John Legend Has A Few Things To Say To President Obama

John Legend Has A Few Things To Say To President Obama

He's urging Obama to take action while he still can.

Published December 11th

John Legend has consistently refused to stay silent during an incredibly tense time of political unrest in our country.

While the singer has been extremely vocal about important issues throughout the duration of the 2016 presidential campaign, now that the reality has sunk in that President Barack Obama's days in office are numbered, Legend has once again come forward to urge our POTUS to take action while he still can.

In an open letter, published on Rolling Stone, Legend is urging Obama to grant clemency for non-violent drug offenders.

"First of all, I would like to thank you for your friendship and for your outstanding service to our country," the singer begins his letter. "I’m particularly grateful for the concrete steps your administration has taken to provide opportunities to tens of millions of young people and families who have been impacted by mass incarceration."

He then commends the president for his work reforming the prison system before getting right down to business.

"Before you leave office, I would like to add my voice to the more than 2 million Americans who have asked you to use your clemency and pardon powers to bring justice to the thousands of families of non-violent drug offenders who have waited far too long for Congress to act," Legend writes.

"In 2014, you set out to reinvigorate our country’s approach to clemency," the singer continues. "Your actions to commute the sentences of 944 individuals, including 324 life sentences, is unprecedented in the modern era. Nonetheless, more action is needed to dismantle the unjust policies of the past 40 years. An estimated 36,000 non-violent drug offenders housed in federal prisons have sought relief under your clemency initiative and it is unclear how many of the remaining cases will be reviewed before you leave."

Legend then references the failed War on Drugs, something that Jay Z has also used his platform to raise awareness for, going into further detail supporting why he feels it is so important for Obama to address the situation of mass incarceration before leaving office.

"Just as George W. Bush urged you to proactively address clemency on your way to your first inauguration in 2009," the singer concludes. "I am asking you to bring justice to thousands of families by granting as many clemencies as possible before you leave office."

Read John Legend's eloquently-written demands for President Obama in full here

Written by KC Orcutt

(Photos from left: Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images, Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Gotham Magazine)


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