Musician John Legend attempted to put Donald Trump’s popularity in historical perspective in an interview Tuesday, appearing to compare those who support the presumptive GOP presidential nominee to people in the 19th century who allowed slavery to continue without realizing it was an evil practice.
“We’re in a moment now where we have a major candidate for office that is being very racist and divisive,” Legend told Variety at the publication’s TV Summit in Beverly Hills on Tuesday. “I feel the need to call that out all the time because I don’t want us to feel like it’s impossible for our nation to go back to another dark place.”
The ten-time Grammy Award winner, a staunch backer of Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton, was at the event to discuss the WGN television series Underground, which centers on a group of slaves who escape a Georgia plantation via the Underground Railroad. Legend is an executive producer on the series.
“We, as a nation, can’t go back to a dark place, and it could happen if we let the wrong person into office and impose the wrong regime on this country,” Legend told Variety. “I’m sure people in the 1800s didn’t think they were evil people, but they allowed an evil institution to last for quite a long time.”
“We, as people who believe in equality and diversity and believe that every human being in this life matters, we need to be vigilant in making sure that we don’t elect leaders who are contradicting that belief,” he added.
Legend, a big fan and personal friend of President Obama, has repeatedly attacked Trump this election season with charges of racism. The musician rarely shies away from expressing his political opinions; most recently, he called on the Democrat Party to end its use of the superdelegate system in party primary elections.
Earlier this month, the singer joined Christina Aguilera and Stevie Wonder in Los Angeles for an all-star concert fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
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