Last night, I saw a post on Retro Wifey, a Facebook page I follow somewhat casually. It was about the Dixie Chicks, who made headlines in 2003, when they dissed former President George W. Bush at a concert in London.
At the time the Dixie Chicks were being shunned and castigated for their liberal, anti-Bush political opinions, I was kind of new to their music. I thought they were very talented, and while I don’t typically go to celebrities for my politics, I figure they had as much right as anyone to speak up about their views. Of course, people also had the right to their responses. Unfortunately, lots of people decided to throw out their Dixie Chicks albums. Radio stations stopped playing their music, and they were kind of obscure for awhile.
I wasn’t surprised when I saw the reactions to Retro Wifey’s Dixie Chicks post. Plenty of people have forgiven the Chicks for their outspokenness, but other folks still haven’t let it go. A lot of people commenting on Retro Wifey’s post were still denouncing the Dixie Chicks, even though their anti Bush sentiment is ancient history. A lot of the same people who claim the Dixie Chicks should simply shut up and sing have no problem with Toby Keith’s sentiment of “putting a boot in someone’s ass” for messing with America. (… and honestly, a certain segment of Americans really are ignorant and ARROGANT… it’s SAD and embarrassing!) Toby Keith is a white man, though, so I guess he gets a pass.
I couldn’t resist leaving a comment. Here’s what I said…
They are very talented, doing fine, and totally entitled to their opinions, like any other American is. ❤However, I think W is way better than Trump. I bet they think so too.
It’s true. I do think the Dixie Chicks probably do prefer W to Trump, even if they still don’t like George W. Bush. Someone apparently thought that meant I’m a Bush fan. She commented that Trump and Bush are “cut from the same cloth”. I responded with this…
I don’t think so. At least W isn’t a rapist and can speak in full sentences. I was certainly not a W fan, but at least he had some redeeming qualities. Trump is just vile.
And the person who commented to me wrote, “True that.”
I wasn’t surprised to see that my first comment got a variety of reactions. A few people gave me the orange angry emoji. I got one love. Two people thought my comment was funny, and nine liked it. My comment about Trump got less polarized reactions. I got one wow, ten likes, and four funnies. One of the people who thought my first comment was funny, wrote a comment dissing the Chicks. And because we were having a good time listening to music and drinking wine, I played along…
When I see these kinds of comments– comments about a band’s talent or lack thereof, and most likely made strictly because of the band’s politics– I do wonder if it makes people feel better to slam them. I mean, maybe you don’t like the Dixie Chicks’ music, but how in the hell can anyone say they are the WORST band ever? How can someone say they have no talent? Shit, I can sit here and think of twenty bands that are way worse than the Dixie Chicks, yet they’ve made money. Moreover, I think that the Dixie Chicks got so much heat because they’re women and their audience was mostly country music fans, many of whom are Republicans. And sadly, I think a lot of people who identify as conservative lack the ability to understand that a person can be a wonderful, creative, talented performer and not subscribe to the same political world view as you do. For all of their talk about the Constitution and American freedoms, many conservatives sure seem hellbent on shutting up people who don’t agree with them. So the Dixie Chicks don’t like George W. Bush. Isn’t it very American of them to share their opinions? Aren’t we all about personal freedoms, particularly of speech and expression?
Case in point, I LOVE listening to Ricky Skaggs. He’s a brilliant musician. He often plays with Bruce Hornsby, who is a native of Williamsburg, Virginia, not far from where I grew up. I love Bruce Hornsby’s music, too. Bruce Hornsby reportedly votes as a liberal. Ricky Skaggs is definitely NOT liberal. He is a Trump supporter. I still love Ricky’s music, even if some of his homespun lyrics make me cringe (because they aren’t grammatically correct). The point is, I appreciate the music, and it’s alright if the musician doesn’t share my politics. Politics are personal. I don’t understand why people like Donald Trump. I suspect it’s mainly because he identifies as Republican and claims to be against abortion. Ricky Skaggs has said that he only votes for pro-life candidates. I don’t think Trump is truly pro-life, but he pays lip service, so Skaggs supports him. But even though I wish Republicans would insist on a more decent candidate, I don’t hold a person’s politics against them, particularly if I love their music.
Anyway… I don’t think people need to worry about the Dixie Chicks’ careers. They’re doing just fine. Looks like they’ve gone to the dark side of pop music, which is just fabulous for them. They’ll probably make more money that way. And they are certainly entitled to their opinions, as is any other person in a free society. I have a feeling that if the Dixie Chicks were men expressing themselves, they would have been forgiven by a lot more people by now. But they also probably would not have been as successful, because part of their appeal twenty years ago was that they were sexy, young women with oodles of talent and lots of sass. They got too sassy with the conservative lot, and some ignorant folks still haven’t gotten over it yet, seventeen years hence. But I figure if people still want to hold the Dixie Chicks’ politics against them and not listen to their music, it’s their loss.