John Legend debuted his emotional new song titled “Preach” at the “Families Belong Together” rally in Los Angeles on Saturday after he warned the crowd of thousands to “resist the temptation to just disengage” from the fight to protect immigrants.
Battling for immigrants is “not easy. It’s not a passive activity,” Legend said. “You may have to get your hands dirty. You can’t just talk about it or tweet about it. You’ve got to do something.”
“We wrote this song that feels right for this moment,” Legend said as he played the opening chords of “Preach,” which is actually about doing more than just preaching. “So much of the news is shocking and maddening and depressing. I think some of us have a strong temptation to just disengage. But we can’t. I can’t do that.”
He sang: “Every day I waken, everything is broken. Turning off my phone just to get out of bed. I get up every evening, history’s repeating. Turning off my phone ’cause it’s hurting my chest. Heaven knows I’m not helpless, but what can I do?
“Can’t see the use in me crying if I’m not even trying to make the change I want to see. I can’t just sit and hope, I can’t just sit and pray … fallen to my knees, though I do believe, I can’t just preach, baby, preach … I try to do the things I say that I believe.”
In a reverse honor of President Donald Trump’s 72nd birthday in June, the outspoken couple donated nearly $300,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union. They also rallied friends and fans to give another $1 million.
The Trump administration’s detention of immigrants and separating children from their parents is a particular concern of the couple.