A drastic change of identity came Thursday for prominent country music group Lady Antebellum.
The band has recently decided to undergo a rebrand, distancing itself from the potentially offensive use of the word “antebellum” in light of resurgent nationwide racial tensions resulting from the officer-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis late last month, according to a now-viral official statement.
“Regretful and embarassed” over the term’s association with the slave-holding, pre-war South, band members Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley announced they would now perform under the moniker “Lady A” — a nickname developed by fans shortly the group’s debut.
“As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge … inclusive to all,” the group said.
“We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued.”
Dear fans… pic.twitter.com/7JlcH2NMl6
— Lady A (@ladya) June 11, 2020
“We’ve watched and listened more than ever these last few weeks, and our hearts have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality and biases black women and men have always faced and continue to face everyday. Now, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed.”
“When we set out together almost 14 years ago, we named our band after the southern ‘antebellum’ style home where we took our first photos. As musicians, it reminded us of all the music born in the south that influenced us … southern rock, blues, R&B, gospel and of course country. But we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before the civil war, which includes slavery,” they added.
As heartfelt and well-intentioned as the statement may have been, however, it was an answer in search of a question — the question, of course, being this: Who was “hurt” by the band’s original name?
Unsurprisingly, such questions were shot down with impunity by the band’s managers when The Western Journal reached out for comment.
The folks at “Lady A” would apparently prefer to virtue signal for the benefit of their progressive music industry peers, claiming they have been awakened to the error of their ways and will continue to “educate ourselves, have hard conversations and search the parts of our hearts that need pruning — to grow into better humans, better neighbors.”
What it is that they have learned that would make them go through with this rebrand, however, is beyond me.
Antebellum is an adjective, used for decades to describe the posh elegance of pre-war Southern architecture, literature and social convention.
It was not and is not a term back-loaded with some sort of dog-whistling nostalgia for slavery.
In fact, to argue that it is and should be treated as such would, in turn, be to argue in favor of retiring terms like “Elizabethan” as well.
How can we go on referring colloquially to an era in which the British crown was colonizing the globe and down-trodden feudal peasants accounted for an overwhelming majority of Europe’s population? How can we possibly have positive descriptors for an era in which bad things happened?
On second thought, perhaps I should learn to quit while I’m ahead.
For all I know, “Elizabethan” might just be the next term eliminated by the social justice left for being too bourgeois and politically incorrect.
That is their modus operandi: a never-ending barrage of search-and-destroy missions in which anything an activist or social organizer can paint as politically incorrect is targeted for destruction.
Anything flawed must go — and quickly.
If something historically or socially valuable gets swept up in the confusion, well, that’s one less structural pillar to tear down when the left gets to work laying the foundations for their latest attempt at progress.
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