Is Jason Aldean the end of cancel culture?
Country song 'Try That in a Small Town' hits No. 1 on iTunes despite accusations of racism, promoting gun violence and lynching in the music video
Country music singer Jason Aldean should be in hiding, his career destroyed and his reputation shattered. The openly-conservative performer is the target of a campaign alleging that his new music video promotes gun violence and racism.
Instead, Aldean’s song “Try That in A Small Town” hit No. 1 on iTunes, and he continues to tour. Plus, several Republican presidential candidates have publicly embraced him.
Aldean may be the beginning of the end of cancel culture.
‘Pro Lyching’ Video
The height of the controversy was the viral accusation that the video (watch below) about protesters burning and destroying cities in the summer of 2020 is a “modern lynching song.” It was filmed in front of the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee where black teenager Henry Choate was killed by a mob almost 100 years ago.
In response to the accusations, Country Music Television (CMT) pulled Aldean’s video off the channel.
Mainstream media ran dozens of stories on the lynching narrative. Only Fox News asked the production company TackleBox about how the courthouse location was chosen.
It said the courthouse is a "popular filming location outside of Nashville" that has been used for multiple music videos and movies. Also, TackleBox said Aldean "did not pick the location."
Aldean called the interpretations of his video’s message totally false.
I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and was subject to the comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests. These references are not only meritless, but dangerous.
Cancel Campaign for Racism
Whoopi Goldberg on “The View” Thursday proclaimed that the video is racist. Goldberg looked into the camera and addressed Aldean: “You’ve gone too far.”
The song’s lyrics are about how small-town Americans wouldn’t have allowed the urban violence that overwhelmed police:
'Round here we take care of our own / You cross that line, it won't take long / For you to find out
Goldberg said the protesters were actually taking care of the cities:
When you make it about Black Lives Matter, people kind of say, ‘Well, are you talking about Black people? What are you talking about here?'
Aldean said in a statement earlier this week: “There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it— and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage.”
Canceled for Guns
Before the reasons to cancel Aldean was race, it was about gun control. Activist Sharon Watts of Moms Demand Action (a Bloomberg-funded group) seems to be the instigator of the cancellation attempt. She tweeted on July 16:
Aldean who was on-stage during the mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert in 2017 that killed 60 people and wounded over 400 more - has recorded a song called “Try That In A Small Town” about how he and his friends will shoot you if you try to take their guns.
Aldean’s song actually says: Got a gun that my granddad gave me /They say one day they're gonna round up /Well, that s**t might fly in the city, good luck
Singer Sherly Crow tweeted:
I’m from a small town…There’s nothing small-town or American about promoting violence. You should know that better than anyone having survived a mass shooting.
Aldean, who was performing during the most deadly mass shooting in U.S. history, defended himself, saying:
I was present at Route 91-where so many lost their lives- and our community recently suffered another heartbreaking tragedy. NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart.
Usually, when someone is canceled, they are left high and dry by other famous people. But Aldean has been promoted.
Former Pres. Donald Trump who is running for reelection posted: “Jason Aldean is a fantastic guy who just came out with a great new song. Support Jason all the way.”
Nikki Haley, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, said Thursday night that she added Aldean’s song to her campaign playlist at a stop in Greenville. She posted a video of people listening to it.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is also running for president, told Fox about the Aldean controversy:
We need to restore sanity to this country. I mean, what is going on that that would be something that would be censored? Give me a break. We're off the rocker here in the United States with a lot of this stuff, with cancel culture
Singer Travis Tritt tweeted to Aldean:
The views shared by many accounts on this platform are not actually representative of the vast majority of the population of this country. Say what you want to say and be who you want to be. Damn the social media torpedoes.
The end of cancel culture?
Up to now when someone got canceled, he had to permanently leave the public square. I went back to my Substack posts on cancel culture to see if anyone I’ve written about eventually got their career back.