Musical icon Stevie Wonder has announced he won't perform in Florida again until the state repeals its controversial Stand Your Ground law, which led to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin murder case.
At a concert in Quebec City Sunday, Wonder told the crowd of his decision to boycott Florida and any other state that has similar laws on the books.
"I decided today that until the Stand Your Ground law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again," the singer said between songs. "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 continued. "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."
According to Stateline, the daily news service of The Pew Center on the States, Stand Your Ground laws are enacted in various forms in 22 states, allowing citizens to use deadly force to protect themselves under often vaguely threatening circumstances. While George Zimmerman ultimately did not use Stand Your Ground as an official part of his defense in court, police resisted arresting him for almost two months after Martin's death because of provisions in the law requiring evidence to refute a self-defense claim.
Will other stars follow Wonder's lead? Will Kim Kardashian, who tweeted #NoJustice in reaction to the verdict, stop filming in Miami? That remains to be seen, but cutting out almost half the country from one's performance schedule would certainly cut deeply into profits, and money is king in Hollywood.
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