Award-winning Christian singer Lauren Daigle broke her silence about the death of George Floyd with a 53-minute response after being questioned about it by some of her friends.
"I received a lot of text messages yesterday about my silence regarding the George Floyd issue,” Daigle said at the top of an Instagram video filmed Monday morning.
“Let me assure everybody that silence has nothing to do with a lack of concern because I haven't had a moment to pray and reflect and ask God where to stand with my words, how to communicate without words. I know where I stand, but with my words, how do I speak?”
The Louisiana native was brought to tears when recounting what she heard happened to George Floyd, who died in the custody of Minneapolis police on Memorial Day.
"How can the heart of man be like that? I don't understand. I'm shaking with anger,” she said in tears. “And no officer said anything. I have no idea what it's like to be a police officer. I'm not even going to begin the barrage of thoughts on how to handle situations. But my gosh, I don't know how much more evidence you need to say, 'Hey, maybe you should let up bro.' This is wrong!"
She added, "When it comes to George Floyd, I didn't even watch the video, just upon hearing about what happened. I am still shaking, and I know I'm late to the party, but it doesn't mean the weight is any different.”
Daigle has been visiting prisons throughout the country in recent years and she used some of her time in the video to talk about what she’s experienced with the men and women she met who are incarcerated. She said many of the people she met in prison are incredible people. Daigle then gave advice on what she believes all people should be doing during this time.
"I think what we have here is a need to look into the eyes of people. When we are at the grocery store checking out our groceries, not to rush past, but to be available,” she advised. “Honor your neighbor as yourself, to love your neighbor as yourself.”
Daigle emphasized that the term “neighborhood” was meant to encourage community, not strangers.
"So when I think about George Floyd, I think about his family. I think about his friends, I think about the remnants of his life that are still being sprinkled and scattered all over this world right now. I can't imagine being pinned down to the ground. My jaw just gets tight even thinking about living my last moments like that,” Daigle maintained. “Wrong!” she declared.
She added: "For the people of color who are struggling and mourning and are sad today, my heart is with you. And to say that I get it and I understand that that's wrong. I did not grow up a color other than this. I will not be able to walk a mile in your shoes. I'm not going to sit here and fake like I can. But that does not mean that my compassion for you and my love for you isn't fully present.”
The “You Say” singer then described what one of her black friends actually told her about her silence.
"In pondering this time, my friend, my sweet friend reached out to me and she said, ‘Lauren,’ she said, 'There are people of color that follow you and your silence could be hurting them.’ And I was like, 'Oh, that's the exact opposite of the message that I'm trying to deliver. I have just been waiting to get still enough,'” Daigle recounted.
The 28 year old woke up early the next morning to share her heart about it all with her 1.9 million followers.
"I care about the black community and I care about the people of color. And I care about what goes on in the world and I care about when the world is moaning, when the heart of man is groaning. I care about those things,” Daigle declared. “So when she said, ‘Lauren, you know speaking is important right now.’ I was like, 'Girl, I'll be there in two seconds.'”
The singer concluded her video by praying for God’s “comfort.” She also pleaded for God to “wake up” the world and prayed for people to “turn from evil.”
Christian singer Jamie Grace responded to Daigle and asked her to consider taking her comments even further.
“Thank you for posting this, Lauren. I know we haven’t talked in a while but I hope you know that I support you and know that your voice is beautifully influential. I know that you said this is difficult to process and you didn’t watch the video in its entirety as you don’t want this to feel normal, but might I ask, whether you watch it or not - please don’t withhold from feeling it ALL. Allow yourself to feel it all. As black people, this IS normal to us. And we don’t have the privilege of to not acknowledge the normalcy,” Grace told Daigle in the comment section of her video.
“This is not a killing movie or violent video game, this is potentially my reality every time my husband goes to Chick-fil-A or the gas station. This is the conversation that our sons and brothers have as young as 8, learning to seem less ‘scary’ so they can come home from school,” she said. “This is ‘n***er’ shouted from the very churches I am booked to lead worship. And whatever our white peers need to do to feel what we feel - we need you to press into it and feel it. We want change. And I genuinely believe in my heart that you do too. But that change begins with empathy, so that the change is not FOR us, but WITH us.”