Confederate Railroad, a prolific and popular southern country-rock band, has been removed from the lineup at the Du Quoin State Fair in Illinois due to their name.
The decision was made by the state Department of Agriculture according to a statement in response to very little public outcry, creating a controversy where there had previously been none.
“The Illinois Department of Agriculture has removed Confederate Railroad from our 2019 Du Quoin State Fair Grandstand lineup,” State Fair Manager Josh Gross said.
“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,” he added.
The Pinckneyville Press first reported on the ban, adding the assessment that it was due to “racial sensitivity concerns.”
The band has been active since 1987 and during that time has seen over twenty of their singles enter the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.
Why the Controversy?
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.
Saving Country Music writes however, “Confederate Railroad has no songs that could be considered or construed as racist.”
Here’s my favorite CR song: