Singer Maxwell has defended his Twitter post about the recent gun violence in the U.S., insisting followers have misconstrued his words.
The Brooklyn-born Grammy winner was one of many celebrities who took to social media on Friday (08Jul16) to offer up his thoughts about the brutal police killings in Dallas, Texas at a Black Live Matter rally on Thursday night (07Jul16), but his tweet was not well received.
He wrote: "This will not end good if we don't do something #americanlivesmatter #whocaresaboutcolor #humanlivesmatter."
The rally, held to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile earlier in the week at the hands of white cops in Louisiana and Minnesota, was supposed to be peaceful until a sniper took aim at officers.
Maxwell drew criticism for his post and turned to the New York Daily News to explain himself, insisting people weren't seeing the bigger picture: "When I say American lives matter, and I say it's an American issue. We are Americans," the 43-year-old said on Saturday (09Jul16). "This is what we are. I don't know why people are so against identifying themselves as Americans. It's what we are. It gets so misunderstood and misconstrued."
Maxwell went on to state the high-profile deaths in recent days are more a gun issue than a race issue, adding, "This is about guns. This isn't about black, white, whatever. This is about people being able to get guns that aren't qualified to have guns."
He also addressed attacks on his colour, with fellow African-Americans accusing him of not being black enough to be part of the Black Lives Matter movement.
"Some people don't think I'm black enough because my mom is from Haiti and my dad is Latin and I'm from Brooklyn," he said. "I've dealt with that issue for a very long time... if people don't think I understand what this means to me and how it affects my family they're crazy."