On Wednesday, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was elected to the board of directors of the CMA Foundation, the philanthropic wing of the Country Music Association.
On Thursday, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee resigned from the board of directors of the CMA Foundation.
What changed? Many of the most powerful people in country music spoke out and said Huckabee was waaaaaay too much of a bigot to represent an organization they all genuinely care about. (And when you’re too conservative for country music, you know you’ve gone too far.)
Jason Owen, whose company represents Little Big Town and Faith Hill among others, wrote a letter to the CMA Foundation expressing his disappointment and pledging to withdraw any future support:
It is with a heavy heart that I must let you know moving forward, Sandbox and Monument will no longer support the CMA Foundation in any way (this includes everyone we represent collectively) considering the heartbreaking news shared today regarding Mike Huckabee appointee/elected to the CMA Foundation. Further, we find it hard to support the organization as a whole as a result. As you may know I have a child and two on the way. This man has made it clear that my family is not welcome in his America. And the CMA has opened their arms to him, making him feel welcome and relevant. Huckabee speaks of the sort of things that would suggest my family is morally beneath his and uses language that has a profoundly negative impact upon young people all across this country. Not to mention how harmful and damaging his deep involvement with the NRA is. What a shameful choice. I will not participate in any organization that elevates people like this to positions that amplify their sick voices. This was a detrimentally poor choice by the CMA and it’s leaders.
Owen wasn’t alone:
Whitney Pastorek, who manages Kristian Bush of the band Sugarland, emailed executives as well, writing, “What a terrible disappointment to see (the CMA Foundation’s) mission clouded by the decision to align with someone who so frequently engages in the language of racism, sexism, and bigotry.”
They’re not wrong about Huckabee’s awfulness.
We’re talking about the guy who compared gay marriage to drug use, incest, and polygamy. He supported Josh Duggar during his molestation scandal and Kim Davis after she refused to do her job and give same-sex couples marriage licenses. He’s mocked transgender people by “joking” about how he’d totally call himself trans if he could shower with girls in high school.
He’s called for the quarantining of AIDS patients. He’s downplayed the impact of climate change by saying a “beheading is a far greater threat to an American than a sunburn.” He thinks the solution to school shootings is more Jesus and more guns.
But, you know, he loves music education, so the CMA thought he’d make a fine board member.
Huckabee resigned yesterday, saying he “did not want to be a distraction or hindrance to the CMA since the mission is about supporting music education.” That’s fine. But by that logic, he should resign from politics, too, since our government has an interest in educating children, and Huckabee is nothing but a distraction when it comes to achieving progress on that front.
This is good news, though. It’s encouraging to see the most powerful people in country music saying they won’t stand for Huckabee’s hate and ignorance.
It’s like the whole industry is full of Dixie Chicks now.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Kyle for the link)