“I’ve been surprised on both sides”: Mickey Guyton reflects on her white country peers’ response to racism

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Following the killing of 46-year-old black man George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, in Minneapolis, the past two weeks have brought a wave of protests and calls for justice on social media.

As one of the few black artists in country music, Mickey Guyton has been closely following the movement. Earlier this week, she shared her powerful new song, “Black Like Me,” which tells her story of growing up as a black woman in America. 

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Mickey reflects the responses she’s seen from other artists in her genre, and admits that some have surprised her by taking a strong stance against racism.

“There have been some artists I was not expecting to be downright saying ‘No.’ Morgan Wallen publicly said it on his page. I respect that,” she says, but adds that other acts have surprised her by how silent they’ve been on the issue.

“It’s sad that it’s scary for people to publicly denounce racism. I hurt for them, the fear that they’re feeling,” she adds. “So yes, I’ve been surprised. I’ve been surprised on both sides.”

Mickey points out that country artists often feel immense pressure to stay mute on controversial topics, citing the Dixie Chicks as an example of a group whose political opinions took a massive toll on their career.  Still, says Mickey, that fear is no excuse not to speak up on such an important issue. 

“There’s so much fear about being canceled by their fans, so I understand that fear. But we don’t want those fans anyway,” Mickey goes on to say. “Who wants racist fans? I certainly don’t.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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