Stevie Wonder opened his concert Sunday night at London’s Hyde Park by preaching positivity after a pair of recent police-involved shootings as well as the violence targeted at officers patrolling a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas. “In this troubled time that we’re living in, I want to say to all of you that I love you all,” Wonder said.
“What I’m hopeful about is that we can make a difference. And if you too feel that we can make a difference, then all of you here, I encourage you to choose love over hate,” Wonder said. “It’s just that simple. Choose love over hate, right over wrong, kind over meanness. Hope over no hope at all.”
The singer also remarked briefly on the Black Lives Matter movement. “Yes, all life does matter, but the reason that I say ‘Black Lives Matter’ is because we are the original people of this world,” Wonder said. “So in essence, everyone here has some black in you. You’ve all got some soul in you, so stop denying your culture. Love yourselves, all of yourselves, no matter what color you might be.”
Wonder has long voiced his support of the Black Lives Matter movement while also championing that all ethnicities should be treated equally: At a December 2014 concert in Oakland, prior to a performance of “Living in the City,” Wonder led a chant of all the things that matter. That chant came in the aftermath of a pair of separate grand jury decisions not to indict the police officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. On Sunday, it was the deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Minnesota that weighed on the singer.
Before launching into the British Summertime show in front of 65,000 fans, Wonder had one last comment for his critics, “And for all of you who don’t agree with me, I love you but I don’t give a…”