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“Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended,” the band members of Lady A said in a statement to CBS News.” She wants money to let them use the name she has been using. They say they have been using it for years. So has she. Does it come down to who has used it longest? (Thanks to Larry for the link).
Painful Irony of Lady Antebellum Suit
Also, let us keep in mind the irony here. They are changing the name because “antebellum” is supposed to offend black people and the person they are now trying to take the name from, and whom they are suing, is a black woman. I can understand how we might see this as rich, privileged, white people harming a black woman in their effort to signal how vitreous they are.
The below linked article goes on to read, “The lawsuit does note that White has identified as Lady A since 2010 and that she also features her music on a Spotify artist page…” Anita White, “…told Rolling Stone that she has been performing under the stage name Lady A for more than 20 years.”
Antebellum, for their part, “….pointed out that White’s artist page at the time of the court filing had 166 monthly listeners, compared to the band’s more than 7 million.”
Which is to say they are big and she is small. I understand that often trademark comes down to recognition. However, I argue that the World Wrestling Federation was more well known than the World Wildlife Fund. People could tell you who Hulk Hogan was, but not the president of the World Wildlife Fund but the WWF is now the WWE.
What’s in a name?
I think the band should keep their original name and leave Anita White alone. Yes, the south had slavery, and horrible attitudes toward Africans. We all know that much. However, that doesn’t mean there were not also things worth celebrating about the American South.
We are at a place in America where we seem required to hate everything if there is one thing about it to hate. Someone who is wonderful can have one indiscretion of “social justice” years ago and they must go. There is no nuance.
When in Rome you don’t have to do as the Romans do
Each year millions of people visit the Colosseum in Rome. It is a piece of history that is worth visiting. This despite the fact that it was the scene of horrible violence, cruelty to humans and animals, torture, and oppression of minorities all to an adoring crowd. I would no more suggest we raze the Colosseum than I would suggest we paint the entire America south with only the brush of slavery.
We all know that slavery was and is horrifying. I can’t explain to you how the mere thought of it horrifies me. Very few things horrify me. Very few things bring the kind of visceral reaction the thought of one human enslaving another human brings to me. There is no defense for slavery that will ever change that. But the American South was not all about slavery. As much as I hate slavery, that does not mean I must hate the American South.
The vast majority of people in the American south did not own slaves. The North, as well as many other parts of the world had slaves.
At that time no one was exempt if you wish to use the broad strokes. Even Africans participated in the slave trade through war and kidnapping for their own tribal gains. Go back in time even farther and we see that slavery existed long before black slavery. The much vaunted Greeks had slaves. The bible includes rules for keeping slaves and calls for the slave to be loyal to his master. I would never suggest we toss out all of scripture and all of philosophy and mathematics and engineering due to their connection to slavery.
I do not really think that this has anything to do with justice.
I think it has to do with power. The old saying is, “You can’t cheat an honest man”. So they seek to make dishonest men of all. Green guilt, racial guilt, privilege guilt, wealth guilt, and more.
In Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged we read this, “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
In our modern era it isn’t the law of the land they are seeking to make so complex all violate it, but the cultural laws, the social laws. All will be made guilty so all can be controlled. When we give into the unnuanced views that throw the southern baby out with the bathwater with make ourselves guilty and have given ourselves over to them.
My suggestion is to be wise enough, mature enough, and smart enough, to know that somethings are good and somethings are bad and be brave enough to voice your knowledge. Give that a try and have a mint julep and a corncob pipe, on me.
The below article inspired this blog post and is reference therein.
In a statement, the band claimed the singer “demanded a $10 million payment.”