Stevie Wonder made an impassioned appeal for Black Lives Matter, discussing Juneteenth, Primary Election Day and calling out President Donald Trump on social media. In a video he posted on June 23, Stevie Wonder said, “This past Friday many of us celebrated Juneteenth. I did. And yet, so many others didn’t and haven’t. As a matter of fact, there are three states that still do not recognize it: North Dakota, South Dakota, and Hawaii.”
“How did it feel to celebrate freedom that we’re still fighting for? It felt, and feels, too familiar,” he asked. Wonder pointed out that it took 18 years to get Martin Luther King Jr. Day to become a holiday, which was signed into law in 1983 that he helped organize and publicize. “It was a fight I was not willing to lose,” he said, adding, “It was a fight that many of you joined, and I thank you. But here we are again, and again, and again and again.”
Wonder also quoted lyrics from his song ‘Visions’ (“I’m not one who makes believe. I know that leaves are green”) and noted, “If life can have an ending, all things can have an ending. Systemic racism can have an ending. Police brutality can have an ending. Economic repression of black and brown people can have an ending. People can have an ending. A movement without action is a movement standing still.”
Wonder went on to encourage voting in the primaries while speaking about the failings of Trump. “To those who say they care, move more than your mouth. Move your feet to the polls and use your hands to vote. The future is in your hands. We have the power to vote, and we can make a change,” he continued.
Wonder said, “I hear voices on the left, I hear voices on the right. I’ve been following everything that’s being said. But what I have not heard is a unanimous commitment to atone for the sins of this country. I’ve heard the person in the highest place of this nation say there are fine people on both sides. That sounds noncommittal to me. ‘I have a great relationship with the blacks.’ Peaceful protesters called ‘thugs.’ Immigrants called ‘rapists.’ And from the very place that civilization began — Africa — I’ve heard this Commander in Chief an s-h-i-t hole. Wow. One day, you will show that you’re sorry. Because action speaks louder than words.”
At the end of the 5-minute clip, Wonder concluded his message with, “Black lives do matter. And this is not another digital viral trend moment or hashtag. It is our lives, literally. Yes, all lives do matter. But they only matter when black lives matter, too. You know it’s a sad day when I can see better than your 20/20 vision. The universe is watching us…. I’m talking about you, I’m talking about me, I’m talking about every single body.”
Many fans were inspired by Wonder’s words saying, “Thank you for this. Well said and I look forward to joining others in deed, not just words, to make a change. Peace & Love!” and “A strong message from our iconic legend.”
“Love over hate” said a fan while another wrote, “I’d vote for this man every damn day of the week.” One fan said, “Stevie out here saying what people don’t wanna hear. i love this man to death (sic).” Another shared, “Thank you, Mr. Stevie Wonder! For this message of hope and call to action. Your music makes this world a better place. I’m so grateful to have you in my life… I grew up with your music and always turned to your albums in hard times to get me through and lift my spirit.”