James Leroy Wilson's blog

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Wisdom from a Backstreet Boy

We may recall that four years ago, shortly after 9-11, most journalists decided to forego whatever intelligence and judgment they may have had, in order to get gooey, sentimental, "reflective," and fascistic. Hyper-sensitive to trivialities such as war expressions in sports. I remember commentary getting so bad that I was half expecting there to be pressure for the New York Jets football team to change their name.

I just stumbled upon this article/artifact from October, 2001, which in the main discussed how entertainment was changing, with artists changing their content, radio stations changing their playlists, etc. But it included this:

After the horrible events of that day, Kevin Richardson of pop sensation Backstreet Boys made the following insensitive and certainly unpatriotic comments on Canada's MuchMusic television, later quoted in the New York Post: "I just think we are a little bit of an arrogant nation and maybe this is a little bit of a humbling experience...what has our government done to provoke this action, that we don't know about?" Richardson later issued a full apology and statement of clarification. Backstreet Boys' supervising tour carpenter Daniel John Lee was killed aboard one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center en route to Los Angeles, where he was to join his wife for the birth of their child.

A young man saw it was in his personal and commercial interest to apologize for telling the truth. The truth, according to the author of this article, is "insensitive" and "unpatriotic."

And, as we know, it's only gotten worse since.


  1. Backstreet, eh?

    the truth hurts
    and after all
    tis only subjective
    reality desensitzed
    when masses find
    truth inconveniently
    reveals its face
    only when least
    opportune like
    when somebodys lying

  2. Kat Morgan6:50 AM PST

    I agreed with Kevin's statement then and I agree with it now. I think we have since learnt a lot more about what the US government did to provoke it... and considering their actions since the American people have been very lucky.

    I found the whole situation that occured after Kevin made his comments to be unreal as well. At first he was dismissed as 'just a Backstreet Boy'... I guess meaning that because he sang in a 'boyband' vocal group he isn't allowed to have an opinion - or a brain. He has repeatedly proven that is not the case - he is a very intelligent and informed individual (as seen by his stand against strip mining in Kentucky, for example).

    Then he was openly attacked and villified by critics as being un-American. Apparently exercising his First Amendment rights and having an opinion is deemed unpatriotic and not allowed in the 'gloriously democratic' United States (look what happened to the Dixie Chicks as well).

    What outsiders don't know - which Backstreet fans do - is that the wife of his cousin and bandmate, Brian Littrell, was also supposed to be on the same flight that Dan Lee was on. Not only did they lose a cherished tour member, but they nearly lost a member of their family. Even Nick Carter was personally touched by the 9-11 events as his brother Aaron was in NYC at the time of the incident, staying in a hotel only a few blocks away.

    What Kevin said may have been seen as 'unpatriotic' but it came from a place wherein he, personally, had been shocked out of his complacency as one member of an "arrogant nation" and he was trying to somehow rationalize and comprehend what was a horrific day for both him and his Backstreet family, as well as all Americans.