Dixie Chicked

dixie chicksI know I promised a rant about the Dixie Chicks last week, but when you’re busy scrounging for dollars you let some things slide.

After their interview last Thursday night the local ABC affiliate chimed in with a poll from 96.3FM KSCS country radio. According to their poll roughly 80% of their listeners still wanted the Chicks banned from airplay. I don’t know if a sampling of about 3000 people counts for the demographic of Texas or even the nation, but I don’t expect the Dixie Chicks will be welcomed home anytime soon.

I would agree that what the Dixie Chicks said was inappropriate given the circumstances. Being in a foreign country essentially dissing the government that’s what everyone is in a huff about. However, I don’t think their actions are that much different than other anti-war folk nor do I believe that there should be such a backlash. In Iraq, where we just removed the evil dictatorship, the people are experiencing freedom, some for the first time. How does a radio ban and CD burnings reflect on the idea of those freedoms?

“Your opinion is valid only if it agrees with mine, otherwise you’re un-American.”

Why is it hard to accept that anti-war folks can actually support the troops? Just because a person questions the government or our reasons for being in Iraq doesn’t mean they don’t want the troops to return home safe & sound. That would be like saying anyone who is pro-war encourages collateral damage. Simply not true. It is possible to feel compassion for the soldiers and the country we are trying to liberate without agreeing with the President. It’s less of an oxymoron than saying “Thank God I’m an Atheist”.

I don’t think the Dixie Chicks are un-American, yet they’ve been outcast and had their lives threatened all for expressing an opinion others didn’t agree with. Funny, but I think the Iraqi people can more closely identify with that feeling than we can. I mean what’s the use of gaining free speech if you’re too afraid to use it?

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  • Charles April 28, 2003   Reply →


    Well-written and precisely accurate.

    The Dixie Chicks incident is actually just a single example of a widespread, and highly disturbing trend. It reminds me very much of the previous incident with Bill Maher/Politically Incorrect, in which Mr. Maher made a bold–and, technically, accurate–statement, which was taken WAY out of context, and lost his job and show as a result.

    Naturally, everyone focused on a tiny snippet of his comments (basically, the “9/11 terrorists weren’t cowards” bit) without listening to his entire statement and point, which was valid–namely, that yes, the terrorists who took over the planes were murdering scumbags, but ANYONE who is willing to die for their cause (however stupid that cause may be) is someone to reckon with, and cannot be underestimated. His bigger point was that there are millions of people out there not just *willing* to die, but *actively seeking* to die as long as they kill as many Americans/Israelis/Jews/Westerners as possible in the process, while most Americans (not all, but most) would rather just deal with the problem by pushing a button to launch a missle thousands of miles away. It doesn’t make them right or us wrong, but it does address a basic philosophical difference of how our/their minds work.

    Getting back on topic, the most disturbing reaction from the whole Bill Maher incident wasn’t the ads being pulled (it’s the advertisers’ right), or the show itself getting yanked (it’s ABC’s right), but White House spokesman Ari Fleisher stating that Mr. Maher “had better watch what he says” in the future.

    Mr. Maher was a private citizen speaking his mind. Mr. Fleisher was acting in the capacity of an OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, representing the President of the United States in particular. For him to warn a private citizen to watch his tongue is asinine at best, highly disturbing and possibly illegal at worst.

    Sorry, long post, hope I brought it back around to the topic at hand enough 🙂

  • Rick Lay April 28, 2003   Reply →

    This is an interesting discussion…. especially as an American abroad in a country whose majority is not for the war (although they support their troops over there). I think there is a fundamental issue that really has not been discussed in the media or by the public at large. No one is really discussing both sides of the issue at the level of intention and motive.

    We’ve heard this before (from peace activists and the anti-war crowd): “Bush is backing the interests of the oil companies.” And we hear “Not supporting the war is un-American” by the establishment. These statements don’t really prove motive or intention. What is the bigger picture here?

    If Bush and the gang got what they wanted, there would be no terrorism (those responsible for it would be caught) and the US would have a strong economy brought on by tax breaks for people who invest. Those are really the only key goals I have really observed by this administration.

    If the anti-war/pro-peace crowd got what they wanted, the US would get their military out of Iraq (and lots of other countries as well). World conflicts would be solved at the negotiating table and force would only be used as a last resort if at all. Those are really the key generalizations that I have observed.

    So what’s the real intention behind these goals (step into their point of view and ask yourself what would happen if you got these goals)?

    Bush & Co.: Safety for Americans/American interests, Justice for those responsible for 9/11, and insure capitalism is the primary economic means.

    Peace Crowd: Peace for everyone on Earth. Force is only used as a last resort to stop oppression.

    How about chunking up above those goals? What would happen if you got those goals (in their shoes, again)?….

    Bush & Co.: Peace, Prosperity, & Freedom

    Peace Crowd: Peace & Freedom

    Hmmm…. funny that.

  • Lauren April 28, 2003   Reply →

    I agree. Their comment wasn’t very well thought out at the time, but nothing says “Land of the Free” by boycotting people for their opinion. Ah, I’m ready to move to Europe.

  • Katie April 29, 2003   Reply →

    A.J. this post is so unbelievably well put. I applaud any celebrity willing to put their career on the line by speaking out against something they believe in, and the DC are no exception. It’s just appalling to me that we live in a country where apeaking out actually equates to putting your career on the line.

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