In recognition of Blackout Tuesday on June 2, Nash Country Daily is pausing the commentary to bring you messages of unity directly from the country music community.
All photos will appear without color.
“I have been sitting here trying to figure out what I wanted to say. This whole thing just really breaks me down to my core.
“My heart goes out to George Floyd, his family and friends, and to all of those whose loved ones have been taken because of the color of their skin. No man should die that way. I cannot watch that without tears welling in my eyes and a raw feeling of pain. The men who did that should face the justice that is promised by our laws.
“2020 has already been heartbreaking. Now, here we are having to again face the truth of racism and the pain and frustration of the African American community. As an American, a father, a son, a brother, a singer, a man… I have faced racism my whole life, from kindergarten to the life I live today. Racism is not a born thing; it is a taught thing. It is not a strong belief; it is a weak belief. It is not a financial issue; it is a hatred issue.
“Over the course of my life, I guess I had just put it down to ‘that’s just the way it is.’ No, I know I had. It is no longer alright for me to perpetuate the myth that things are okay. I have kids whom I love and cherish, and to watch them go through this, to feel their anguish and anger trying to deal with this is heartbreaking for me. The question that keeps coming up is ‘will it ever change?’ And my answer now has to be ‘YES.’
“We have to come together somehow, y’all. The only way it will ever change is if we can change people’s hearts. I don’t know how we are going to make that happen, but I am ready to try everything we have to do, because we need to do better.
“The peaceful protesters out there are an extension of the legacy of the great Dr. King and Gandhi, and they are protesting to be heard. Take a moment and listen.
“I really hope that we get better as a nation. My request to you guys is to search your heart on behalf of all of us, and root out any fear, hate or division you have inside of you. We need to come together.
“We Are not always going to agree on where to go or how to get there, but I will end with this quote by James Baldwin: ‘We can disagree and still love each other, unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and the right to exist.’”
photo by O’Connor, AFF-USA.com