Killer Mike Thinks Christianity Does Black People More Harm Than Good
The ATL rapper challenges Black people to look inside of themselves for true redemption and divinity.
In his two-page tour de force “Salvation,” renowned poet and novelist Langston Hughes recounts the time he pretended to be saved by Jesus Christ. Near the end of a weeks-long revival, a 13-year-old Hughes was made to participate in a special children’s call-to-the-altar, where each youngling was expected to openly receive the Holy Ghost and accept a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed Messiah as their lord and savior.
In the end, Hughes is left alone waiting on his absolution (from what exactly, again?), feeling cheated out of what many of his elders described as “seeing the light.” He left church that evening riddled with guilt he told a lie in order to finally go home.
For rapper-activist Michael “Killer Mike” Render (and one-half of hip-hop duo Run the Jewels), the story of Christianity, whose nucleus perpetuates today’s white savior complex, is tethered to the undoing of Black people. For anyone raised like Hughes or Killer Mike, if left to the rigors of religion, you’re to spend a lifetime of goodwill for the promise of being “saved,” and by the representative of the very people who colonized, enslaved and bestowed the atrocity of genocide no less.
Of all the episodes on Trigger Warning With Killer Mike, a newly-launched Netflix series that explores cultural taboos across African-American communities, “Church of Sleep” stands as the most socially unacceptable as it challenges the school of thought that says Black people should look outside of themselves for true redemption and divinity, leaving our economic, social and cultural progression contingent on a god that “never checked for me in the first place.”
Using “Church of Sleep,” a recent Q&A with the Atlanta MC further examines white Jesus, the African Diaspora, ancestral devotion, economic self-sufficiency, the current state of affairs for Black people, and more: