Thomas Rhett and his wife Lauren Akins took to Instagram on Sunday (May 31) to address the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, racism in America and what it means for their 4-year-old daughter Willa Gray Akins. In their passionate posts, both Rhett and Akins vowed fight against racism "for the rest of our lives."
"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," Rhett began his statement.
"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," he continued. "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."
In his conclusion, Rhett wrote that 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."
Akins shared the same photo on her Instagram account, as well, alongside her own passionate statement. She wrote that as a mother of a Black child, she wants her daughter to know that she "stands up not only for her, but for every single person who shares her beautiful brown skin."
"I want to be her mother who raises her to know what it means to have brown skin and to be proud of it," Akins continued. "I want to be her mother who doesn’t listen to the shaming of skin colors but instead listens to the Spirit of God who knitted every skin color together in their mother’s womb for His glory. Because the truth is: I AM HER mother who FIGHTS for her. I am her mother who celebrates not only WHO she and her two sisters are, but WHOSE they are and exactly who God created them to be."
Not only does Akins want to protect her own daughter, she also wrote that she believes she's "being disobedient to God if I don’t speak up against injustice and fight for change. I believe if I stay silent I am betraying my brothers and sisters. I believe if I stay silent I am betraying my daughter. I believe if I stay silent I am betraying the heart of God. Don’t stay silent. Fight. Use the most powerful weapon of all: love. Look to the One who created that weapon and follow His lead. Together, let’s be an army for love. That means speaking up loudly for injustices whether or not we share the same skin color, language, beliefs...the list goes on."