Country duo Brothers Osborne posted a series of tweets that have stirred up some political debate this week. The first post was made in response to reports about President Donald Trump allegedly calling African nations “shithole countries” in an Oval Office meeting on immigration. Those comments were first reported by “The Washington Post,” and Trump has since taken to Twitter to deny using that term.
The Brothers Osborne post in response to that reported “shithole countries” comment reads, “Our family started in a trailer park in Odenton, Maryland. Some would have called it a shithole. We called it a start.”
Twitter user @chrisvolguy wrote back, telling the guys to lay off talking about politics. He wrote, “Here’s some good advice from a fan. Stay away from politics. We could give a shit less about your political views. We just want to enjoy your music. No need to risk career suicide with a tweet. Just saying.”
Brothers Osborne retweeted that post, and wrote back indicating they had no plans to stop sharing their opinions via social media.
They say, “We came from nothing. If sticking up for the little guy means career suicide then so be it.”
There were a few folks on Twitter agreeing with @chrisvolguy’s point of view. They include @rob41278, who wrote, “You do realize u have Republicans as fans … don’t u??? If u alienate them, u will lose them as fans … hence goes your sales in merch and tickets … which in turn will screw your career. Good luck to u.”
Another Twitter user, @michaelwiki, also chimed in, saying, “Agreed. Screw these guys.”
But other Twitter users didn’t mind Brothers Osborne talking politics on the social media platform, although one notes that he thinks artists should not get political during their concerts.
Twitter user @apollo_311 writes, “I don’t care if a band talks politics on Twitter, just don’t talk politics when playing a concert. Concerts are a two-hour vacation from reality. Keep it that way.”
There were plenty of folks defending Brothers Osborne’s right to speak their minds, too.
One, @TaylorHudsonVO, used humor to get his point across, saying, “Ugh, I really hate being reminded that musicians are humans with opinions, and not mindless harmony-creating robots …”
Another, @SheilaDecker, posted, “I could give a shit whether or not you like someone’s music. But saying they have no right to political opinions because you want them to be one-dimensional, not decent human beings, disqualifies you from telling them what they should do.”
Brothers Osborne consider speaking their mind to be a time-honored tradition in country music. They point to Merle Haggard speaking out on behalf of the working class on “Are the Good Times Really Over for Good” and “Big City,” as well as Johnny Cash standing up for Native Americans on his concept album, “Bitter Tears,” and for the downtrodden with his song “The Man in Black.”
Backstage at the CMA Awards last November, the duo’s T.J. Osborne told reporters, “Merle Haggard, all those guys they were so bad ass because they spoke up for every American in the country. Not just some — all of them. We have our party songs, and we like to have a good time, but they were true artists. They said things that mattered to people, and I think that is absolutely the coolest thing about country music. It’s been a little lost lately. We hope that we can bring it back.”
Brothers Osborne will release their sophomore album in the coming months. The lead single from that project, “Shoot Me Straight,” is out now.