Country music star Kane Brown is sharing his experience living as a biracial man amid the Black Lives Matter movement and worldwide protests against racial injustice.
Brown, 26, whose mother is white and father is Black, spoke with HITS Daily Double about getting criticism from both races, his opinions about police and how he's thankful that his 9-month-old daughter is too young to remember the events of this year.
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"I’m trying to bring everybody together, and they want me to pick a side," he said. "I even get pushed from one side to the other. I’m both, and both push back. So I try to understand and see each without losing the other.
"When people start bad-mouthing me, I get upset," he continued. "And it’s both sides too. I’m both and I’m neither, depending how you see it, but it ends up with me up in the socials deleting comments."
Brown also addressed police conduct, which has become a central topic in the protests.
"There are people who think all cops are bad, but I know that’s not true," he said. "Those kids who were bullied in high school, the ones who get this power trip with a badge, they’re out there. They let the power go to their heads; they bully people, but that’s not all cops.
"I know if I get stopped, I need to put my hands out the window so they can see I don’t have a weapon. You have to be real careful about how you speak, because you don’t know who’s walking up to the car; you don’t know what they’re scared of or acting out of."
Being biracial has an effect on how Brown behaves around law enforcement.
"If I’m coming from my black side, I’m super-scared if a cop pulls me over," he said. "But the cop? They’re in the line of fire every day, and that’s part of it. So I try to love everybody: the cops who do their jobs, anyone who’s a good person in this society."
He also spoke about trying to raise his biracial daughter, Kingsley Rose, with his wife Katelyn during a turbulent time.
"2020’s been tough in general," he said. "I’m glad my daughter doesn’t know what’s going on, and she’s not going to remember. Having a biracial daughter, I have a lot of people coming at me, asking, 'How are you going to explain to her when she’s pulled over?' and 'What are you going to tell her about the difference between her and her white friends?'"
The country star's comments echo those by TODAY's Craig Melvin, who has spoken about raising two biracial children with his wife, Lindsay Czarniak, who is white.
"My wife and I are in a unique situation because we have biracial children, and Lindsay and I have always lived lives that we like to think we don't see race first," Craig said on TODAY in June. "We're acutely aware of it, but we've tried to live these lives where we're not consumed by it.
"But since we've been married, we have become more aware of it than we were before we were married. Since we've had children we've become even more aware of it, and we've talked about how do you rear biracial children in an environment like this?"
Brown has tried to stay focused on unity, which has included releasing the song "Worldwide Beautiful" in June in which he sings that people "ain't the same, but they're all equal."
"To have people on both sides saying they felt it — that’s how we start moving forward and coming together in love," he said. "Some people have to change their hearts and minds, but we’ll get there."