"I don’t trust the church or the government. A Democrat or a Republican. A Pope or a bishop or them other men," declared activist and hip-hop star Killer Mike, reciting his own lyrics to a boisterous Atlanta crowd on Monday night.
"But after spending five hours tonight with someone who has spent the last 50 years radically fighting for your rights and mine, I can tell you that I am very proud tonight to announce the next president of the United States: Senator Bernie Sanders," thundered the Atlanta-born rapper, whose real name is Michael Render.
Before the Democratic candidate took the stage for his campaign rally, Killer Mike spoke for six minutes about the need for "political revolution," invoking the legacy of another "son of Atlanta," Martin Luther King—the revolutionary who fought the "war on poverty," and the "war machine that uses your sons and your nephews to go to other lands and murder."
"I have no time in my short 40 years on this Earth to relive the Reagan years. I have no desire to see us elect our own Margaret Thatcher," Killer Mike said, in an apparent reference to Sanders' political rivals. "I am here as a proponent of the liberal revolution that says healthcare is a right. I am here because working class and poor people deserve a chance at economic freedom. And yes, you work 40 hours a week—and you should not be in poverty."
Then, championing Sanders' other pledges to restore the Voting Rights Act, end the War on Drugs, and make education free for all Americans, the rapper said, "In my heart of hearts, I fully believe that Sen. Bernie Sanders is the right man to lead this country."
Killer Mike, who first endorsed Sanders' bid for president in June, concluded with a request to those present to spread the word and enthusiasm.
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"Stay encouraged. Stay invigorated. Stay bold. Stay counteracting bullshit at every turn," Killer Mike said. "Make sure that wherever you go, you take the name, the idea, the philosophy, and the ideology of Bernie Sanders there. And you make sure that when you leave they are on fire because they felt the Bern!"
Before the rally, Sanders and Killer Mike dined together at Atlanta soul food restaurant the Busy Bee, during which the rapper shared this photograph:
Brought this guy to Busy Bee on MLK in ATL. pic.twitter.com/K93EUniUZE
— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) November 23, 2015
You can watch the entire speech below.