Country star, Dolly Parton, who is rarely political, has come out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in light of recent protests over the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other unarmed black people.
“Do we think our little white a**es are the only ones that matter? No!”
Parton, who is the latest cover star of Billboard magazine, used the opportunity to showcase her support for racial injustice protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. In a new interview with the magazine, the 74-year-old country legend opened up about fighting against police brutality and systemic racism. Even if she may not attend in-person protests.
“I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen,” said Parton. “And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!”
“There’s such a thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that,”
The country music star isn’t known to often speak about her political or social issue beliefs. Having said that, she has definitely taken more progressive actions over the past few years to hold herself and her brand accountable for things that have racist symbols or undertones.
The artist explained how she approaches communities expressing that a symbol or phrase is offensive. Even if that iconography has been openly used for decades. Back in 2018, she rebranded her Dixie Stampede attraction to Dolly Parton’s Stampede. After she realized the term “Dixie” was problematic.
“There’s such a thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that,” Parton admitted. “When they said ‘Dixie’ was an offensive word, I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to offend anybody. This is a business. We’ll just call it The Stampede.’ As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don’t be a dumbass,” she continued. “That’s where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.”
Other country bands such as Lady Antebellum and The Dixie Chicks have also changed their names this year for similar reasons. They go by Lady A and The Chicks, respectively.
“I do believe we all have a right to be exactly who we are, and it is not my place to judge
The “Jolene” singer also opened up about her do-no-harm philosophy. Stating that she wouldn’t want to judge how anyone lives their life. “First of all, I’m not a judgmental person,” Parton said. “I do believe we all have a right to be exactly who we are. And it is not my place to judge. All these good Christian people, that are supposed to be such good Christian people. The last thing we’re supposed to do is to judge one another. God is the judge, not us. I just try to be myself. I try to let everybody else be themselves.”
“History should not be forgotten, but we need not glamorize those who do not deserve our praise”
In June, earlier this year, focus was renewed on statues and monuments that stood for controversial historical figures and symbols. Fans of Parton called on her home state of Tennessee to replace all Confederate statues with a “monument” of the beloved music icon.
An online petition, which has over 22,000 signatures as of Friday. Calls for the state’s officials to remove the “statues memorializing confederate officers.” And “honor a true Tennessee hero, Dolly Parton.”
The petition states the following. “History should not be forgotten, but we need not glamorize those who do not deserve our praise. Aside from her beautiful music, which has touched the hearts and lives of millions of Americans. Dolly Parton’s philanthropic heart has unquestionably changed the world for the better. Let’s replace the statues of men who sought to tear this country apart with a monument to the woman who has worked her entire life to bring us closer together. “
The BLM movement was reignited at the end of May earlier this year. After the brutal police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man. Since then, protests have swept across the country, with a lot of celebrities voicing their support for the movement. The organization has gained support from Democrats and notoriety with Republicans. However, some protests have also escalated and resulted in property damage, looting and violence.