Instead of giving thanks to the typical list of friends, family, agents and producers that we hear all so often in speeches at award shows, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis chose to go a different route and send a message of tolerance last night by paying tribute to Trayvon Martin.
“Due to the fact 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,” Macklemore said. “This is really happening. 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.”
In mid-July, Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, was cleared of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. The high-profile trial and the jury’s decision continue to make headlines today.
I doubt anybody is really thrilled that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis got best hip hop album of the year, but the message they presented will hopefully reverberate in the hearts and minds of many people to make the right decisions in the future.
Watch and listen to the speech here: