Win McNamee/Getty Images

A Letter to Our Readers Following Charlottesville

Dear readers,

We need to address Charlottesville, what it represents and the response.

After watching the events unfold over the weekend, we didn't know if we would respond at all. As Managing Editor, I've made a decision to keep us out of politics. That being said, this has nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with humanity and who we are as Americans.

On Monday, we published a story about country artists' reactions to Charlottesville, a standard practice for us when a national tragedy occurs. Every artist response we found, from emerging artists like Ryan Hurd to established stars like Tim McGraw, expressed anger, frustration, and sadness over what happened. We were heartbroken and, frankly, disgusted by many of the negative responses to that article on social media.

I want to make something very clear to everyone who follows us and reads this site:

Wide Open Country vehemently opposes any form of racism. We stand firmly against any type of hatred, bigotry, and especially any Nazi scum.

If you have and continue to defend the actions of the white nationalists who incited violence in Charlottesville, or anywhere else for that matter, shame on you.

A young woman was murdered for standing up against hatred. A group of Nazis openly marched on an American college campus, spewing hatred with the intention to stir violence. Moral evils were committed. The rhetoric that defends those actions is just as evil.

If you oppose this message, we ask that you unfollow our page. We do not want you here, nor will we give you a soapbox for your hatred.

Our mission as a publication and media business is to unite country music fans across an already fiercely divided genre. We've had success in our endeavors thus far because we know that we are not as divided as we may seem.

No matter what type of country music you listen to, no matter what state you're from, no matter what politics you subscribe to, there are uniting forces that bind us together as Americans, and more importantly, as human beings.

These are trying times. We will make it through them together, but only with love and respect for one another. We ask that while you are here at Wide Open Country you treat others with dignity, respect and love.


Matt Alpert
Managing Editor