Why Country Stars Are Ignoring Charlottesville

Rolling Stone offers a theory: ‘We are, by all measures and accounts, at a pivotal moment in the complex and bloody history of race relations and white supremacy in America – a boiling point that will leave our country scalded if not handled with courage and care. There are not, as the president insisted, “many sides” to the events that occurred in Charlottesville. There are Nazis, and there is everyone else. So why is it so hard for artists in country music – a genre with a rich history of giving a voice to the downtrodden – to share a few words of sympathy and solidarity; to offer, at the very least, an acknowledgement of the violent, uncertain, increasingly turbulent state of the nation? A simple “Hey y’all, white supremacy is bad” – far less than 140 characters – would suffice. But country stars still seemingly

live in fear of getting “Dixie Chicked.” It has been over a decade since Chicks singer Natalie Maines’ onstage comment about being “ashamed” by George W. Bush got the band blacklisted from country radio, but the specter of bonfires fueled by disowned copies of Wide Open Spaces remains a a constant reminder of what’s at stake if you step out of line. Or speak up.’

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