#PressPlay: #StevieWonder has a message about the Black Lives Movement. #Roommates, is he speaking the truth?

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Stevie Wonder showed up to the north Minneapolis “Conference on Peace” looking like Master P. and sounding like a Fox News pundit. The focus of his speech was supposed to be ending youth gun violence, but he went off the rails by somehow managing to drag Black Lives Matter into the conversation.

“It is in your hands to stop all the killing and all the shooting wherever it might be,” he said, “Because you cannot say black lives matter and then kill yourselves.”

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Somehow, Wonder found it appropriate to compare a movement specifically started to address police brutality with “black-on-black” crime, despite the fact that these two issues really have nothing to do with one another. The truth of the matter is that it is not in black folks hands to “stop all the killing and the shooting” being done by police. That is a structural issue that cuts to the core of America’s unfair, racist judicial and policing system. Conflating these two completely separate issues is a tactic typically employed by Conservatives and racism deniers and it’s an absolute shame that Stevie Wonder fell for it.

He is not the first Black celebrity to take talking cues obviously from Fox News or the Conservative Right. When these white folks declared the proper response to “Black Lives Matter” was “All Lives Matter,” a whole host of black celebrities echoed the dismissive, problematic phrase.

“I’m here to say all lives matter. A lot of times, we get stuck, and we are followers,” Floyd Mayweather Jr. declared in an interview, “When you hear one person say, ‘black lives matter,’ or ‘blue lives matter’ ― all lives matter.”

Jerry Rice, Football Hall of Famer, also repeated the phrase while criticizing Colin Kaepernick’s protest, but eventually apologized, saying: “When I tweeted {All Lives Matter} I didn’t know about the movement going on between {Black Lives Matter}. I want to apologize for my mistake!”

There are just too many celebrities with huge platforms who need to be educated to the whole point of Black Lives Matter and they should not be getting educated from the likes of Megyn Kelly or Bill O’Riley. Maybe these celebrities need to start investing in black media with their dollars and paying attention to how we, as black folks, define our own movements.

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