The Grio White House correspondent April Ryan spent over a minute Monday letting everyone attending a White House press briefing know she talked with music legend Stevie Wonder over the weekend.
Ryan revealed the connection with Wonder while asking White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre if President Joe Biden would meet with the pop star to discuss voting rights concerns. “I had an in-depth conversation with Stevie Wonder last night, who is asking, requesting a meeting with the president,” Ryan told Jean-Pierre. (RELATED: ‘Just A First Step’: Ramaswamy Says Colleges Are Searching For ‘Workarounds’ To SCOTUS’ Race-Based Admissions Ruling)
“He’s very concerned about the black agenda falling along the wayside and issues like laws of 50 years ago that are now being abolished or gutted, to include issues like the Voting Rights Act, what happened in Arkansas last week, affirmative action, Supreme Court, as we’ve seen it, a ban on books, and he’s also even brought up issues of the Congo and the lack of information from the White House,” Ryan continued.
A federal appeals court ruled Nov. 20 that only the federal government could bring suit under the Voting Right Act, and the Supreme Court struck down many race-based admissions policies with decisions in June centered on college admissions.
“Is the White House amenable to sitting down with Stevie Wonder, who has met with presidents throughout history to include Ronald Reagan, he was one of the major impetus for getting the holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and also he was one of those who worked with President Obama in his efforts to become president. Is this president amenable to meeting with Stevie Wonder who has these concerns?” Ryan asked.
“You’re right, April, what you just laid out in your question is incredibly important and so we take that very, very seriously here. Can I just say a couple things about Stevie Wonder?” Jean-Pierre responded. “He is… indeed an icon, who’s made tremendous — tremendous contributions to the civil rights movement, and also voting rights. And as you just listed out, he was one of the main — main voices in getting Dr. Martin Luther King Day, and we appreciate that, we appreciate his brilliance, and we certainly — we appreciate what he’s been able to do on behalf of the community. So I can’t — as far as a meeting with the president, certainly, I’m not aware of any meetings with — with Mr. Wonder, or any scheduled meetings, and I don’t have anything to announce, obviously, at this time.”
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