Growing up Latina in Texas means country music is going to be a part of your life, you can love it or hate it but it’s always there. I’ve written in the past about how much I love country, but during the election so much changed, including this old love of mine.
It started when Loretta Lynn publicly endorsed Donald Trump…you have no idea how that broke my heart. I have loved the bio pic based on her life “Coal Miner’s Daughter ” with Sissy Spacek, since I was a kid. I can recite the entire movie, I can sing every song. I used to love walking around quoting random lines from the movie, i.e. “Doo quit growling like a big old bear.” That movie truly brought me such joy. The year I found out Loretta Lynn was coming to Ft.Worth in concert, I was saving for tickets for her show when I caught wind of her endorsement of candidate Trump. I was heart broken, he has attacked and said horrible things about my community and to stand by him means you agree…
Country Music doesn’t sound the same to me anymore. I found myself researching artist to see where they stood on Trump, before I spent my hard earned cash on buying tickets to their concerts. Dolly Parton never came out one way or another — although I look at that with some side eye — I am happy to be able to still love her music without the taint that confirmed her support, I at least have a 50/50 chance that she might or might not hate my people too.
I have scrolled through instagram pages of my modern favorite artist like Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan…I can breathe a sigh of relief that if they do support him, at least it’s not public …so I can go on pretending, not knowing, but in the back of my mind the thought is always there: they may or may not hate my community.
When Garth Brooks started touring I knew I had to be there, this was a bucket list artist for me. As I had done in the past I began to research his stance…my heart broke when I saw Garth’s name on article with Trump in the same sentence, but to my GREAT REJOICE he had declined to perform at the inauguration! Omg, yes! Finally, someone had the balls to distance themselves…that’s all I needed. My heart was thrilled that I wouldn’t have to give up one of my lifelong favorite artist.
So now here we are, a year later and with eyes more open. I can’t watch the CMAS with the same blindness and enthusiasm I once did, because now I know for a fact, that many people in that room agree with Trump and the horrible things he has said against my people and other groups of non-white Americans. How can I applaud them? I can’t. Thoughts and questions that never ran through my mind before, are now front and center. I now realize that I may have loved them blindly, never stopping to check if they might be racist.
But yet here I am, watching, hoping that this year I’ll see some kind of recognition of the Latino country community.
Would I walk away from country forever? To say that I could cut out country music from my life would be a lie, I have too many memories of my friends, my family, my childhood, my sorrows, my joys…tied to this music. For now it feels lamentful, like running into someone who was once your best friend and now you’re just strangers on the street…
*2016 CMA Awards*
one of my personal favs:
and a modern Latina cover of a Patsy Cline classic: