Letter to the Editor: Response to country music is republican propaganda

“We don’t want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas”. The lead vocalist of the country band the Dixie Chicks said this during a concert in 2003 about then President George W. Bush, days before the United States invaded Iraq. By stereotyping and placing an entire group of people into one category, it is people like Trace Harris, the writer of the opinion piece “Country music is Republican propaganda”, that keep this world segregated.

Trace, are you forgetting about the many rap songs that speak about their patriotism? Bun B’s “Inauguration” is about his love for the South; Young Jeezy’s “My President is Black” is about former President Obama; and Eminem’s “Mosh” is about encouraging citizens to vote former President George W. Bush out of office. It is an uneducated, ignorant, and prejudiced statement to say “all country singers and their listeners are white, Trump supporters”, just as it is to say “all rap is offensive and misogynist”.

While you did seem to summarize many of the songs that tell stories of having a good time with beer, football, and girls, you missed many important other qualities of country music. How about “Take Your Time” by Sam Hunt? A song about fighting against domestic violence or “Temporary Home” by Carrie Underwood? A song about how the world can be a dark place, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Another one that comes to mind is “Concrete Angel” by Martina McBride, a powerful song about the consequences of child abuse. You were quick to judge the Zac Brown Band over one popular song, but you missed how in 2016, the band raised $40,000 in ticket sales to go towards their non-profit camp that lets all children, not just white children, experience the outdoors.

I am not sure if you just Googled “country songs with beer in the title”, but Luke Bryan’s “Drink a Beer” is about his brother and sister passing away, and “Whiskey Lullaby” is about suicide. You also cannot pick one lyric from a song and claim it as its title just to make your point seem valid. “Guys Can Get Drunk and Hookup, but it’s Different for Girls” is actually “Different for Girls” by Dierks Bentley and is about how people should treat women because they heal differently from heartbreak. “Stewardess is Something Sexy” is “Drunk on a Plane” by Dierks Bentley and is about a man getting over heartache, and actually has nothing to do with a stewardess. “Every Inch is a Mile, I Take It Slow as Fast as I Can” is “Body Like a Back Road” by Sam Hunt, and while I agree this song is about the physical aspects of women, by incorrectly using the title, you make yourself look unreliable. I am sure you meant well, but falsifying information to justify your opinion is not right.

Also, I’m not sure where you got some of your facts from. A southern state, Texas, is ranked number two behind California in gold-medaled high schools. The Nation’s widest black to white gap is in a northern state, Nebraska. Behind the Ivy League schools, Rice University of Houston, Texas is ranked in the top 15 of U.S. News’ National University Rankings. As of 2016, the CDC reported that tobacco use is actually highest in the Midwest, not the South. In addition, as of 2015, the CDC reported the highest prevalence of binge drinking was seen across the northern states. While some southern states do make the list of highest crime rates, northern states such as Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York all make the top 10 according to the FBI’s website. Again, while I am sure you meant well, the facts you used do not seem to add up.

You perfectly picked the country songs that portray women as sexual objects, and while I agree there are many songs of all genres that sing about women in this way, you missed many country songs that portray women as strong, beautiful, and independent human beings. “God Love Her” by Toby Keith, “The Strong One” by Clint Black, “She Let Herself Go” by George Strait, “Always on My Mind” by Willie Nelson, and “Good Hearted Women” by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson all sing about the strength, rebellion, and toughness that women possess.

To the author of “Country Music is Republican Propaganda”, you wrote your piece blinded by your obvious hatred of the country music genre, and maybe I wrote this as a lover of country music, but what I did not do is write out rude, wrong, judgmental, and stereotypical views. Each genre of music has its flaws; one thing is not all-inclusive. Some country artists do sing about drinking on Saturday and going to church on Sunday, and some rap artists sing about popping molly. What you clearly seemed to miss is that you cannot put an entire group of people into one box, judge them, and think your opinion should be a worldview.

In a time of political turmoil in our country, the last thing people need is someone saying “all people are ‘this’ because of ‘this’”. Saying, “all country music is racist”, is just like saying “all white people are racist”, “all Islam people are terrorists”, or “all black people are poor”. I hope you can clearly see how this and the words of your article are examples of stereotyping, prejudice, and close-mindedness. I am personally offended that anyone could be so ignorant and blatantly rude in their opinions of such a trivial matter as a genre of music. I trust that next time you write an opinion piece you genuinely think about the environment of today’s society and you at least fact check your information.

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