In the wake of 6 women — 5 white and 1 Hispanic — returning a ‘not guilty’ verdict for George Zimmerman, 29, soul legend Stevie Wonder publicly pledged during a concert Sunday in Quebec City, not to perform in the state of Florida until its ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws are abolished, reports Complex Magazine.
Though defense attorney Mark O’ Mara decided to go with a self-defense claim rather than a ‘Stand Your Ground’ defense, the jury instructions included language clearly indicative of that intrinsically racist law, including that Zimmerman had “no duty to retreat” in the face of an alleged attack by 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Martin, who was unarmed, was fatally shot through the heart at close range with Zimmerman’s Kel-Tec 9mm handgun, which has since been returned to him.
Wonder, who has been an activist for change throughout his career, was clear that he would not be performing in Florida, nor any other state with ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws.
“The truth is that—for those of you who’ve lost in the battle for justice, wherever that fits in any part of the world—we can’t bring them back. What we can do is we can let our voices be heard. And we can vote in our various countries throughout the world for change and equality for everybody. That’s what I know we can do.
“And I know I’m not everybody, I’m just one person. I’m a human being. And for the gift that God has given me, and from whatever I mean, I decided today that until the Stand Your Ground law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again. As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world.
“Because what I do know is that people know that my heart is of love for everyone. When I say everyone I mean everyone. As I said earlier, you can’t just talk about it, you have to be about it. We can make change by coming together for the spirit of unity. Not in destruction, but in the perpetuation of life itself.”
As previously reported by NewsOne, Wonder canceled a December 6, 2012 performance in Israel for the‘Friends of the Israel Defense Forces,‘ which raises money for Israeli soldiers and their families.
After fans and critics of Zionism and Israel’s continuous violence against the Palestinian people petitioned Wonder to pull out of the event, he issued the following statement:
“Given the current and very delicate situation in the Middle East, and with a heart that has always cried out for world unity, I will not be performing at the F.I.D.F. gala,” Mr. Wonder said in a statement to Reuters. “I am and have always been against war, any war, anywhere.”
That obviously includes when that war is in the United States of America against our Black sons and daughters.
Photo Highlights: President Obama Chicago Farewell Speech
President Barack Obama makes his final farewell speech in his hometown of Chicago. Arriving at O'hare airport on Airforce One Tuesday, early evening was First Lady Michelle Obama, daughter Malia and Vice President Joe Biden along with wife, Jill Biden.
Making a final journey as the 44th President of the United States, expressways and local South Side streets were cleared as traffic stood at a complete when the 20-vehicle caravan made its way to Valois Restaurant in Hyde Park. There, President Obama conducted a one-on-one interview with NBC anchorman, Lester Holt before proceeding to give his farewell speech at McCormick Place.
Nearly 20,000 attendees packed the nearly standing-room only space in the East wing of the McCormick Place as VIP attendees sat upfront to hang onto the President's every word. There were various groups that traveled from far and near to be a part of history including celebrity sightings from Sharon Stone to Empire's Jussie Smollett--local and state dignitaries. Opening up the ceremony was a special performance by Hip hop/R&B singer, BJ the Chicago Kid showcasing belting out the national anthem is a smart blue suit.
Once President Obama hit the stage, the electric energy of emotions ran throughout the audience. At times, the crowd's applause was so loud that it impossible to hear him but there were moments that silence rippled throughout the venue--knowing this would be his last time addressing his hometown as Chief of Staff.
In his signature style of class, poise and honor--he addressed the various strides that he and his administration has made over the last eight years in protecting America's democracy. His emotions got the best of him when he addressed his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia who sat in the front row along with Vice President Joe Biden, wife Jill and his mother-in-law--Marian Shields Robinson.
<p class="p1"><span class="s1">“Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion. You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I’ve done in my life, I’m most proud to be your dad.”</span></p>
<p class="p1">After the speech, the Obama family took time out to walk along the barricades, greeting and shaking hands with supporters and friends. The scene was definitely historic and we knew it was the end of an era of class that will not be duplicated in the White House for a very long time.</p>
<p class="p1"><a href="http://www.twitter.com/globalmixx">Follow Mary L. Datcher on Twitter</a></p>
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