“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."
— Desmond Tutu

As both fans of country music and members of the genre's media pool, we work hard every day to remain an impartial, unbiased source of news. However, there is a thin line between being impartial and being complicit.

On Tuesday (June 2), the music industry will take part in the #TheShowMustBePaused blackout in response to the recent death of George Floyd — a 46-year-old Black man in Minneapolis who died at the hands of a white police officer named Derek Chauvin — and larger patterns of racial injustice in the United States.

Music City's record labels, along with public relations firms and other companies within the industry, are participating.

We are, too. In cases of racism, prejudice and bigotry — blatant hate — there is no impartiality to be had. For cultural gatekeepers to remain silent when our music industry peers, and our fellow human beings in general, call on us to act, is to be complicit.

So today, we are breaking from the regular news cycle to stand in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Country music, Americana, folk, bluegrass and all of the related genres owe so much of their foundation and history to African American slaves, Black Americans and other people of color. Today, we will amplify the voices of those within the country music community who are speaking out against and standing up to hate. Think about what they're saying. Use their words and your thoughts to engage your own community.

We also suggest visiting TheShowMustBePaused.com, where you'll find a list of resources for getting involved and being an ally.

As Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang (the industry members responsible for the #TheShowMustBePaused initiative) say, today's blackout "is not just a 24-hour initiative." As we move forward, our staff promises to continue to provide you with the stories you expect while also working to make a difference in this fight.

Today, our regular content can wait. We cannot wait for justice any longer.

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