Tags: country stars | racism

Some Country Stars Speak Out About Racism, Others Remain Silent

jason isbell performs with his orange and black guitar
Jason Isbell performs at the To Nashville, With Love Benefit Concert at Marathon Music Works on Monday, March 9, 2020, in Nashville. (Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 11 June 2020 10:15 AM

Country music stars tend not to speak out on controversial topics for fear of alienating their audiences and now that situation is under scrutiny as some top names criticize fellow musicians for keeping silent about racism.

The debate exploded when dozens of country singers and songwriters took to various platforms to speak out against racial inequality following the killing of George Floyd, and the protests that have since erupted across the country.

Some used hashtags, other quotes bible verses and showed solidarity with emojis. Big names including Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Brothers Osborne and Jason Isbell have repeatedly condemned racism and police brutality on social media while Mickey Guyton recently participated in a Zoom call titled 'A Conversation on Being African-American in the Nashville Music Industry.'

However, while many artists were showing their support, others remained silent. Among them were Kenny Chesney, Sam Hunt, Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert, Washington Post reported.

Guyton expressed her surprise in a recent interview with Rolling Stone

"I have been surprised by some big names of outright saying something," she remarked. "There have been some artists I was not expecting to be downright saying, 'No.' Morgan Wallen publicly said it on his page. I respect that. But I have been surprised by the ones that I thought would be a little bit stronger in their stance. It’s sad that it’s scary for people to publicly denounce racism. I hurt for them, the fear that they are feeling."

Meanwhile, Aldean's wife, Brittany, defended the country stars who remained silent in an Instagram post

"Let’s remember, the goal here isn’t to trend on social media or to be 'politically correct' to our followers," she wrote. "Any quick and easy action like a social media post, that endeavors to solve such a complex and systemic issue, is probably not going to be a meaningful and effective action. So if someone’s first reaction wasn’t a tweet or Instagram story, maybe they’re thinking a little deeper."

Brittany further urged fans to refrain from interpreting someone's silence as indifference.

"In a moment like this, there is no 'correct' reaction, there is only empathy and how it inspires various types of change," she continued, adding: "I just wanted to let people know that our silence doesn’t mean racism, by ANY means. It simply means people process things differently.”

Still, country music has a history of punishing artists who speak out politically, like the Dixie Chicks who were vilified when they made political comments criticizing the president.

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Country music stars tend not to speak out on controversial topics for fear of alienating their audiences and now that situation is under scrutiny as some top names criticize fellow musicians for keeping silent about racism.
country stars, racism
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2020-15-11
Thursday, 11 June 2020 10:15 AM
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