Stevie Wonder has opened up on racial tensions in the US and the failings of Donald Trump in an impassioned new video.
Posting on social media, he began by reflecting on Juneteenth – America’s national holiday to celebrate the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.
“This past Friday many of us celebrated Juneteenth,” he said. “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.”
After noting that it took 18 years to declare Martin Luther King Jr. Day a holiday, he quoted lyrics from his track ‘Visions’ (“I’m not one who makes believe/I know that leaves are green”) to explain how change can come about.
The Universe is Watching Us.
Stevie Wonder @ 2 am. pic.twitter.com/Fmf0kjId4V
— Stevie Wonder (@StevieWonder) June 23, 2020
“If life can have an ending, all things can have an ending. Systemic racism can have an ending. Police brutality can have an ending,” said Wonder.
“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.”
He also urged Americans to vote for the right candidate in the upcoming Presidential primaries if Donald Trump is stand a chance of defeat at the ballot box come November.
“I hear voices on the left, I hear voices on the right,” he said. “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.”
He concluded: “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 2020 vision. The universe is watching us…. I’m talking about you, I’m talking about me, I’m talking about every single body.”
Jay-Z called for justice for Floyd, saying “I am human, a father and a black man in pain and I am not the only one,” while Billie Eilish wrote “if I hear one more white person say ‘all lives matter’ one more fucking time I’m gonna lose my fucking mind” in an impassioned Instagram post.