LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - New music from country artist Tyler Childers came with a heartfelt message urging empathy and an end to systemic racism.
“Long Violent History” was unexpectedly released on Friday.
The album includes eight songs of string band music, building up to the ninth and title track, which Childers describes as an observation of our current times.
“From the outsider’s perspective, it’s hard to see where all this visceral anger is coming from,” Childers said in a six-minute YouTube video introducing the album. “What I believe to be one of the biggest obstacles in pinpointing the cause of this is our inability to empathize with another individual’s or group’s plight.”
In the video, Childers appeals to his “white, rural listeners,” urging them to do self-examination on the issue, if they are not already, and try to understand what those in the Black community are going through.
“What if we were to constantly open up our daily paper and see a headline like ‘East Kentucky man shot seven times on fishing trip,’ and read on to find the man was shot while fishing with his son by a game warden who saw him rummaging through his tackle box for his license and thought he was reaching for a knife?” Childers asked in the video, before citing several other analogous examples. "How would we react to that? What form of upheaval would that create? I venture to say if we were met with this type of daily attack on our own people, we would take action in a way that hasn’t been seen since the Battle of Blair Mountain in West Virginia.
“If we wouldn’t stand for it, why would we expect another group of Americans to stand for it?” he asked. “Why would we stand silent while it happened, or worse, get in the way of it being rectified?”