Stevie Wonder is Boycotting Florida and Any State Supporting Stand Your Ground
Musicians have been vocal about their displeasure with Saturday's verdict in the Zimmerman trial, taking to social media and urging fans to be more politically active. Stevie Wonder's going to another level.
After learning of the trial's outcome, Wonder announced that he will boycott performances in Florida and any other state that implements the Stand Your Ground law at a concert in Quebec City. The legendary singer and pianist urges his following to protest those states as well.
"I decided today that until the Stand Your Ground law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again," he told his audience Sunday. "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."
While everyone in the music industry from Nicki Minaj to Questlove has expressed disdain for the verdict, Wonder appears to be the first artist sacrificing financial gain. The South Beach area alone is a lucrative stop for most nationwide tours, while 15 other states, including populated Texas, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, have some form of Stand Your Ground laws in effect. Should Wonder not perform in any of these 16 states, he'll be skipping out on major cities like Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and New Orleans. Now there's a statement.
Of course, the intensity and clarity of the Stand Your Ground law varies in each state, and Florida's law remains the most contested in the country. While some argue that Stand Your Ground played a major role in determining George Zimmerman's acquittal, others claim that a decision was completely independent of the law. That ambiguity could make Wonder's boycott a little more difficult.
Ultimately, Wonder's message is effective because it directly engages so many fans. While no one should change their political beliefs to see a concert, Wonder's protests hit stronger than any tweet can.
Other poignant reactions to the verdict include Beyonce stopping a show in Nashville for a moment of silence and Young Jeezy releasing a tribute song to Trayvon Martin.