The Jason Aldean 'Try That In A Small Town' controversy explained

The Jason Aldean 'Try That In A Small Town' controversy explained
Jason Aldean's Controversial Song "Try That in a Small Town" Debuts No. …

Country music singer Jason Aldean is facing an intense wave of backlash after his song, “Try That In A Small Town”, went viral online, prompting many people to accuse him of dog-whistle racism.

The song sets footage of Black Lives Matter protests alongside lyrics like: “Try that in a small town / See how far ya make it down the road / Around here, we take care of our own.”

The song continues: “Cuss out a cop, spit in his face / Stomp on the flag and light it up / Yeah, ya think you’re tough.”

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The BLM protests were a direct reaction to the murder of African-American man George Floyd by a white police officer.

The clips in the music video, which also include an attempted convenience store robbery and other apparent crimes, alternate with shots of Aldean and his band performing in the public square of Columbia, Tennessee.

To make things worse, the video is shot in front of the Maury County Courthouse, which at times appears to be on fire with images of burning US flags projected onto it. It’s the same building where a mob hanged 18-year-old African-American Henry Choate from the balcony in 1927.

Columbia is also the site of an infamous 1946 race riot that nearly resulted in the lynching of future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall.

Another lyric goes: “Got a gun that my granddad gave me / They say one day they’re gonna round up / Well that s--- might fly in the city / Good luck.”

Country Music Television (CMT) confirmed Tuesday that it had pulled the video from rotation.

Social media has been ablaze with the controversy for much of the last week. Democrat state representative for Tenessee, Justin Jones, called the song "heinous", and a "shameful vision of gun extremism and vigilantism".

One user said that if Lil Durk, a black American rapper, made a response to Aldean's video called "Try That On The South Side of Chicago", it would likely be denounced as violent.

Others shared videos explaining exactly why people are interpreting the song as dog-whistle racism.

Aldean has stood by the song, saying: “There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it – and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage – and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music – this one goes too far.”

Needless to say, the people defending him are all the ones you might expect.

Top Republicans have jumped to Aldean’s aid, including former president Donald Trump and Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

“Jason Aldean is a fantastic guy who just came out with a great new song. Support Jason all the way. MAGA!!!” Trump posted on his Truth Social account.

The conservative influencer Ben Shapiro posted a video to his YouTube channel titled “Jason Aldean REFUSES To Get Cancelled”, in which he discusses the controversy and takes Aldean’s side.

Most recently, Aldean has been filmed at a concert over the weekend defending the song further. He said: “What I am is a proud American.”

“I love our country. I want to see it restored to what it once was before all this bulls*** started happening to us.”

“I love my country, I love my family, and I will do anything to protect that. I can tell you that.”

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