Quoting song lyrics and citing his past racial-justice efforts, Stevie Wonder delivered an emphatic, at times impatient video message Tuesday urging on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Saying he has listened to “voices on the left, voices on the right,” Wonder added, “what I’ve not heard is a unanimous commitment to atone for the sins of this country.”
The Michigan-born Motown star also singled out President Donald Trump as “noncommittal” and cited several previous remarks by the president, including a 2018 reference to “s—hole countries in Africa.”
Wonder lamented that three states — North Dakota, South Dakota and Hawaii — have failed to formally recognize Juneteenth as a holiday.
“I know that dance. I’ve heard those songs. It was an 18-year fight to (make) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday,” said Wonder, who teamed with late U.S. Rep. John Conyers in that ultimately successful campaign. “Yet it was a fight I was not willing to lose.”
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Alluding to the weeks of protests spurred by the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, he encouraged more from those watching.
“Systemic racism can have an ending. Police brutality can have an ending. Economic repression can have an ending,” Wonder said. “A movement without action is a movement standing still. To those who say they care: Move more than your mouth.”
The short video, titled “The Universe is Watching Us,” was posted to Wonder’s social media channels Tuesday afternoon.