Dolly Parton is the latest cover subject of Billboard magazine, and she’s using the opportunity to showcase her support for racial injustice protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. The 74-year-old said that while she hasn’t attended a protest herself, she understands “people having to make themselves known and felt and seen.”
“Of course Black lives matter,” Parton said in the Billboard interview. “Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No. Everybody matters.”
She said she believes that “we all have a right to be exactly who we are.”
“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,” she said. “God is the judge, not us. I just try to be myself. I try to let everybody else be themselves.”
Although the country music star rarely speaks about her political or social issue beliefs, she has taken more progressive actions over the past few years to hold herself and her brand accountable for things that have racist symbols or undertones.
In 2018, Parton changed the name of her popular Tennessee and Missouri tourist attraction the Dixie Stampede because of “Dixie’s” connections to the Confederacy. The attraction, now called Dolly Parton’s Stampede, is a Civil War-themed dinner show centered around a “friendly North and South competition.”
“There’s such a thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that,” Parton told Billboard. “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,” Parton said. “That’s where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.”