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Stevie Wonder: ‘Systemic Racism Can Have an Ending. Police Brutality Can Have an Ending’

“To those who say they care, move more than your mouth,” musician says

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Stevie Wonder took to social media on Tuesday to discuss Juneteenth, Primary Election Day and the failings of Donald Trump. “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.”

Wonder noted that it took 18 years to declare Martin Luther King Jr. Day a holiday, which was signed into law in 1983 that he played a key role in publicizing and organizing. “It was a fight I was not willing to lose,” he said. “It was a fight that many of you joined, and I thank you. But here we are again, and again, and again and again.”

The singer quoted lyrics from his song “Visions” (“I’m not one who makes believe/I know that leaves are green”) before adding, “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 also encouraged voting in the primaries while calling out Trump. “To those who say they care, move more than your mouth,” he continued. “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.”

“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.”

“Black lives do matter,” he concluded. “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.”