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Not Ready to Make Nice

by Stephanie Casher on May 24, 2006

On Tuesday the Dixie Chicks released their first CD since becoming country music outcasts. In 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, Natalie Maines, onstage at a concert in London, made the following comment to the audience:

“Just so you know, we’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas.”

Country music traditionalists, a large majority of which reside in red states, immediately crucified the Chicks for *gasp* daring to criticize the President. How UnAmerican, the masses raged! They burned Dixie Chicks CDs and memorabilia, demanded that country radio stop playing Chicks songs, and some of these God-fearing Christians even sent the Chicks death threats. And why? Because Natalie Maines was able to smell bullshit years before the rest of America caught up, and had the balls to say something about it.

One of the key principles of Democracy is Freedom of Speech. Not to be misinterpreted as Freedom to Lie. Each and every one of us has the freedom to speak our minds, and every single one of us has the freedom to disagree with someone else’s opinion. But in MY opinion, country music took it too far in its persecution of the Dixie Chicks. These girls – talented, consummate, artists were virtually blacklisted. Kanye West criticized the President (far less articulately), and radio didn’t boycott his music. In fact, I’m fairly certain his records sales increased as a result. Heck, Tim and Faith even recently spoke out against the President’s handling of the Katrina situation, but they didn’t receive a fraction of the backlash the Chicks did. Granted, it is a different political climate now than it was in 2003 — far more people are clued in to what’s REALLY going on… But the persecution and bashing of the Dixie Chicks continues on, now because Natalie refuses to apologize for who she is and what she said. (Shortly after the incident, she did apologize for disrespecting the Office of the President, an apology she has since retracted, lol). The hypocrisy burns me up — If no one is demanding that President Bush apologize for lying to the American people, why should Natalie have to apologize for stating her PERSONAL opinion about the situation?

I respect the Chicks for standing up for what they believe in. I applaud them for it. They refuse to sell-out or compromise their personal or artistic integrity just to sell records. They would truly rather be hated for who they are than loved for who they’re not. I’m proud to say that I am a fan that freakin’ loves them, and it is so so good to have them back…

In the lead single off the new album, the Chicks proclaim that they’re Not Ready to Make Nice:

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
Probably wouldn’t if I could
Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say, time heals everything
But I’m still waiting

It is an EXCELLENT album ya’ll. Passionate and powerful, filled with gorgeous arrangements and heavenly harmonies. I urge everyone, if you want to make a statement and support freedom of speech, go out and buy this album. Support the Dixie Chicks. Consider it your weekly act of political activism :-)

(Sample the album and watch the video HERE.)

PS: Congratulations and props goes out to Sara Evans for finally receiving her first ever Female Vocalist award at this years ACM’s… Long overdue and well-deserved – Go Sara!!! (It almost makes up for the fact that they snubbed Faith this year. Almost.)

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