Wednesday, February 3, 2021
– Country artists who responded on Wednesday to the racist comment from singer Morgan Wallen were clear in their condemnation. Yet, many country musicians have not made any comment.
Black country singer Mickey Guyton, the only Black female on a major label, said, "When I read comments saying "this is not who we are" I laugh because this is exactly who country music is. I've witnessed it for 10 gd years. You guys should just read some of the vile comments hurled at me on a daily basis. It's a cold hard truth to face but it is the truth."
Guyton has persistently spoken out about racial issues since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May.
Outspoken country star Maren Morris was one of the first to tweet, saying at around midnightin response to Kelsea Ballerini, "It actually IS representative of our town because this isn't his first "scuffle" and he just demolished a huge streaming record last month regardless. We all know it wasn't his first time using that word. We keep them rich and protected at all costs with no recourse."
Jason Isbell tweeted, "Wallen's behavior is disgusting and horrifying. I think this is an opportunity for the country music industry to give that spot to somebody who deserves it, and there are lots of black artists who deserve it."
Black country singer Rissi Palmer, who hosts the podcast Color Me Country, said, "Will y'all call me when the 'this isn't us' talk stops and the 'this is a systematic issue that we need to deeply examine, completely deconstruct, and rectify" conversation begins?"
Nashville-based singer Brittney Spencer, who is one of the CMT Women of Country, said, "Racism has run rampant throughout country music's entire history. when everyone's ready to have that honest conversation, we may actually progress. til then, folks will be shocked, appalled & eager to suggest that nashville is anything more than what we witnessed today."
"yes, nashville is full of kind, loving & charitable people. it's also still battling racism at its very core. there's a lot of work to be done."
Margo Price, who is not afraid to tweet her mind, said, "We can't let this toxic, racist behavior go unchecked."
Bobby Bones said, "I hate it. There's no room for it...He's got a lot of work to do...I am an advocate of Morgan going away for awhile."
"I grew up in a town that was separated by railroad tracks," he said. "I saw it (racism) first hand."
"I'm hoping that Morgan takes care of it, learns and teaches others," he said.
Old Dominion said in a tweet, "To pretend racism isn't a problem in county music is to pretend racism isn't a problem in America. May we continue to learn, grow, & make right what is wrong by broadening our ❤️s & minds. May we listen to the stories of those we've ignored so we, as country music, can be better."
Cassadee Pope tweeted, "I'm disgusted. What happened does NOT represent all of country music. 'Sorry' is only as heavy as it's actions weigh. Let's see if it carries what it should in days to come. I believe in change, but not if it's performative. Time for someone to read a fucking book."
Singer songwriter Kelleigh Bannen said, "I get the impulse to be like 'this isn't my Nashville/country music' but let's not bypass here. We've got work to do fam."
Singer Kallie Shor said, "The only way people will wake up is seeing that this behavior has real life consequences. Someone had to be the example. This really sucks for him, but it's insane to imagine this wouldn't happen."
In checking social media posts from other country artists, among those who said nothing were Luke Combs, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Chris Young, Jon Pardi, John Rich, Brad Paisley, Chris Lane and Jason Aldean.