AceShowbiz - Country singer Thomas Rhett has broken his silence about America's race divide, insisting it's time for him to speak up as the father of a black child.
The "Marry Me" star and his wife Lauren Akins adopted their eldest daughter, Willa, from Uganda in 2016, and the protests nationwide following the murder of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis has prompted the singer to stand up and fight for justice for all.
"As the father of a black daughter and also two white daughters, I have struggled with what to say today," he wrote on social media. "We have navigated forms of racism directly and while there is mostly overwhelming support and love for our family, sometimes there is just the opposite. Because of that fear, it can be a lot easier to choose silence, but today I’m choosing to speak."
"I have no clue what it feels like to be profiled by authorities, treated negatively or have my life threatened because of the color of my skin. When I witnessed the horrific murder of George (Floyd) and think about the mistreatment of other black men and women in America, I am heartbroken and angry. I get scared when I think about my daughters and what kind of world they will be growing up in and how my JOB as a father is to show them how to lead with love in the face of hate. To know their worth and value as not only women but human beings."
He continued: "I have witnessed my black band and crew members on the road struggle at times with feeling safe because of the colour of their skin. This is unacceptable. I don’t believe in hate. I believe in love. What happened to George was pure hate. We are all created by the same God. I pray for a change in heart of those hearts who have been overcome by hatred and hardened. I pray for a deeper understanding for myself and awareness of the experience of mistreatment that those of another skin colour go through. I pray for the families of those who have lost their lives to violence or experienced trauma at the hand of racial oppression and injustice."
Floyd lost his life during a police arrest on Monday, May 25. He was caught on camera stating he could not breathe as a cop kneeled on his neck for nine minutes. He lost consciousness at the scene and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Derek Chauvin, the white police officer who kneeled on Floyd's neck, has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
"What can we do?" Rhett adds. "I ask myself this question everyday. We each have to be part of the solution and we have to continue to educate ourselves, continue to support both financially and with service those organisations doing good work in our communities to overcome injustice and hatred in our country. And if you're like me, continue to pray."
"So if there is any question on where I stand let me be clear - I stand with you, I stand with George and his family and all those who have faced racism. I stand with my wife and my daughters. We will be fighting this fight for the rest of our lives. Rest In Peace, George. We are not letting this go."