Stevie Wonder shared a moving plea for racial justice on Tuesday in a new Facebook video where he reflected on Juneteenth, the upcoming election and the shortcomings of Donald Trump.
Reminiscing on his role to have Martin Luther King Jr. Day declared an official holiday in 1983, the music legend observed, "This past Friday many of us celebrated Juneteenth. I did. And yet, so many others didn’t and haven’t."
He continued, "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 explained how it took nearly two decades for Martin Luther King Jr. Day to be observed as a holiday, sharing, "It was a fight I was not willing to lose. It was a fight that many of you joined, and I thank you. But here we are again, and again, and again and again.”
But he voiced his belief and support of the Black Lives movement with hope as he went on, "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. … 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.”
Encouraging his listeners to vote in the primaries, the 70-year-old icon urged, "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.”
Denouncing US officials and Trump, Wonder shared, “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 call it a s-h-i-t hole. Wow. One day, you will show that you’re sorry. Because action speaks louder than words.”
Watch Wonder's whole video message below.