According to local print and broadcast media, a band was removed from the Du Quoin, Illionois, State Fair lineup because of their name that included the word “Confederate.”
The band Confederate Railroad, scheduled to perform August 27 alongside country artists Shenandoah and Restless Heart, is dropped. The other bands will cover the slack for the evening and perform.
The idea of dropping a band because the word “Confederate” struck national conservative commentator Todd Starnes as ridiculous.
Starnes said that the move by local authorities was steeped in political correctness run amok, and it fits the ongoing “Cultural Jihad” that prompted him to write a book by that name.
“The culture jihadists are targeting our faith, our families and our heritage,” Starnes said. “They want to finish the fundamental transformation of our Republic that was started by President Obama.”
Josh Gross, state fair manager, said that the state’s department of agriculture had a tough decision to make.
“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,” Gross said, according to local media.
Starnes found Gross’s explanation shallow, and condescending: as if the slightest hint of controversy necessitated such a draconian response from the agriculture department.
“In other words, somebody was triggered by the band’s name,” Starnes shot back. “And to be even more specific, they were triggered by the word Confederate.”
In early June, Rich Miller on his blog, “Capitol Fax” asked whether his followers thought it was appropriate for a band with the word Confederate in their name to play at a state-owned facility.
They should hold the Illinois Department of Agriculture to the original contract and demand full payment– Todd Starnes
Miller’s website raised the issue of Confederate Railroad playing at a state-owned facility on June 17, and dozens of comments rolled in, according to Starnes. “Appropriate or not, the website asked.”
Responses were largely (more than two-to-one) in favor of letting the band play, on grounds that varied from several who liked the music to others finding no issue difference from Leonard Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” to live-and-let-live responses saying it’s just music, no one is forced to listen.
- “It’s a band, not a Confederate statue,” wrote one reader. “Let them play.”
- “The Confederate flag is a racist, traitorous symbol, and the Confederacy was a racist, traitorous entity,” wrote another. “Nothing espousing its beliefs or its symbolism should be promoted or performing anywhere in the country, let alone the Land of Lincoln.”
Confederate Railroad still lists the engagement on their list of concerts. But Starnes said, “They should hold the Illinois Department of Agriculture to the original contract and demand full payment.”