Tyler Hubbard has added his voice to the chorus of people speaking out against racism and hatred in the wake of recent events, but his well-intentioned message contained one short phrase that caused a number of fans to criticize the Florida Georgia Line member. On Monday, Hubbard shared two posts addressing his feelings about the situation in the United States, the first a slideshow of graphics that began with an image reading, "Tolerating racism is racism."
Hubbard began his message, which he dubbed "PART I," by writing that his "heart has been hurting for a weeks now" and that it has been "hard" to find the right words to say. "Although the perfect words may not flow out I refuse to be silent," he continued. "I hope you all can hear my heart." The singer explained that he feels "guilty for being naive enough to think that racism, and hatred, due to skin color is a thing of the past" and added that "racism is real in 2020, but doesn’t have to be our future. ... We, especially the white community, have the opportunity and the obligation to create real change in history," he wrote. "I hope and pray that we can lean on love, grace, forgiveness, compassion, and empathy moving forward. This isn't and shouldn't be about a political, religious, or cultural agenda. This is about humanity. This HUMAN race. 'ALL lives matter,' and it’s time that we let our actions speak louder than our words."
View this post on Instagram
It was there that some fans took issue with Hubbard's words due to the fact that he had written "all lives matter" rather than "black lives matter," which is the movement being advocated for by black people and black allies. Several people used the comments to explain that while all lives do matter, black people have consistently been told by society that theirs do not, hence the Black Lives Matter movement. The All Lives Matter movement was created after the Black Lives Matter movement as a way to diminish the sufferings that black Americans have experienced.
"We know all lives matter but black lives are being taken at a much higher rate as if they don’t matter," one person commented. "Highlighting that their life matters doesn’t mean other lives don’t. So frustrating that people STILL don’t understand that." Another added, "Why is it so hard to see this is about race? Black lives matter. This isn’t about all lives. It’s about the lives of people who haven’t been treated equally."
Hubbard continued his post by telling "the families and friends of the ones we’ve lost" that he is "so sorry." "I know words won’t fix or bring back your loved ones, but please know that you all are on my heart and in my prayers every day and have been for weeks," he wrote. "I will continue to pray for healing, comfort, and peace that I know first hand only God can give, through this unimaginable time. Also know, we will stand with you and fight for justice. Your loss with not be in vain." He also addressed the police officers and wrote that he knows "most of y’all are good people with good intentions to protect and serve, and for that I say thank you. Thanks for being willing to put your life at risk every day."
In the father of two's second post, which was addressed to social media, Hubbard shared that he was "thankful" for the way the internet is "bringing awareness to issues that MUST change." "I am thankful that the hate crimes and racism aren’t things that can continue to happen behind closed doors," he shared, urging "everyone" to "speak up, continue these conversations, and be part of the solution. Silence doesn’t create change."