After winning the American Music Award for Favorite Album – Rap/Hip-Hop Sunday night, rapper Macklemore spoke live via satellite from Miami to the audience in Los Angeles.
Sitting with collaborator Ryan Lewis, Macklemore didn't talk about his critically acclaimed album "The Heist," but he did take advantage of "sitting here in front of millions of people" to say something "extremely important to me."
Macklemore then quoted Martin Luther King, Jr. ("Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere") and invoked a controversial topic.
"And due to the act that we are in Florida tonight accepting this award, I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids each year that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it," he said amid loud cheers.
"This is really happening," he concluded. "These are our friends, our neighbors, our peers, and our fans, and it's time that we look out for the youth and fight against racism and the laws that protect it."
Here's the clip:
With the Trayvon Martin case, feeling like, as a white rapper, can I talk about that? I'm also the enemy in a way, not me specifically, but the system that I'm a part of. Can i speak on that issue? Do I tweet about that? How do I bring that up? It's something that I have to think about and yet, I think what surpasses all of it is just being a human and striving for equality for all people. But to say that race isn't an issue in America in 2013 is just false absolutely. You look at how that case panned out and it's a very clear indication that we have a far way to go.
Macklemore's "The Heist" mentions Trayvon Martin in the song, "A Wake":
My subconscious telling me stop it / This is an issue that you shouldn't get involved in / Don't even tweet 'R.I.P Trayvon Martin' / Don't want to be that White dude, million-man marching / Fighting for a freedom that my people stole / Don't want to make all my White fans uncomfortable...