The lead singer of the multi-platinum Christian rock band Skillet, John Cooper, lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin just blocks away from where violent riots broke out this past Wednesday. In a Facebook post he said, “I never thought I’d enter into a time where I actually have to strap on my AR to keep my family safe, because I am 5 blocks away from where they are burning down the place where I live in.”
John Cooper appeared on Fox & Friends this past Saturday explaining what his experience has been living in the heart of Wisconsin’s current unrest, sparked by the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake. Cooper said that his wife Korey Cooper’s parents have lived in the 100k person town their entire lives, and mentioned they never lock their doors. Cooper said that when he moved to Kenosha that it was TIME Magazine‘s #2 best city in America to raise a family.
“You see this stuff on the news, in Portland, in Seattle, in New York City, or Chicago…you see it and you think it could never happen in your town of Kenosha, Wisconsin.” He continued, “People love each other. [Kenosha] is not a hateful place. It’s not a racist place. The only time it gets angry is when the [Green Bay] Packers play the [Chicago] Bears.”
“There are really good faith people protesting,” Cooper responded to Fox & Friends’ Pete Hegseth‘s question about whether Cooper thought there will be continued violence or peaceful conversations (about racial injustice) instead. “There are people that want to see change,” he added. “I know people that are protesting. They have good hearts. They want to see the world become a better place, become more equitable, become more loving, become more forgiving.” But Cooper stated that the problem is “there’s not enough condemnation against the violence…when people are burning down your city, slashing your tires….THREATENING to come in my neighborhood, and quote ‘F-up’ my neighborhood…NOW I can’t hear you.”
Skillet’s frontman made an enlightening comment saying he should be, “out playing concerts, rocking the free world (referring to his band Skillet). Instead, I’m hunkered down, praying for the very people that I might have to hurt that night.” He told Hegseth, “That’s something Americans shouldn’t have to deal with! I don’t want to hurt anybody. I’m praying for safety. I’m praying for them. I’m praying for their souls. I’m praying for racial justice. I want all those things, but you can’t come and threaten people’s family in America.”
Skillet’s Cooper gave an encouraging report before ending the interview saying the city had an “amazing” prayer meeting with 14 pastors of all races that came together because of the unified belief that there is one hope. He said that hope “is not a President, it’s the hope in Jesus Christ that gives you a brand new heart to love people that don’t always love you back.”
Jesus can change all of this. He can bring peace.
On his Facebook page, Cooper posted a video of a city-wide prayer event that took place less than 24 hours after the rioting started.
On Monday, Cooper posted an episode of “Cooper Stuff Podcast” that gives an in depth look at the aftermath from the protests, turned violent riots, and talks more about what it’s like to watch protesters march by your house. He also discusses how the media is rooting for the chaos to continue, and shows the positives that are coming out of the darkness, believing it will bring people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Watch it here.