Stevie Wonder Boycotts Florida — And Every Other Stand Your Ground State

The legendary singer is taking a stand.

By Jamilah King Jul 16, 2013

Stevie Wonder is taking a stand against ALEC-backed Stand Your Ground (aka "Kill at Will") laws.  As Ta-Nehisi coates pointed out at The Altantic, the fast-moving legislation became a pivotal point in Trayvon Martin’s murder, with George Zimmerman successfully arguing that he shot Martin in self-defense and the law being cited in the jury’s instructions.

Stevie took to the stage in Quebec City recently and told the crowd that he’s finished with Florida. 

"I decided today that until the Stand Your Ground law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again," Wonder said Sunday while performing in Quebec City. "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."

"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," he said. "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."

Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws have everything to do with race, as illustrated by both Martin’s murder and the case of Marissa Alexander, a black woman who unsuccessfully used the defense and was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a warning shot at her abusive ex-husband. A Tampa Bay Times analysis of almost 200 cases shows that 73 percent of people who shoot blacks and use the Stand Your Ground defense eventually walk.