Hate is a strong word but that is what the Dixie chicks got from stating their political beliefs back in 2003. Why was it a big deal considering that they just stated their opinion on a political matter just like anyone else can?
Well, the issue may have been deeper than what it seems. Today, we are going to discuss the real reason why country music hate the Dixie Chicks even if they are one of the biggest female country group of all time.
The Dixie Chicks’ Bold Statement
The hate-bandwagon started when the group was performing in a London stage back in 2003. One of the band members said this:
“Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.”
This statement shocked the entirety of country music. We all know how patriotic country fans are and they felt attacked because, in a sense, they supported the total war against terrorism and they fully support George Bush’s decision. Some country fans also felt that the Dixie Chicks discredited all the military efforts and sacrifices that were done during those times. It really was a shock to the entire country music community since the Dixie Chicks was well loved and supported before they released their controversial statement.
The response of the country music community was swift. A few days after, their song that was on the top of the charts went down. Their overall album sales also went down and the radio companies stopped playing all of their songs. The backlash was so massive that the Dixie Chicks did not expect the damage to be that big.
In fact, some reports said that country fans were destroying the band’s CD collection of the group. Some country artists also shared their thoughts about the situation specifically Toby Keith. The singer released a song in response to the statement that was said and the support is definitely on his side. Toby Keith’s song Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue became one of his biggest hits.
In the song, he claimed that the female group will be sorry for messing with the people of the United States. As a result, they are booted the American way.
Listen to Toby Keith’s song here:
Fighting Hate With Hate
This whole issue was blown out of proportion. It is quite shocking that the Dixie Chicks was hated for stating their opinion to the point where their career had to suffer. They were banned by almost all radio stations and their record sales went down. When somebody states a shocking sentiment, the initial reaction should be curiosity. Not hate. Granted that this was a political statement and we all know how politically divided America is right now, we should have asked: “Why?”.
The power of understanding can do so much good in all situation. If we set our feelings aside and really understand why they said what they said into context, then there would be less negativity in this world. I am saying this as someone who also gets hate from having a different lifestyle. It is quite disappointing that the backlash was this big when even the female group admitted that they said what they said OUT OF FRUSTRATION.
Are we all perfect that we can’t make mistakes from time to time? That we don’t say negative things when we are frustrated? To me, what they did back then pales into comparison from the things that are being said to our current President, Donald Trump. But I do understand that before, it is quite rare to hear someone talk negatively about a President on a public setting.
Was there an Over-Reaction from the Fans?
Most definitely, yes! As mentioned above, we all say things out of frustration. The Dixie Chicks admitted that, but they were still treated as a social pariah by the community. They lost their control to the public and the group disbanded.
For more than 10 years after their controversial concert, they were rarely seen or heard of. Words can really be destructive when taken out of context but we are forgetting the important part here. The intent of these words. The group never meant to belittle the American public for their sacrifices. Nor did they question the patriotic act of the people.
They simply wanted to have a peaceful resolution to the ongoing war. I guess they did not want any more lives to be sacrificed. The only thing that I could point out as their mistake was not knowing their audience. They know that country fans are mostly Republicans. They should have kept their views to themselves if they don’t want their fans to get angry. I guess the band members just did not have a full grasp of the situation that they were in and the repercussions of their action.
Is the Dixie Chicks Making a Comeback?
Some of the recent news is stating that the group is making a comeback. In Natalie Maines’ Instagram account, she said that they might be working on a new album right now. The Grammy-winning band is working on a new album that will be released this year. The big question is, will the country music community finally accept them? They almost made a full comeback in 2006 but the sales were just abysmal as compared to the music that they made before the controversial statement.
I just want to remind the entirety of the country music community that you used to love Dixie Chicks. They were able to lift up the female category in ranks and their songs were all great and inspiring. They are talented, they write their own music and they play their own instruments. Don’t get your political bias in the way just because they don’t agree with you. You should not also be unforgiving because the band themselves said that the statement was done without malice. They never meant to bring down the American people. They just wanted a peaceful resolution instead of violence which, I guess, is a more complicated conversation to have.
Nevertheless, I meet people that I don’t necessarily agree with all the time. My first response is to understand their situation and know why they said that. I would never condemn them or try to change their belief. It is up to them to think for themselves because hating on someone is just unnecessary and counterproductive. We could all use some love and a little bit of understanding.
Watch their interview here: