Macklemore couldn’t attend the American Music Awards in person, but he accepted an award over satellite from where he was stationed in Miami. He used his moment in the spotlight to memorialize Trayvon Martin and highlight the problem of racial profiling.
Here’s text from his speech:
Now that I’m sitting here in front of millions of people, I’d like to address something extremely important to me. I was talking to my friend before the show and he reminded me of a great Martin Luther King quote. He said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ And due to the fact that we are in Florida tonight accepting this award, I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids each year that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it. This is really happening. These are our friends, our neighbors, our peers, and our fans, and it’s time that we look out for the youth and fight against racism and the laws that protect it.
It’s inspiring to see an artist who’s mindful of his influence and willing to put his politics front and center. And it matters because, despite what you think about his music, people are listening.