Dolly Parton has come out and said, “Black lives matter.” The country-music legend sat down with Billboard magazine to voice her support of the Black Lives Matter movement and let it be known that she thinks white people are selfish for thinking that their lives are the only ones that matter in America. Because the star is a conservative icon and a mainstay in Tennessee culture, many people are shocked that she has professed her support for the civil rights movement that aims to reduce police brutality and racial inequality for Black and Brown people in America.
“I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen,” Parton said regarding the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer. “And of course, Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!”
This is not the first time Dolly Parton has joined the fight for racial equality in the United States. Back in 2017 – in the middle of the Trump administration and against a lot of resistance, she advocated removing the word “Dixie” from her popular “Dixie Stampede.” Because the word Dixie celebrates the enslavement of Black people, she renamed the theater attraction, Dolly Parton’s Stampede, out of respect to Black people.
“There’s such a thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that,” Parton said. “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 realize 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.”
Parton advocates for education and racial awareness. She believes that white people have a duty to their Black brothers and sisters to learn about racism and all the ways it manifests. Just because someone did not intend to cause harm with their words or actions, it cannot be denied that racist words, phrases, and actions cause harm. According to Parton, it is up to the offender – white people – to learn how to treat Black people better.
“I would not want to leave that mess to somebody else,” Parton said. “A word to all the other artists out there: If you haven’t made those provisions, do that. You don’t want to leave that mess to your family for people to have to fight over. You need to take care of that yourself, even if it’s a pain in the ass — and it is.”
Parton also believes it is a Christian’s duty to say that Black lives matter.
“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.”
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