Dolly Parton usually stays clear of hot button political issues, but she’s come out strongly in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement during a new interview with Billboard magazine. The 74-year-old country music and pop culture icon told the publication, “I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen. And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!” It is a pretty bold statement for Dolly, who has always been known for not wanting to offend any fans, no matter what their beliefs are.
While Dolly hasn’t participated in any of the BLM rallies and racial injustice protests that have swept the U.S. since the May 25 police killing of unarmed and handcuffed Black man George Floyd, her words of support are powerful enough. The singer turned entrepreneur added, “All these good Christian people that are supposed to be such good Christian people, the last thing we’re supposed to do is to judge one another. God is the judge, not us. I just try to be myself. I try to let everybody else be themselves.”
Dolly has already removed the word “Dixie” from one of her attractions at her Pigeon Forge, TN theme park Dollywood. It was brought to her attention in 2017 that the word has associations with the Confederacy, which some patrons could find hurtful. And Dolly is such a good soul that she would never want to see anyone in pain over a word because of her, so she dropped it from the previously known “Dixie Stampede.”
“There’s such a thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that,” she now explains. “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.”
That’s just one of the many reasons Dolly is so special. She built her career from being one of 12 children growing up in poverty in rural Tennessee, to becoming one of the most celebrated singer/songwriter and businessperson/philanthropists there is. “As the scripture says, ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’ So I look at my life with that every day and think that God expects it of me,” she says. “I expect it of myself, and I think people expect it of me. If I can be an inspiration, then I want to be that. That makes me feel good.”