Pharrell Williams condemned white nationalism and urged viewers to take action against racism during a rousing speech at VH1’s Hip-Hop Honors: The 90’s Game Changers, which paid tribute to artists like Master P, Jermaine Dupri and Mariah Carey.
Williams did not specifically reference the clashes that took place in Charlottesville, VA last month, but the violent reemergence of white nationalists and neo-nazis seemed to galvanize him to speak. “For everybody at home watching this and acting like y’all don’t see what’s going on out there, you gotta open your eyes,” he said. “… Don’t think just because they’re coming at the African Americans and they’re coming at the Jewish community and they’re coming at the Hispanics that it can’t be you.”
“I know it sounds like hijacking the moment on my Jon Snow shit,” Williams continued, referencing the character from HBO’s Game of Thrones who urges the show’s squabbling lords to band together to fight a common enemy. “… They keep talking about a wall. But the enemy is this divisive mentality. It’s on this side of the wall … The white nationalists are walking towards your future. What you gonna do?”
Earlier this month, Williams agreed to take part in the Dave Matthews Band’s benefit concert in Charlottesville. The star-studded event will also include Justin Timberlake, Ariana Grande, Chris Stapleton and more. Tickets are free, but attendees are encouraged to donate to the “Concert for Charlottesville Fund,” which will support protesters hurt during clashes with white nationalists and neo-nazis in addition to other “organizations devoted to the promotion of healing, unity and justice locally and nationwide.”