Officials for the Du Quoin, Illinois state fair have banned country music band Confederate Railroad from performing due to the band being a tad too politically incorrect for them.
Josh Gross, manager of the Du Quoin state fair, released a public statement saying about the band, “The Illinois Department of Agriculture has removed Confederate Railroad from our 2019 Du Quoin State Fair Grandstand lineup. While every artist has a right to expression, we believe this decision is in the best interest of serving all of the people in our state.”
A Facebook group has been launched to protest the state fair in response and thousands of people have joined the group in only a few days.
Several other venues are working to book Confederate Railroad, a band that has been performing under the same name since 1987.
“To me this isn’t about getting people to our business. If whoever else in Southern Illinois ends up bringing them in, I won’t be mad. This is about Southern Illinois proving a point,” Joe McKinney, who manages entertainment at the Field of Dreams event facility which is in contact with the band to perform, said. “This choice was made by a select few up north who are offended, instead of what the majority want, and the band was completely disrespected.”
The state fair performance was set for August 27.
Musicians like Joe Bonsall and Charlie Daniels have already come forward to condemn the cancellation.
“This political correctness thing is totally out of control. When a fair cancels the Confederate Railroad band because of their name its giving in to fascism, plain and simple and our freedom disappears piece by piece. Sick of it,” the 82-year-old Daniels tweeted about the situation.
This political correctness thing is totally out of control
When a fair cancels the Confederate Railroad band because of their name its giving in to facism, plain and simple and our freedom disappears piece by piece.
Sick of it.
— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) July 6, 2019
Lead singer Danny Shirley said in an interview with Duke FM that people misunderstand the band and their use of the Dixie flag.
“Some people see it totally different than what it’s meant to be and you can’t change that, you know, just like you’re not going to change me as far as being proud to be from the South. And to me that’s all that [name] is,” he said.
Shirley also released a public statement about the cancellation.
“This was very disappointing as we have played this fair before and enjoyed it very much,” he said. “The outpouring of support from Confederate Railroad fans, fans of other acts, and the public in general, has been both overwhelming and very much appreciated. I would also like to thank the actors, athletes and fellow country music artists who have spoken out in support.”
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s is reportedly behind the cancellation.
“This administration’s guiding principle is that the state of Illinois will not use state resources to promote symbols of racism,” Pritzker spokeswoman Emily Bittner said in a public statement. “Symbols of hate cannot and will not represent the values of the Land of Lincoln.”
Rep. Terri Bryant (R-IL) has also weighed in on the matter.
“I am a firm believer in First Amendment Rights. But, if these arbitrary ‘politically correct’ lines are going to be drawn for certain acts, then I would like to know from the administration where this starts and where it stops,” she wrote on Facebook. “If Snoop Dogg is allowed to play at the Springfield State Fair, I would urge that Confederate Railroad be reinstated as an act at the Du Quoin State Fair.”
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