in, or not coming in. Because that’s happened, you live in a community you don’t own. You’re a renter, you’re just occupying a space. The police are there. They’re occupying you. So when you say ‘burn down my community,’ what did I burn? Most CVSs do not hire people who work within ten miles of there, because they’re afraid of theft or them letting their friends take something. So, what did I destroy besides an economic eyesore that won’t hire me anyway, overcharging me for drugs, and I’ve got to wait till next morning for my painkillers.”
Render did concede that small businesses were also burned, and pointed to “a litany of black men who had t-shirts on,” who stood in front of stores to protect them, “and that’s not what the media showed you. The media went out and found children, and said, ‘hey, let’s show these kids wilding out and make that the representation of Baltimore’ and that was a lie.”
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