Tyler Childers directed a YouTube video toward his “white rural listeners” about the Long Violent History, his surprise album that he dropped Friday (Sept. 18), behind the age-old target on the backs of Black Americans.
“Long Violent History is a collection of instrumental pieces intended to create a sonic soundscape for the listener to set the tone to reflect on the last track, which is my own observational piece on the times we are in,” Childers clarified about the project’s main track in the six-minute video posted Monday (Sept. 21).
While lamenting on the current times brought on by the COVID-19 crisis and police brutality, he justifies the angst and anger Americans have been feeling. And for those in his Appalachian-based fanbase who can’t get behind the Black Lives Matter movement, he pinpointed the reason why.
“We’ve all witnessed violent acts of police brutality happen around the nation that have gone unaddressed. In response, we’ve seen protests turn to riots, and riots culminate into acts of violence and destruction of property. From the outsider’s perspective, it’s hard to see where all this visceral anger is coming from,” the country singer-songwriter said. “What I believe to be one of the biggest obstacles in pinpointing the cause of this is our inability to empathize with another individual or group’s plight.”
Childers then recited headlines that flipped the script and placed white individuals as the victims of unjust murder committed by authorities (with a reference to fellow Kentuckian Breonna Taylor’s death). He later reverted back to the grim reality by listing the kinds of members Black families have repeatedly lost due to this type of violence.
“These are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters and cousins, mothers and fathers — irreplaceable threads within their family fiber, torn from their loved ones too soon with no justice. And they’re demanding justice, same as I expect we would,” he said.
The 29-year-old artist also noted in the description of his YouTube video that 100% of the album’s net proceed will go toward the Hickman Holler Appalachian Relief Fund, which supports underserved communities in the Appalachian region.
Watch Childers’ video message about racial inequality, and stream Long Violent History, below.