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Fact Check: Was Charlie Daniels a Racist?

July 7, 2020
3 min read

Charlie Daniels, the 83-year-old legendary singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, passed away in a Nashville hospital after a hemorrhagic stroke on Monday, July 6, 2020. He’s been known for quite a few hits throughout his career, the most popular being “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” However, Daniels has been quite outspoken both in his music and his personal life. Songs like “This Ain’t No Rag, It’s a Flag” made concert organizers balk, and Charlie’s music has always been rooted in a deep sense of patriotism and believing that America is the greatest country in the world. But, do his beliefs make Daniels a racist?

Charlie Daniels’ Racism Charges, Explained:

Right up until his death, Daniels made it a point to share his political views on Twitter, among other places. While Daniels does embrace a very conservative brand of politics, which includes extended support to Donald Trump, it would be a little premature to call him a racist outright. However, you can see the kind of posts he makes, which often has the netizens going up in arms against Charlie’s opinions.

Perhaps Charlie was well aware of the effect his statements had on several people around him. However, at a certain age, one is sure of their political beliefs and themselves. Most importantly, Charlie has never backed down from expressing an opinion or stating what’s on his mind, even at the risk of having to withdraw from concerts during his career. You can check out a post below, which highlights Charlie’s stance on expressing opinions on social media and life.

While most of Charlie’s recent comments are conservative but not outright racist, he did come under severe fire back in 2016, for a statement that could be directly considered as racist, in context of the practice of slavery and working in cotton plantations in the USA. Charlie tweeted, “There are some kids in college who should spend a year picking cotton.” See it below.

However, Charlie was quick to clarify his stance, saying that his post was not intended to refer to the terrible conditions slaves faced on such plantations. Instead, Charlie aimed to highlight the virtues of manual labor and what might be learned from it. He went on to solidify his position, saying that he had picked cotton at one point of life himself, and the experience had been enriching and rewarding. Check out his tweet below.

From Charlie’s Twitter posts, it is clear why many people perceived him to be a racist. Though, what is unclear is whether he was just trying to be a provocateur with his controversial statements or was he actually a racist. Apart from his insensitive comments on Twitter, some of his songs have also offended people in the past. Whether he intended to just rile people up or he really had malicious intent we will never know.

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