Stevie Wonder spoke out about Black Lives Matter and youth gun violence at the North Minneapolis Conference on Peace on Saturday.
“It is in your hands to stop all of the killing and the shooting wherever it might be,” Wonder said. “You cannot say, ‘Black lives matter,’ and then kill yourselves. Because you know we’ve mattered long before it was said, but the way we show that we matter, the way that we show all the various people of color matter is by loving each other and doing something about it. Not just talking about it, not just waiting to see the media and press come when there’s a horrible thing.”
Wonder’s statement came after he highlighted the fatal shooting of Philando Castile during a traffic stop by former Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez. On Friday, Yanez was acquitted of all charges by a jury.
Several hundred people attended the conference, which focused on violence on city streets and also included an appearance by civil rights leader Benjamin Chavis. After speaking, Wonder closed the event by performing his hits “Love’s in Need of Love Today” and “Higher Ground.”
“The first thing you must do is stop believing the fallacy of you not being important,” the legendary musician said during his speech. “Because it is completely unacceptable for one to hate themselves so much that anyone that looks like you, you want to kill.”
See some of his speech here: