There’s been a lot of buzz recently about the Dixie Chicks and the five Grammies they were awarded. The articles talk about their troubles in the wake of their lead singer’s comment and how the Chicks have fought their way back; the Grammies they were given are widely viewed as rewards for their political bravery.

I think it’s all hoockum.

The Chicks did nothing brave or laudable. The comment that sparked the controversy was just crowd banter, meant to pander to their audience. Natalie Maines apologized four days later. While I think the backlash was extreme (death threats and bulldozed piles of their CDs), I think the Chicks were naive to think they could come away from the controversy unscathed. Their band’s name proclaims their identity as “Dixie Chicks.” Dixie. Land of the Bible Belt and a patriotic streak as deep as bedrock. In proclaiming that the Chicks were ashamed that Bush — a sitting President during a time of war — was from Texas, they proclaimed themselves non-Dixie. Then they were shocked when their fans turned from them.

The Chicks are full of self-importance now. They feel vindicated by the persecution they have faced. They toss their heads high and loudly proclaim their right to be as political as they want and how they want. Well the audience has rights too, like the right not to give money to people who offend them.

The Grammies they were given mean nothing in terms of their acceptance by America. The music industry, historically left-leaning as it is, may have felt a desire to award them. Their audience however has made its feelings clear: “When you talk like that, you do not represent us.”