Hank Williams Jr., THE NATION’s David Zirin, And The War Against The White South
By Ellison Lodge
October 13, 2011
For over two decades, Hank Williams Jr.’s variation of his hit All My Rowdy Friends had opened up Monday Night Football. But that all changed on October 3, when Williams appeared on Fox and Friends to promote a new CD featuring songs written by his father. He was asked what he thought about current affairs. Williams said that Boehner playing Golf with Obama was like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu, and described Joe Biden and Barack Obama as “the enemy.”
The predictable outrage ensued. ESPN took no time to cancel Williams’ song that night. And depending on whose story you believe they either fired him or he quit in protest within a few days.
Of course, the outrage from the Left over both of Williams’ statements is hypocritical. He was not arguing that Obama was Hitler, merely that he saw Boehner and Obama as polarized enemies whose playing golf together was anomalous. This analogy may have been clumsy. But the Left has no problem smearing opposition to mass immigration, affirmative action and even high taxes as stemming from the Third Reich.
As for calling Obama “the enemy”, the Great Transcender has already called majority of Americans who oppose amnesty “enemies” whom Hispanics needed to “punish.”
With Hank Jr.’s politics in the spotlight, the usual suspects are trying to dig up as much dirt as possible, not merely to prove that he is a racist, but more generally that White Southerners and country music fans should somehow be seen as unAmerican and accordingly marginalized by society. Thus David Zirin, the sports columnist of The Nation (yes, they have sports columnist), points to Williams’ 1988 hit If the South Woulda Won, and quotes the lyrics,
“We’d put Florida on the right track,
’cause we’d take Miami back”
Zirin asks: “From who? Jews? Cubans? Haitians? Or will Hank go for the trifecta?”
But Zirin conveniently cuts that line short: Williams goes on to answers his question with “and put all them pushers in the slammer.”
(That being said, those pushers are predominantly Haitians, Cubans, and other Latino immigrants, but I’m sure Zirin thinks that should not be mentioned.)
And, of course, why would Southerners want one of their cities to proudly bill itself as the Capital of Latin America?
Zirin goes on to chide ESPN for hiring Hank Jr. in the first place, knowing that he was a proud Southerner. He argues that the NFL cannot try to
“…unite racists and anti-racists; neo-confederates and people who are ready to put the Stars and Bars in our national rear view mirror…If the NFL really wants to cater to the demographic that loves Hank Williams, Jr. and Rush Limbaugh, they’d be better ordering the Broncos to just start Tim Tebow.”
[If the South Would Have Won: The NFL and Hank Williams, Jr., October 5, 2011]
(Zirin here confuses the Stars and Bars with the Confederate Battle Flag, which is featured in the artwork decorating his piece. But why would we expect him to know any American history?)
Black commentator Bomani Jones added that he was surprised Hank Jr. wasn’t fired earlier because he “made a career behind selling a nostalgic look at Southern life, one that clearly doesn’t include black people.” [What I WAS going to say on Outside the Lines…, October 6, 2011] Bomani Jones asks if, golfing analogies aside, “Would Hank Williams, Jr. have gotten the Monday Night Football gig in 2011?”, noting that Williams’ pro-Confederate songs and imagery showed that “closely attached to racist stuff before today.”