Photography @justinmrusek

Controversies garner a lot of attention in the social media age, especially when they’re related to celebrities. From Elon Musk to Taylor Swift, we have witnessed a lot of them and will continue to do so. 

One recent example revolves around the song Try That in a Small Town by Jason Aldean, which was leading the iTunes charts. It has become a matter of national debate with several people calling it racist and violent. 

Jason Aldean & the Song

Jason Aldean is a popular country singer from Macon, Ga, who started his music career at 15. The controversial song was released in May, but the scene got heated only when its video was launched on July 14th.

The song hit the top spot on the US iTunes charts after Country Music Television (CMT) removed it from the rotation after people criticized it for being racist. 

Why is the Song So Controversial? 

The song’s video showed riots, police encounters, vandalizing, etc. As a result, people were quick to point out that it showed racial injustice protests in a bad light. Most of the clips in the video are from the US, but footage from other countries is also there.

Jason Aldean removed a scene from music video a clip showing news video of a Black Lives Matter protest projected on a courthouse, after backlash that Aldean said accused him of being “pro-lynching.”

The Troublesome History 

The backdrop of the song is the popular Maury County Courthouse draped in an American flag, and that’s where the controversy actually lies. It was a hotbed of race riots in 1946, which resulted in the arrest of 100 black men and multiple trials against them. 

Moreover, an 18-year-old black boy named Henry Choate was dragged through the city and lynched at the same place. The unfortunate event happened after he was accused of attacking a 16-year-old white girl, despite the fact that she couldn’t identify him as the assailant.

What does Aldean Say? 

After the controversy hit the nation, Jason Aldean came forward and issued a lengthy statement to defend his song. Jason was accused of being pro-gun and racist after the song’s release by outraged protestors on social media. Moreover, they have insinuated that Jason was upset with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests and showed his resentment through the song.

However, Jason has called the accusations dangerous and that there is no truth to them. According to him, the song doesn’t contain lyrics that call out race or ethnicity. Moreover, Jason says he respects everyone’s interpretation, but those accusing him of being racist and violent have gone too far.

How Has the Public Reacted? 

Since the song has been a matter of debate, several prominent people have reacted its controversial undertones.

Black Twitter wasn’t having it saying Who Is Us?

Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action 

Shannon Watts is a prominent gun control activist and has claimed that she was the one who started canceling the song. She also pointed out that Jason was invited to the Covenant School in Nashville, where a mass shooting occurred. 

Sheryl Crow 

The singer-songwriter, Sheryl Crow, has also responded to the controversy by saying that people in small towns are tired and sick of violence. Sheryl said there was nothing American about promoting violence and that he should know that after surviving a mass shooting. She has been a prominent gun control activist and performed a vigil at the Covenant School in Nashville after a mass shooting.

Representative Justin Jones 

The Tennessee House of Representatives member, Justin Jones, has asked everyone to condemn the song by calling it a shameful display of violence and extremism. Moreover, he called for stricter gun control to protect people from regular gun shootings.

Anthony Tilghman

Anthony Tilghman, is an 3x Award-winning Photojournalist, Education advocate, Mentor, and Published Author with years of experience in media, photography, marketing and branding. He is the Winner of the...