Killer Mike, whose name is Michael Render, made the comment in reaction to President Trump’s plan for Black America, which calls for making lynching a national hate crime while pledging to increase access to capital in Black communities by nearly $500 billion.
“I think that this country actually owes us in terms of reparations and investment over 16 trillion,” Render, who is also a small business owner, said in response. “But what I do like about the plan is that we were actually given a plan that is for Black people.”
“I think that the Democrats and Republicans can do a better job at helping the African-American communities, especially the African-American community that is the foundation, meaning people brought here on slave boats from 1619 through the 1800s,” he continued.
He went on to say that he believes that if the Black community “is stronger economically, the greater community is stronger.”
Render said that he thinks the money from Trump and “money from any party is owed and due.”
“It’s not a gift,” he continued. “It is not benevolence that he’s [Trump’s] doing it.”
“He understands as a business person [that] if the African American community is robust with three million new jobs, 500,000 new businesses and $500 billion in influx, in capital, that that community is going to greater serve the community and that dollar is going to turn in America more often, keeping this a stronger country,” Render said.
Render also explained other ways he thinks the economy can be strengthened.
“You teach people financial literacy, you give them banking with small and regional banks with easy access by Greenwood, which is on your phone,” Render explained referencing the first digital banking platform for Black people and business owners. Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Greenwood District is known as Black Wall Street.
Render encouraged people to “use your dollars like a vote” and explained that when they use a Greenwood banking card “it goes to help organizations that have helped Black people.”
“It’s going to help businesses by putting capital in the businesses with people that look like me,” he continued.
Some Black business owners are worried they will struggle to withstand another wave of economic uncertainty amid the coronavirus pandemic, following decades of injustice that made it hard for many to thrive to begin with.
COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted Black Americans, according to experts who say the pandemic has amplified current economic disparities and raised concerns about the survival of Black businesses.
The median White family net worth of $171,000 was about 10 times greater than that of a Black family’s of $17,150, according to the Federal Reserve’s 2016 Survey of Consumer Finance.
Also, historically Black businesses have struggled to gain access to credit because of discriminatory lending practices and a lack of relationships with big banks.
Render said on Thursday that “no matter who wins” the 2020 presidential election, the Black community is “owed something.”
Render, who was a Bernie Sanders surrogate, encouraged Black voters to “make sure that there is something on the other side for your community” when choosing a candidate.
He went on to say, without disclosing who he will be voting for, that he is “voting on the best interest of my community.”
“I encourage others to do that,” Render continued.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.