Talladega College is a historically-black college in Alabama, founded by slaves. Now, the college’s marching band has not only agreed to play Trump’s Inauguration, they’ve raised $312,000 (and counting) to make it happen.
Update (12 noon PT Friday): The band has now crossed the $320,000 mark, and counting (just two hours after we published this piece).
Not one marching band from Washington, DC agreed to play Trump’s upcoming Inauguration. Those bands, which hail from inner-city high schools and the largely-black Howard University, played both of Obama’s Inaugural parades.
Talledega College’s marching band has taken an entirely different approach. The historically-black band not only agreed to play Trump’s parade, they’ve raised more than $300,000 to do it. In fact, their GoFundMe page has gone absolutely wild over the past 24 hours.
How wild? Less than 24 hours ago, DMN reported that the band was $10,000 below their funding goal. That story was then picked up by Fox News.
Early this morning, the band is more than 500% over their mark. Actually, in the time it took to write a few paragraphs, the band has already added another $3,000 or so.
All of which means ‘The Great Tornado’ from Talladega is not only packing their bags, they’re buying new instrument and uniforms for the event.
Hey, might as well upgrade the bus while they’re at it. It’s a long ride from Alabama!
Thanks, Fox News.
Looks like Fox News is playing rainmaker for marching bands struggling to get to the event. Just recently, the network profiled Palmetto High School, which was struggling to scrape together funds to play the parade. After that profile, the group easily soared by their six-figure funding requirements.
And they say network television news is dead.
Now, the same effect is happening for Talladega. But this one is about 1,000 times more controversial: a large group of alums are adamantly opposed to the decision, citing Trump’s policies and rhetoric of hate. In fact, the funding largely came from a swarm of white supporters, many of whom are arguing vociferously with protesting alums.
But wait: maybe this is the right decision.
DC bands refused to attend. Superstar performers like Andrea Bocelli, Elton John, Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, and Charlotte Church refused to perform.
But is that the right choice?
All of those artists either flatly disagreed with Trump, or felt that an Inaugural performance would be toxic to their careers. Fair enough, but is Talladega taking the high road? And, ensuring better treatment during the upcoming Trump years?
That’s a question that is now surfacing, both for Hollywood and the music industry. For the most part, most film and music stars are refusing to participate, though this is a group with serious legislative and policy concerns ahead. Will they be promptly ignored, based on their refusals and anti-Trump rhetoric?
Looking at the music industry, a portfolio of copyright-related issues could be promptly dismissed. But hey, maybe the Talladega ‘Great Tornado’ will help appropriations for colleges and music programs.
It’s a thought.
More as this develops!