Antiwar Country Superstars, The Dixie Chicks, To Perform in Chicago United Center, Tonight August 15, 2006

“Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.” This is what Natalie Maines, the Texan lead singer said in London on March 10, 2003, nine-days prior to the invasion against Iraq. This led to outrage, boycotts, songs pulled from radio playlists and threats from the red-state country community. It is a song that is remarkably similar to my own experiences and when I saw them speak and sing on the topic of censorship on 60 Minutes–Sunday May 14, 2006, I was very moved and became quite emotional. Like them, I was involved in a national controversy over antiwar speech that emanated from an e-mail on October 31, 2002. Like them, I was the object of national vilification and efforts to destroy my livelihood. I don't claim to have their courage but I have tried to emulate their refusal to accede to majority opinion, at least at the time, or to recant basic principles due to public pressure.

Those of us who frankly have the fortune of some exposure due to our antiwar beliefs need to recognise that we owe it to our country to maintain both academic and artistic freedom, resist censorship and let freedom ring!

Dixie Chicks, "Not Ready to Make Nice." (links are to seminal documents in Kirstein academic-freedom violation case.)

Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting

I’m through with doubt
There’s nothing left for me to figure out
I’ve paid a price
And I’ll keep paying

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should


I know you said
Can’t you just get over it
It turned my whole world around
And I kind of like it  

I made my bed and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’
It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting

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