In today’s political climate, Natalie Maines serves as much more than a footnote.
Just over a dozen years ago, what the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines said on a London stage was blasphemy and to some, just this side of treason.
“Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all,” Natalie told a concert crowd. “We do not want this war… this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.”
A tsunami of hatred ensued. Fans boycotted their music and held rallies destroying Chicks albums and t-shirts. In the media, on the radio and everywhere they went, the Chicks as a whole were vilified.
Natalie tried clarifying herself a few days later stating, “I feel the president is ignoring the opinions of many in the U.S. and alienating the rest of the world.” But the damage had already been done.
It might be hard to imagine how something like that could create such a backlash, but only 18 months after 9/11, patriotism was soaring. Whether people agreed with President Bush’s decisions or not, those feelings were overshadowed by overflowing American pride.