What's important about the Dixie Chicks
by Jerry Gilio
October 26, 2006

With the upcoming release of the documentary, "Shut Up & Sing", there's renewed interest in the Dixie Chicks and what they've come to refer to as "The Incident". As you no doubt recall, in March of 2003 singer Natalie Maines told a London audience "we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas." There was a reaction back home, to say the least.

The important thing isn't what Natalie said. It was her opinion, which she's entitled to like everyone else.

The important thing isn't the way they were shunned. What she said wasn't banned by the government. That would have been dangerous censorship. People showed their disapproval by voting with their wallets, which is their right.

What's important is that the Dixie Chicks didn't back down. They showed conviction and stood by what they said. They did this when their careers were threatened. Natalie did this when her life was threatened. That's the kind of courage that founded this county.

What's also important and sad is that in a country that prides itself on being free, people would despise the exercise of freedom. There are people who are so threatened by disagreement that they would send a singer a death threat because of a comment she made. You want an example of an un-American activity? That's a great one.

Another un-American activity is to say, "My country, right or wrong", or its cousin, "America, love it or leave it". If you love America, you never want it to be wrong. So when you see America making a mistake you speak out, you try to fix it. That's what patriots do. That's what Natalie did. That's what's important.

Copyright © 2006