For those of you who don't know, a number of years ago Natalie Maines stated at a Dixie Chicks concert that she was ashamed that the president of the United States (i.e., Bush) was from Texas. I remember being at work in the teacher's lounge at the time that the news hit. My immediate reaction was to think "Who the hell are the Dixie Chicks?" and then "Right on, Dixie Chicks". I was really impressed that they had said it considering that the country music scene pretty much includes a bunch of redneck-red-state type of folk.
The reactions from other teachers were not similar to mine. I can remember clearly hearing other teachers say, "I'm never going to buy an album again from them!" and all such nonsense. I also remember hearing, "Now is not the time to criticize the president because the US in under attack". All the while I was thinking, "Shit, I don't like country music, but I think I'll by their album now!"
After the comment was made, the media and small right-wing groups went wild with hate. Here's a disgusting clip from their documentary "Shut Up and Sing" about some of the media comments by some of those annoying hate mongers:
The Dixie Chicks were slammed in the media, death threats were made against them, and radio stations refused to play their music. Handfuls of djs across the country were fired for playing their music. After the fact, the Dixie Chicks stated that they lost half of their fan base as well as millions and millions of dollars. Throughout the ordeal those little bad asses refused to back down:
I haven't really bought a lot of music from them, but now that I'm thinking about it again I think I will check out what type of music they have online. I also plan on buying their documentary "Shut Up and Sing" about the debacle as well. It's been on my netflix list for a while, but I figure that I'll just buy it for myself since it seems to be an interesting documentary of freedom of expression.
One song I'll be buying off of itunes that they made after the debacle is "I'm Not Ready to Make Nice". You can check out the video here.
I hope you are thinking about the rights that this country was founded on during this fourth of July weekend!