By: Kristle L. Adler
“Forgive…sounds good….forget…I’m not sure I could.”
The opening line to The Chicks’ (formerly known as the Dixie Chicks) song, “Not Ready to Make Nice” from the 2006 album, “Taking the Long Way.”
You may remember the uproar that lead-singer Natalie Maines caused for her 2003 comment about then President George W. Bush, where she said to a roaring crowd at a London concert that they [the Chicks] “were ashamed that the President of the United States was from Texas”, their hometown.
The mainstream media and conservatives alike went hand-in-hand trying to cancel the female trio out of not just country music, but out of the music industry entirely. Music stations refused to play their music as fans called them traitors, protesting by smashing their CDs down to confetti.
But whatever happened to Freedom of Speech under the First Amendment? Criticizing our government was what this nation was founded on, and men and women have died fighting for that very right- it is what separates our great nation from communism and makes us one of the greatest countries in the world. Other celebrities have said far worse and were never treated the way this band was.
People called The Chicks communists, traitors, unpatriotic, and ignorant. The fact is, these women supported the troops, but DID NOT support the war that President Bush was forced on Americans. They didn’t want the war, they wanted peace. They didn’t support the poorly thought-out, trigger-happy nature of President Bush, and frankly, they felt he wasn’t that bright.
This was absolutely profound, to come from the most unlikely of places, from an all-American female country band from Texas? The south just couldn’t handle it. The Chicks were asked to apologize, but Natalie Maines doubled down and stuck it to everyone who turned their backs on her. It takes great courage to get back on stage when someone has written a death threat, naming you specifically and stated that you will be “shot dead” at your scheduled concert-and that’s exactly what they did- they got back on stage.
In 2020, they dropped “Dixie” and just kept the “Chicks” part of the band name to completely sever ties to the Confederate-era of the south, which Dixie refers to. You have to look at this and have admiration for these women. They didn’t need to give an explanation, they simply made it clear why they changed their name with the release of their new song, “March March”. The lyrics and the video pay homage to those ridiculed and marginalized by society, and those victimized by police brutality. At the end of the video scrolls, the names of Black lives taken unjustly, like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Trayvon Martin.
I saw a lot of backlash on Facebook on my own feed when the Chicks changed their name. People asked if they were still relevant and scoffed at the fact that it was even news. The only thing I could infer from that was that there were racial undertones we have seen surface these past few years. I knew where they were going with statements like that. For some reason, patriotism has become synonymous with racism in this fine country.
There is something to be said about these three talented, intelligent, and caring women. In my opinion, they were ahead of their time in 2003 when they called the president out for a war that was killing thousands of innocent people and costing our country millions of dollars. They were onto something and should have been given more credit.
“Not Ready to Make Nice” is an anthem that tells the world that they will never back down. My favorite line in the song is, “It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger.”
No truer words have been spoken and never have they carried the kind of weight they do today. To answer your question yes, these Chicks ARE still relevant.
Have you listened to them? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.