A viral song by country singer Oliver Anthony has been criticized as a “right wing song” and labeled “offensive”.
The song, titled “Rich Men North of Richmond,” is number one on the iTunes Country charts and has amassed 17 million views on YouTube in eight days.
At first glance, the song could be interpreted as a song for the working class, as he sings about “selling my soul” for “shitty pay”. He also rails against politicians and “rich men from North Richmond” who “want to be in absolute control.”
The song raises social issues such as homelessness and the country’s mental health crisis, but Anthony also sees “fat milking welfare,” singing “if you’re 5’7″ and 200lb / taxes they shouldn’t pay. for your bags of dulce de leche candy.”
Right-wing media figures such as Dan Bongino and Matt Walsh have praised the country theme on social media. The IS republican representative Marjorie Taylor Greenefor his part, he described it as “the song of the forgotten Americans that truly represents this nation and, unfortunately, the world.”
However, the song has been criticized by others as “fat-phobic” and offensive.
One user on X (formerly Twitter) wrote that the song is “so deeply offensive to me as a Virginian, guitarist, singer, country music lover/performer, hard worker, and anti-fascist that I’m kind of hung up on it.” .”
Another wrote that the song is not “an ode to the working class” but a “reactionary tune that perpetuates fatphobia and the classic ‘welfare queen’ trope that people love. [el ex presidente] Reagan”.
“He vaguely criticizes the rich, but directly or indirectly blames the poor for ‘cracking’ the system.”
“Nothing says more about class consciousness than a song in which the middle verse is all about how poor people can’t eat because of fat people on welfare,” the left-leaning YouTube channel The Serfs shared.
Elsewhere, The Guardian felt it was “no surprise” that the right-wing liked it, although the Independent wondered whether “republican songs have to be as terrible as Oliver Anthony’s viral hit ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ ?”
Anthony is a former factory worker and farmer, and on Sunday (August 13) he held his first public concert since his viral attention in North Carolina.
In a recent tweet, the singer said he was “shocked by the outpouring of love I’ve seen in the comments, messages and emails.”