Following the 2012 murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of his killer George Zimmerman, the Black Lives Matter organization was formed. With the sole purpose to re-build the black liberation movement, the national chapter based organization has merited praise from many, and harsh criticisms from conservatives as well as African-Americans.
Last week, Minnesota Officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty in the July 2016 shooting death of Philando Castile. The verdict was a slap in the face to his surviving family and many across the country as Castile’s death was streamed live on Facebook. Marches erupted across the country calling the verdict another miscarriage of justice that often befalls black men and women when it comes to police brutality.
Over the weekend, Stevie Wonder attended a peace summit in St. Paul, Minn. The community gathering was a response to the violence taking place in the area, and also just so happened to coincide with the Castile verdict. Wonder, a 29-time-Grammy Award winning musician, addressed the crowd and insisted that black people in this country should begin loving and respecting themselves more.
“It is in your hands to stop all the killing and all the shooting wherever it might be, because you cannot say black lives matter and then kill yourselves,” Wonder said. “Because you know, we’ve mattered long before it was said.”
A few members in the audience clapped in agreement with the entertainer before he explained what he thinks needs to be done to reduce the crime within the black community. Watch the video below to hear Wonder offer his explanation.