Thomas Rhett is opening up about how he feels as a white man who is the father of a black daughter. The country superstar and his wife Lauren Akins adopted their oldest daughter, Willa Gray, from Uganda in 2015.
Now, with the country taking historic action against systematic racism, police brutality, and equality, Rhett is speaking out about how he has been feeling as a parent with a black daughter. The father of three little girls admitted that he struggled to find the right words.
“As the father of a black daughter and also two white daughters- I have struggled with what to say today. 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.”
And one of the things he wants people to know is that even though he has no idea what it is like to negatively racially profiled, he is “heartbroken” and “angry” after seeing the mistreatment of black men and women first hand after the video of George Floyd went viral.
“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 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.”
Rhett admits, however, it’s not the first time he has witnessed others being profiled because of the color of their skins. “I have witnessed my black band and crew members on the road struggle at times with feeling safe because of the color 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 color 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.”
“What can we do? I ask myself this question every day,” Rhett wrote.
“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 organizations doing good work in our communities to overcome injustice and hatred in our country. And if you’re like me, continue to pray,” Rhett concluded. “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.”
Thousands of his followers thanked Rhett for his honesty and allyship.
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