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Noem explained that she had been a fan of the song since before it garnered controversy, and said that she had even hoped that the video for it would be shot in South Dakota — where she said the people shared the same values that Aldean had been singing about.
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) July 19, 2023
“I was thinking about something I posted on my social media on May 24th,” Noem began. “It was about a new song that had just been released that my friend Neil Thrasher helped write. … It was by Jason Aldean, and I was so impressed with the song because it talked about the value of small towns and how we have our priorities right.”
Noem went on to say that she had even said at the time that the video should be shot in South Dakota because she believed the people of her state embodied the values embraced in the song.
“I am shocked by what I’m seeing in this country,” she continued. “With people attempting to cancel this song, and cancel Jason and his beliefs — him and Brittany are outspoken about their love for law and order and for their love of this country, and I’m just grateful for them.”
The South Dakota governor pointed out the fact that a number of those who have spoken out on topics like those had been persecuted for their beliefs — and concluded her statement with an offer for Aldean.
“I just want them to know that we support them, we love them, thank you for writing a song that America can get behind,” Noem said. “Keep singing, keep playing, and if you want to come to South Dakota, we’ll let you play anywhere, we’ll facilitate it. I know you’re coming in August, but if you want to come sing it on the governor’s residence front lawn, we’ll do it proudly.”
Country Music Television (CMT) removed Aldean’s song from the channel after critics complained that the song condoned lynching.