John Legend used his performance at New York’s Global Citizen Festival on Saturday as an opportunity to call out senators’ mistreatment of sexual assault victims. The musician unveiled a new song called “Preach” and explained to the crowd that track was inspired by those “who are out there doing something.”
“In the song, we talk about how frustrating it can be to look at your phone, read the news, see what’s happening,” Legend told the audience in New York City’s Central Park. “See how senators treat women who come forward with sexual abuse claims. See how people ridicule young people who march for the right to go to school without getting shot up. See how people would denigrate those who make the very simple claim that black lives matter. We can get frustrated when we see all of that, but we can’t give up. It’s not enough for us to talk about it or tweet about it, we’ve got to do something.”
He added that the ultimate message of the song is to encourage people to act rather than just “preach.” Legend also mentioned FREEAMERICA, the singer’s multi-year campaign to put an end to mass incarceration, and urged the audience members to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections. “We can’t just talk the talk,” the singer said. “We have politicians here talking the talk. But we gonna follow up with them, right? We need legislation passed.”
Legend has been particularly vocal about his concerns with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. During the hearings last week when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford offered a testimony accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Legend tweeted his support for the accuser. “I believe Dr Ford,” he wrote. “Thank you for your courage.” He added that Kavanaugh sounded like a “complete asshole.” Legend also recently appeared in an ad opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation released by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc.