A popular southern country-rock banned named Confederate Railroad has been kicked off the roster at the Du Quoin State Fair in Illinois due to “racial sensitivity concerns” over their name, according to The Mental Recession‘s Rusty Weiss.
“The Illinois Department of Agriculture has removed Confederate Railroad from our 2019 Du Quoin State Fair Grandstand lineup,” said State Fair Manager Josh Gross, adding “While every artist has a right to expression, we believe this decision is in the best interest of serving all the people in our state.”
Oak Ridge Boys singer Joe Bonsall tweeted “I have played the @DuQuoinFair many times over the decades … however, I must say that canceling @ConfederateRR JUST because their name is CONFEDERATE RAILROAD is a crock of crap!!!
Confederate Railroad has seen over 20 of their singles enter the Billboard Hot Country Songscharts since becoming active in 1987.
Reports suggest the move was made due to an inquiry made by a local political blogger named Rich Miller who asked a ‘Question of the Day‘ for Capitol Fax on June 17th.
“A band named Confederate Railroad. In Illinois. The Land of Lincoln. Playing at a state-owned facility,” Miller said aghast. “I’ve never heard anyone claim that the group has Confederacy-loving song lyrics or anything … It’s just… well… Allow me to turn this one over to you…”
Miller also notes the band has a song called “I Hate Rap” (which clearly means they’re racist) and that the group’s latest album features Confederate flags on the cover. –The Mental Recession
According to Saving Country Music, however, “Confederate Railroad has no songs that could be considered or construed as racist.”
“Being disallowed to play a government-organized event and venue simply because of their name and after being approved opens up a slippery slope of concerns for the future of free speech in musical performance and beyond.”
Country music legend Charlie Daniels criticized the ban, tweeting “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.”