Sheryl Crow hits out at Jason Aldean's song 'Try That In A Small Town': 'This is not American'

Sheryl Crow criticized Jason Aldean and his song 'Try That In A Small Town' amidst accusations that it promotes "pro-lynching" sentiments.

The video for the song was shot at the historical Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, which brought attention to its connection to the lynching of Henry Choate, a Black teenager in 1927. Many people found the song's content offensive, but Aldean refuted any harmful intentions, according to a report by BBC News.

In the video, Aldean is seen standing in front of the courthouse, with an American flag displayed behind him, singing about behaviors he believes are typical in larger cities but are looked down upon in small-town America.
The lyrics make references to actions such as "car-jacking an elderly woman," "brandishing a gun at a liquor store owner," and "verbally assaulting a police officer," all of which are suggested to be unlikely occurrences in small towns.
Tennessee State Representative, Justin Jones, strongly denounced the song as a 'repugnant anthem promoting racist violence.' The music video, uploaded on YouTube, garnered more than eight million views and featured visuals from Black Lives Matter protests, showcasing scenes of demonstrations, riots, and confrontations between law enforcement and the public.

One specific line from the song reads: "Try that in a small town full of good ol’ boys, raised up right if you’re looking for a fight," and when coupled with images from BLM protests, the source of the controversy becomes apparent.

Sheryl Crow, herself hailing from a small town, expressed her disapproval of the song on Twitter, directly quoting some of its lyrics and addressing Jason Aldean.

"I come from a small town, and even folks in small towns are fed up with violence," she stated, making sure to tag Aldean in her message. "Promoting violence has nothing to do with small-town values or American ideals. You, of all people, should understand that, having survived a mass shooting. This kind of content isn't representative of American or small-town culture; it's simply disappointing."

In response to the growing criticism, Aldean issued a statement defending the song. "Over the last 24 hours, I've been accused of releasing a song that supports lynching (a song that has been out since May) and have been unfairly compared regarding my views on the nationwide BLM protests," he expressed.

He further asserted, "These accusations have no basis and are potentially harmful." Aldean clarified that the song aimed to capture "the sense of community I experienced while growing up" and emphasized that it did not contain any references to race. He also pointed out that the video clips used in the music video were authentic news footage.

Aldean continued, stating, "I've never been secretive about my political views, and I understand that many of us in this country have differing opinions on how we can return to a state of normalcy, where we can have at least one day without troubling headlines keeping us awake at night. This song is about the longing for that sense of peace."

The controversy surrounding 'Try That In A Small Town' has ignited a wider discussion concerning the responsibility of artists in tackling sensitive subjects and the influence their work can have on society.

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