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After Zimmerman Verdict, Stevie Wonder Vows to Boycott States With Stand Your Ground Laws

July 16, 2013  |  10:30am

Stevie Wonder is the latest big name to publicly respond to the controversial verdict in the George Zimmerman trail.

At a performance at the Quebec City Festival on Sunday, the 63-year-old legend delivered his response to the recent verdict, which was announced Saturday night. On stage, Wonder made a promise to boycott states that have Stand Your Ground laws, which allow a person to use force in self defense as a first response (rather than attempt to flee) to a reasonable, unlawful threat.

“I decided today that until the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again,” he said in a video taken from the concert. “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.”

Wonder went on to encourage audience members to do their small part in helping to bring about justice by standing up for their values and voting to make a change.

“You can’t just talk about it,” he said. “You’ve got to be about it. We can make change by coming together for the spirit of unity, not in destruction but in the perpetuation of life, itself.”

If Wonder stays true to his word, his appearances will be dramatically limited in the U.S. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports at least 22 states have laws that don’t require an attempt at retreat before forceful defense is enacted.

Watch the full video of Wonder’s speech above.

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