South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) is firing back at those on the left condemning country singer Jason Aldean for the music video to his song “Try That In a Small Town.”
“I am shocked by what I’m seeing in this country with people attempting to cancel this song and cancel Jason and his beliefs,” Noem said in a video posted to her Twitter account. “Him and [his wife] Brittany are outspoken about their love for law and order and for their love of this country and I’m just grateful for them.”
The governor’s comments came after CMT yanked the music video for Aldean’s new song off its network. The song, which came out in May, sparked controversy on the left, among those who argued the song has racial undertones and is actually about Second Amendment activism.
That controversy was reignited this month after the music video debuted. In it, Aldean — against a backdrop of violent protesting — sings, “Yeah, ya think you’re tough? Well, try that in a small town, see how far ya make it down the road. Around here, we take care of our own, you cross that line, it won’t take long for you to find out, I recommend you don’t.”
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Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R) also voiced her support for the country music star, tweeting, “Cancel culture is the enemy of freedom of expression.” She added that she “stand[s] with” Aldean.
In addition to support from Noem and Blackburn, Aldean received praise from his wife Brittany.
Aldean, for his part, is pushing back against those who claim the song is about race or ethnicity.
“In the past 24 hours I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and was subject to the comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests,” he wrote in a social media post. “These references are not only meritless, but dangerous.”
The singer-songwriter continued, “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.”
Noem ended her praise for Aldean by inviting him to perform anywhere in South Dakota — including the front lawn of the governor’s residence in Pierre.
“I just want them to know that we support them, we love them, thank you for writing a song that America can get behind,” said the governor.
Watch Noem’s full comments in the video below:
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