clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Watch: Stephen Colbert and rapper Killer Mike have a frank, educational discussion on systemic injustice

"Things we’re discussing right now we discussed in 1990, 1980, 1970, and 1960.”

Killer Mike is a killer talk show guest.

The Run the Jewels rapper and social justice activist stopped by Tuesday's episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, and after some light banter about his "formal sweatpants," his discussion with Colbert turned to weightier topics like Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign and systemic injustice against poor and minority populations.

"Let me speak for all white people," the host said to open the conversation. "You speak for all black people."

"Today I do," Killer Mike said with a laugh. After encouraging white people to "Google Jane Elliott" and her blue eyes/brown eyes experiment about how children learn to discriminate, Killer Mike delivered a harsh truth:

If white people are just now discovering that it’s bad for black or working class people in America, they’re a lot more blind than I thought, and a lot more choosing to be ignorant than I thought. Things we’re discussing right now, we discussed in 1990, 1980, 1970, and 1960. And [we'll keep discussing them] until we call a spade a spade, and say this problem is coming from conditions that we’re creating, or allowing to happen, as a white group of people who hold a certain amount of power…

One of the most revealing moments of their conversation came when Colbert asked whether there is a "systemic attempt" in the United States to disenfranchise and isolate poor and minority communities. "It’s not an attempt at all," Killer Mike responded, without hesitation. "It’s successful."

The interview is just over six minutes long but is full of keen insight and honest discussion — a combination that's fast becoming a staple of Colbert's Late Show.

For more of Killer Mike's thoughts on how white college kids can help disadvantaged minority kids ("Don’t give them gifts, don’t make yourselves feel good"), Bernie Sanders ("the only politician who has consistently, for 50 years, taken [a] social justice platform into politics"), and barber shops, watch the full interview above.