Stevie Wonder: Vote to Stop Systemic Racism, Police Brutality, and Economic Repression

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 17: Stevie Wonder performs during an exclusive press conference and performance on the Armory Mall on August 17, 2015 in Washington, DC. The performance was to announce the Fall 2015 leg of his "Songs In The Key Of Life Performance" tour. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
Kris Connor/Getty Images

Stevie Wonder is calling on people to vote in order to end what he calls “systemic racism, police brutality, and economic repression of black and brown people.” The iconic singer also suggested that black Americans today are still fighting for their freedom, just as they were in 1865.

“This last Friday many of celebrated Juneteenth, I did. And yet, so many others didn’t, and haven’t,” said Stevie Wonder in a video poster to Twitter on Tuesday. “As a matter of fact, there are three states that still do not recognize it. North Dakota, South Dakota and Hawaii.”

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The Grammy-winning singer, who helped headline a Hillary Clinton campaign event (“She’s With Us” concert), in June 2016, suggested that black Americans today are still fighting for the end of slavery. “How did it feel to celebrate freedom that we’re still fighting for? It felt and feels too familiar. I know that dance, I’ve heard those songs. It was an 18 year fight to get Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday. Yet, it was a fight I was not willing to lose.”

“It was a fight that many of you joined, and I thank you,” the singer “Isn’t She Lovely” singer said. “But here we are again, and again, and again, and again.”

Then, as Wonder went on expressing his sentiments, he began diving into a bit of poetry. “I’m not one who make believes, I know that leaves are green, they only turn to brown when autumn comes around,” said Wonder. “I know just what I say, today’s not yesterday. And all things have an ending. But what I’d like to know, is when will the day come that we let hate go?”

Stevie Wonder then took his video message from poetic to philosophical. “Or do I have to concede that for human beings, it’s just impossible?” he said. “But if life can have an ending, all things can have an ending. Systemic racism can have an ending. Police brutality can have ending. Economic repression of black and brown people can have an ending.”

Wonder urged his audience to vote, claiming that right now “there are forces trying to take your vote away.” He did not offer any evidence as to what he was referring to.

“A movement without action is a movement standing still. To those who say they care, move more than your mouth. Move your feet to the polls and use your hands to vote,” Wonder said. “The future is in your hands. We have the power to vote and we can make a change. The youngest at 18 and the oldest at 110 can make a difference. Make your plan now to vote, because right now, there are forces trying to take your vote away.”

Wonder suggested that the political organization Black Lives Matter shouldn’t just be a “another digital, viral trend, moment, or hashtag,” adding that it needs to be the “end of all this [bullshit],” but did not explain what exactly the organization needs to “end.”

“It has to be the beginning of an end of all this bull-tish,” said Wonder. “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 20/20 vision.”

“The universe is watching us,” he added. “Forget about 100, 1,000 years from now. What will we have done by this time next year? I’m talking about you, I’m talking about me, I’m talking about every single body. Let’s do something. Let’s make a difference.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.

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