The Revolution Club Chicago has announced a protest action against 46- year-old country music star and Nashville resident Jason Aldean outside of his Highway Desperado Tour appearance Sept. 9 at Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre. The protest will begin at 6:00 p.m. at 191st Street and Oak Park Ave. in Tinley Park, Illinois just outside the amphitheater.
Aldean's latest mega-hit song, "Try That in a Small Town," has sparked an outcry due to lyrics that critics believe have alluded to coded vigilante threats against Black people. The accompanying music video originally had FOX5 Atlanta news reporting images of the violence that took place in Atlanta during the 2020 summer Black Lives Matter protests. Those images were quietly removed after considerable backlash was directed at Aldean.
Additionally, the video depicted Aldean performing in front of the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, a site where political violence against Black people has taken place, including when a Black teen, Henry Choate was lynched there in 1927.
At a Sept. 7 press conference at the Ida B. Wells-Barnett statue in Bronzeville announcing this upcoming action, Revolution Club Chicago leader and protest organizer Leo Pargo called Aldean a "MAGA moron who is coming to spew his Klansmen anthem, 'Try That in a Small Town.'"
Pargo added that they are "fighting for the emancipation of all humanity" because "we do not have to live this way" and that these MAGA fascists are waging a "one-sided civil war against LGBTQ people and women if they act out of place."
National Revolution Tour member and Revolution Nothing Less Show correspondent Rafael Kadaris said "We the Revcoms are here to call out fascist country singer and wannabe thug Jason Aldean, and his white supremacist lynching song 'Try That in a Small Town.' And we are announcing that we will be at his concert this Saturday in Tinley Park to declare: No more lynch mobs in and out of uniform. No more standing by while 'Good Ol' Boys' prepare for civil war. We need and we demand a whole new way to live. We are organizing for a real revolution."
Kadaris also told the crowd that when Aldean was at a recent tour stop in Alabama he claimed that he did not know what 'pro-lynching' means and also said that it ended in the 1800s, which is not true. He added that Aldean must not know his American history very well, since Black people have been murdered by mobs of white people in numerous locations across the country since then.
Kadaris also pointed to the recent murders of three Black peopleAngela Michelle Carr, Jerrald Gallion and AJ Laguerre Jr.inside a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida by a white supremacist and the murder of LGBTQ+ ally Lauri Carleton in the small town of Lake Arrowhead, California by an anti-LGBTQ+ bigot for having a Pride flag flying outside her store.
Additionally, Kadaris said that the only solution to rid this country of fascism is to eliminate "the whole capitalist-imperialist system which spawned [Aldean and MAGA], a system which has white supremacy and male domination built into it, and right now is pushing humanity toward climate catastrophe and World War III."
Other speakers included author and journalist Paul Street, Violence Interrupters CEO and WVON radio host Tio Hardiman and musician Fred J. McGee whose well-know rapper son was killed by the police. Fr. Bob Bossie and social justice activist and lifelong Holocaust educator Rachel Wachstein were unable to attend and instead submitted written statements in support of this upcoming action.
Aldean's Oct. 2017 Las Vegas performance was cut short due to a mass shooter killing 59 people and injuring more than 500 people from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. At that time, Aldean released a statement about coming together as a nation and stopping hate and violencea stark contrast to his recent messaging.
While Aldean had kept quiet about his political views in years past, during the Trump administration he became outspoken in his support of Donald Trump and right-wing ideology. This included attending a party at Mar a Lago; his wife Brittany sharing a post that depicted Vice President Kamala Harris pushing a wheelchair with President Joe Biden sitting in it over a cliff; having their children wear anti-Biden t-shirts; praising fans for not wearing masks at the height of a COVID surge at his 2021 New York City concert; and publicly agreeing with his wife's anti-trans comments. According to Billboard Magazine, after those anti-trans comments were posted in 2022, Aldean was dropped by his publicity team.