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Verdict not music to his ears

Owen Canfield Published: July 18, 2013

Were you hoping that Stevie Wonder might someday perform in concert in Oklahoma? If so, then you’re out of luck.

Angered over the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, Wonder said he wouldn’t perform in Florida or any other state that has a “stand your ground” law. “Wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world,” Wonder said.

He can cross Oklahoma off his list, along with Texas, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Georgia and several other U.S. states that have some form of the law on the books. These laws allow people to use deadly force if they believe their life is in danger.

The man who shot Martin, an unarmed black teenager, said he did so in self-defense. A jury acquitted him of second-degree murder. Wonder’s reaction is misguided but much tamer and certainly more principled than some in the black community.

Jesse Jackson, for example, called the verdict “Old South justice.” That’s an affront to the jury, which followed the law, but not at all surprising coming from Jackson. He’s made a career of attaching “Old South” motives to what he sees as racially unjust outcomes.