Country music star Jason Aldean lashed out at “cancel culture” during a concert in Cincinnati and said he wants to see America restored to what it once was. To chants of “USA,” the musician said cancel culture is real and described it as a campaign to destroy a person’s life just because of their opinions. “I love my country. I love my family, and I will do anything to protect that. I can tell you that right now,” he added.
Aldean came under the left-wing microscope when a video accompanying his hit song “Try That in a Small Town” was published recently. In it, the singer and his band perform in front of an American flag outside a Tennessee courthouse where race riots broke out in 1947. It also features images of Black Lives Matter rioters and has therefore been condemned as racist and even “pro-lynching.”
Georgia native Aldean said the song is about “the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief.”
The controversy has propelled the single to the top of several charts, including to the number one spot on US iTunes.
Former President Donald Trump spoke out about the attacks on the singer and called him a “fantastic guy” who had done nothing wrong. Republican Governor Ron DeSantis added that if the press attacks him, he must be doing something right. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and Arkansas’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders similarly encouraged Americans to support the singer.
Some Democrats, on the other hand, see it differently. Tennessee State Rep. Justin Jones called the hit a “lynching anthem.” Jones, who was expelled in April for joining anti-gun rights protestors on the House floor, told Kaitlin Collins on CNN that the song normalizes “racist, violent rhetoric,” adding that black people were forced to leave small towns because they weren’t welcome there by whites. “This is something we must condemn,” he said.