t was ten years ago tonight that the Dixie Chicks, extremely popular then and far from controversial, caused a massive stir when singer Natalie Maines declared on stage in London: “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.” It was a little more than a week before their fellow Texan launched a war based on lies.
Of course, hatred was quickly spewed in the Chicks’ direction by media types, political figures and country music yahoos—who never then or now get so excited when right-wing entertainers and media celebs make threats against a Democratic president.
Boycotts were immediately announced. Maines clarified two days later, “I feel the president is ignoring the opinions of many in the US and alienating the rest of the world.” But record sales and advance sales of concert tickets plunged.
Maines then issued an apology, of sorts: “As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect. We are currently in Europe and witnessing a huge anti-American sentiment as a result of the perceived rush to war. While war may remain a viable option, as a mother, I just want to see every possible alternative exhausted before children and American soldiers’ lives are lost. I love my country. I am a proud American.”