Winston Taney, American Renaissance, February 16, 2021
Last week, the media was stirred into yet another racial frenzy after video footage appeared of country music star Morgan Wallen using the “N-word” with friends after a long night of drinking and partying. He quickly got the treatment.
The Washington Post did an entire story contrasting Mr. Wallen’s “racist slur” with another country singer’s “coming out” as homosexual. For the Post, these incidents represent how “country music’s future [is] hanging in the balance.” Mr. Wallen represents its past (intolerant, white, and backwards), and the gay singer represents its future (inclusive, diverse, and progressive).
The music industry was just as eager to condemn Mr. Wallen. A New York Times story explained that “a new generation” of country music stars have pushed for the industry to reform itself in light of Mr. Wallen’s use of the word. Fellow country artist Jason Isbell called use of the slur “disgusting and horrifying,” and suggested that Mr. Wallen’s music label replace him with a black musician.
One black country singer, Adia Victoria, complained that “the system is set up for White boys like [Wallen] to succeed, and to have a platform the size and reach that he enjoys,” in contrast to the “many talented Black artists . . . who aren’t able to get their foot in the door or aren’t able to make a viable career.” Another black country singer, Mickey Guyton, said the incident proves that “[t]he hate runs deep” in the country music industry. Miss Guyton asked the industry: “So what exactly are y’all going to do about it?”
Mr. Wallen was suspended from his recording contract, disqualified from award shows, and taken off the radio. He may have to stop giving concerts. He issued a long apology, sought re-education from black authorities, and promised reform. As usual, contrition did no good. The industry has not budged. However, his recent release is still the top country album, and sales have increased because of the flap.
Why should white advocates care about this pathetic episode?
First, it is a reminder of what happens when new people enter a system: They change it. Over the last decade, country music has tried very hard to shed its reputation as white and conservative, and has looked for non-white and progressive voices. This led to what is often called “New Country,” a more diverse, watered-down country that sounds more like pop hip-hop (with a Southern twang and references to John Deere tractors and Wrangler jeans). And New Country brought a new agenda, vividly on display with criticism from blacks such as Miss Victoria and Miss Guyton.
Whoever the newcomers are, the result is the same: exclusion of the old.
Second, the flap highlights an expansion of the progressive campaign. Progressives have pushed anti-white ideas into many parts of American life, but rural America has resisted their control.
The 2016 and 2020 elections made this point sharper than ever, as the suburbs increasingly aligned with American cities, and rural areas became the Republican core. If white America, and by extension, the American Right, has a future, it is in the hinterlands. And that is why country music, the last part of American popular culture with any semblance of a white identity, is the top post-Trump target.
If whites are to reclaim their country, they must reclaim the country; protect rural America from the progressive invasion.
Finally, the Wallen controversy highlights the dangers of cultural mixing. It is clear from the video that Mr. Wallen was using the word the way black people do, as a non-racial way to refer to friends. He was calling a white friend a ni**er, not to denigrate black people or even to suggest that his friend was acting black. In that sense, it was hardly a “racial slur.”
Why would a white singer, who grew up in a little town in Tennessee, use the “N word” like a black person who grew up in Harlem or Detroit? Not because Mr. Wallen represents the old country music, but because he represents the new. Elites at least pretend to see a reactionary redneck using a racial slur, but the video shows a pathetic vulgar drunk talking more like a rapper than a redneck. He was speaking as a man without a language, a home, or an identity.
Multiculturalism created the problem.
I am not suggesting that we criticize Mr. Wallen, but we must scorn the system that created him and that has polluted white communities and culture. The media says he insulted blacks; instead, he insulted us.