THE PRICE OF SPEAKING OUT

5 November 2019

John Lennon 1966:

   “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first—rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”

 The Result: Apparently, John Lennon’s statement didn’t make much of an impression when first published in England, but it was a different story when re-published in Datebook, an American teen magazine. As the word spread, there were bonfires of Beatles records, anti-Beatles protests by the Ku Klux Klan, radio stations refusing to play the band’s songs, and churches preaching against them. Their next tour was their last, and many blamed all the negative publicity for their demise.

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Natalie Maines, of the Dixie Chicks, March 2003:

   "Just so you know, we're on the good side with y'all. We do not want this [Iraq] war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas."

 The Result: This statement against President George Bush, delivered impromptu at a concert in England, resulted in the Dixie Chicks – then one of the hottest country music bands – being pretty much banned from country music circles. Radio stations refused to play their music, and there were public displays of Dixie Chicks record-burning. The Chicks made one more well-received album, but the group split up.

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Donald Trump 2005 – On how he relates to women:  "I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."

   Donald Trump 2016 – At Dordt College, as front-running Republican candidate for President:  "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK? "It's, like, incredible."

 The Result: Nearly one-half of the voting American public elected him President.


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© Sanford Wilbur 2019