Iconic country musician, entertainer and business woman Dolly Parton recently expressed her support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the latest issue of Billboard, Parton commented on the recent protests during her interview. Although Parton admits she hasn’t attended any marches, she still recognizes the courage of protesters standing up for what they believe in, and she supports their efforts to make their voices be heard.
“And of course Black lives matter,” Parton said. “Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!”
Parton states she aims to be an entertainer that everyone can enjoy, but that she will always stand by her values and beliefs to be her true, authentic self. There’s always a risk of offending fans or losing business when celebrities state their opinions, but Parton cares less about money and more about making sure all of her fans feel respected.
“First of all, I’m not a judgmental person,” Parton said. “I do believe we all have a right to be exactly who we are, and it is not my place to judge. All these good Christian people that are supposed to be such good Christian people, the last thing we’re supposed to do is judge one another. God is the judge, not us. I just try to be myself. I try to let everybody else be themselves.”
This isn’t the first time that Parton has publicly promoted racial equality. In 2018, after realizing the negative Confederacy association to the term “Dixie”, Parton was quick to rename one of her popular dinner attractions from “Dixie Stampede” to “Dolly Parton’s Stampede”.
“There’s such a thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that,” Parton explains in the Billboard interview. “When they said ‘Dixie’ was an offensive word, I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to offend anybody. This is a business. We’ll just call it The Stampede.’ As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don’t be a dumbass. That’s where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.”
Dolly Parton isn’t the only celebrity to realize the hurtful connotation to the word “Dixie” in recent years. The American pop country band The Dixie Chicks recently renamed the group “The Chicks” in light of today’s racial injustices. The renowned country group Lady Antebellum also changed the name of their band to Lady A in early July in an attempt to recognize inequality.
Speaking up in support of the Black Lives Matter movement isn’t the first time Parton has shown her altruistic side, either. Parton is no stranger to progressive cultural changes. In another interview with Billboard, this time from 2014, Parton showed her support for the LGBTQ+ community saying, “I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are, and to love who they love.”
Parton is also famously known for her philanthropic work, such as through the Dollywood Foundation and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Recently, Parton donated one million dollars to Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s COVID-19 research reserve.
This country music icon has been making history for over fifty years, and she isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Ten-time Grammy Award winner Dolly Parton has proved time after time that she is truly an American legend in more ways than one.