Coffey Anderson is a popular country and contemporary Christian singer. Since I do not usually listen to country music, except unwillingly when my sister Kendall is home, it is not a surprise that I had not heard of Coffey until recently. I have always found most country music a little silly, but the reason this country singer came to my attention is not silly at all.
With the recent officer-involved shootings of people of color, Coffey made a video giving advice on exactly how to behave if you are stopped by police to increase the odds that you will make it home safely. The video called, “Stop the Violence Safety Video for When You Get Pulled Over by the Police”, addresses stereotypes and is a very caring and respectful message. Before posting it he checked with a Texas sheriff to make sure the information in it was correct.
The steps, according to Anderson, are:
- Turn off the car.
- Put your ID on dash.
- Place both hands on steering wheel.
- Keep the radio volume low.
This video has gone viral with over 36,000,000 views.
Conversations of race and discrimination aren’t usually associated with the country music scene. But, Coffey grew up in Texas with a black mother and a white father. Interestingly, his father worked as a corrections officer. This background, as a multiracial individual and the son of an officer, must give him a unique perspective on this important issue.
Anderson agrees that people deserve respect but states that there is a larger issue at work.“At the end of the day the policeman wants to get home safely, we want to go home safely,” he says. “Even if the cop is having a bad day, you have to go home. You gotta make it home. You’re needed.”
Coffey has made eight albums so far and founded his own indie record label, Coffey Entertainment. Another thing I admire about him is that he was an All-American basketball player at Howard Payne University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Ministry. He now lives with his wife, hip-hop dancer Criscilla Crossland, and child in Nashville and has performed on many shows including American Idol. His charity work has mostly focused on helping veterans.
I may not be a huge country music fan, but I have become a Coffey Anderson fan.
–Karson Baldwin, Project RACE Kids President
“never too young to serve”