The War and Treaty Reveal Anger And Sadness After Discovering Cotton Plant In Texas Dressing Room
Photo by Sarah Morris/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

The War and Treaty Reveal Anger And Sadness After Discovering Cotton Plant In Texas Dressing Room

The duo that is The War and Treaty have quickly made a name for themselves as musicians. However, as Darius Rucker recently pointed out, racism still exists. The duo were both angered and saddened when they discovered a cotton plant in their dressing room. They were performing at the Coca-Cola Sips & Sounds Music Festival in Austin, Texas.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Michael Trotter Jr., one-half of The War and Treaty, said, "There was a cotton plant [in our dressing room]. And we all know what that means. We all know what that represents in this country to people that look like us."

Both of them experienced a rush of mixed emotions upon the discovery. The War and Treaty were immediately upset to find the cotton plant. Trotter pointed out that he served this country in the military, putting his life on the line.

"Anger is what I felt. Disrespect is what I felt. Sadness is what I felt. Sadness not just because of what that plant represents to people that look like me but sadness for myself because I am a son of this country. I served this country honorably in the United States Army 16th Infantry, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. I'm wounded for that service. I'm very vocal about my wounds and my scars, and I felt betrayed," he explains. "It's not fair. It's something that white artists don't have to worry about at all. ... It just happens to come through the bowels of this genre. So, I feel that it's not enough for us to talk about it, we have to demand that we be about it."

The War And Treaty Are Angry

While they performed on the main stage, both considered leaving right then and there. They discussed the situation with their son, and all three agreed that they wouldn't be quiet about the incident. For Tanya Trotter, the other half of The War and Treaty, the discovery hit hard as a granddaughter of a sharecropper.

"My grandfather actually bought the plantation that he picked cotton on in New Bern, North Carolina. My family actually still lives there. So when you see these things, you look at it and you're like, 'Wow, even though my grandfather bought the plantation, there's still a lot of pain rooted for people that didn't get an opportunity to change it into economic development for their families.' I didn't want to sit in there and educate because it's not my position to educate anybody on what cotton is and what it represents in this country. It just shouldn't happen. Beyond it just being about racism, it's broader now. It's now a safety issue because we have to feel safe coming to these festivals," she says.

She continued, "If we're going to infiltrate and we're going to have Black people, Asian people, Hispanic people, then you have to look at it as a safety issue the same way they did when they integrated the school in Arkansas. They had the police there. It has to be safe for people to come to get an education, to be entertained, whatever the case may be. So that's the position that I take as we are moving into this genre and the spaces broadening not just for us but for everyone. Anybody with melanin in their skin, you have to provide an environment of safety for them."