A local radio station played the new Dixie Chicks single today. I can't stand Country music. I'm not really a fan of the Dixie Chicks. I am, however, a fan of free speech. For that reason, I'm going to buy their newest album.
Apparently the radio station (not a Country station) has been getting hate mail telling them not to play the new Dixie Chicks. Today, the lovely DJs played the single (they are not owned by Clear Channel which, in a Bill O'Reilly type fit of intolerance has announced it will not play the Dixie Chicks at all) and asked for responses. The vast majority were positive (luckily). There were a few that were insanely bigoted, though.
One military man who refused to give his real name, but gave only his rank (which actually speaks volumes), went off on a tirade about how the Dixie Chicks were Nazis. Um...not at all. One could argue that there are those within our government who fit the definition (real or implied) of "Nazi" more so than any of the Dixie Chicks. This man went on to insist the Dixie Chicks had attacked the soldiers and that they need to take it up with the president because the decision was his, not the soldiers.
Um...what? With his obvious lack of information and insistence on attacks (and complete lack of a grasp on reality), I really have to wonder if this guy IS Bill O'Reilly. The Dixie Chicks NEVER attacked the soldiers. They said they were ashamed they were from the same state as Bush.
I tried desperately to call into the station to tell them that a military wife (whose husband is actually over there right now) completely disagreed with that guy as does my husband. I couldn't get through, though. I am planning to send them an e-mail.
Another caller insisted that claiming this is about free speech is "asinine." Yet again, we have a WTF moment. That's EXACTLY what this is about. He ranted and raved a bit and really sounded like an idiot. At one point, the DJs asked him if he even knew what the Dixie Chicks said that started the boycott. He had no idea. They had to tell him. He insisted we shouldn't support any artists who don't support the president. So the DJs listed a few other artists and asked him if he owned their albums. He answered, "Yes," for a few. They pointed out that those artists actively campaigned AGAINST Bush. He had no real answer.
I could rant forever here, but I'll resist that urge. I'm all for free speech from either side of the aisle. If someone doesn't agree with me, I want an open forum to discuss with them. I want to understand their side. I want to help them understand mine. Recently, there have been so many issues where I was firmly on one side, but I've really come to grasp the view of the other side. In most cases, my views haven't changed, but I'm more understanding. It's difficult to vilify people once you get to know them.
I want there to be an open discourse on all issues. The fact that we can have that is one of the reasons I love this country. Yet when we have people getting up in arms and even boycotting when they don't even fully understand why, then that discourse cannot occur. That is simply un-American.