Does country music legend Dolly Parton support the Black Lives Matter movement? Her answer is a no-brainer.
“I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen,” the 74-year-old star recently told Billboard, sharing her support for the ongoing movement but admitting that she hasn’t attended any protests. “And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!”
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Parton’s comments arrive on the heels of country music’s own reckoning with systemic racism and racist stereotypes following the protests sparked by the unjust deaths of Black Americans including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The Dixie Chicks, for example, renamed themselves simply The Chicks, because of Dixie’s nostalgic connections to the Civil War South. The group Lady Antebellum, changed their name to Lady A for similar reasons, but came under fire when it turned out they sued a Black artist already using that pseudonym in the process.
In 2018, Parton, too, made a moniker adjustment when she renamed one of her dinner benefits from Dixie Stampede to Dolly Parton’s Stampede. “There’s such a thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that,” the singer told Billboard. “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 realise that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don’t be a dumbass. That’s where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.”
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Later in the article, the “Jolene” singer also spoke about her no-judgment outlook on life. “First of all, I’m not a judgmental person. I do believe we all have a right to be exactly who we are, and it is not my place to judge,” she said. “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.”
This story originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.