Boycott backlash brews after Pritzker nixes rock band over use of confederate flags

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DUQUOIN, Ill. (WCIA) — Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office confirmed on Tuesday that it had booted a 1990’s southern rock band named ‘Confederate Railroad’ from the music lineup at next month’s DuQuoin State Fair due to concerns about its use of the confederate flag in its logo artwork.

“Illinois will not use state resources to promote symbols of racism,” Pritzker’s communications chief Emily Bittner said. “Symbols of hate cannot and will not represent the values of the Land of Lincoln.”

The ban sparked a fury of boycott backlash on social media, including Facebook pages dedicated to deter people from attending next month’s downstate state fair.

One critic wrote, “Bottom line is, the Chicago machine is going to teach us dumb rednecks a lesson. You know, because they are so much smarter than everyone else. It’s going to backfire.”

House Republican Terri Bryant, a downstate representative from Murphrysboro, traveled to Pritzker’s Chicago office to protest the decision to ban the band.

Bryant argued, “if Confederate Railroad is canceled, then Snoop Dogg should be canceled too.”

The rapper is slated to perform at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield next month.

Bryant took offense at The Doggfather’s recent album cover depicting a dead President Trump with a reference to the infamous Los Angeles street gang, The Crips.

After her meeting with the governor’s staff, Bryan wrote on Facebook, “They refused to cancel Snoop Dogg even though it offends many people. I believe in very limited government censorship. I believe even less in double standards.”

The governor’s office pushed back, claiming Bryant “lectured” two African American administration officials about why the confederate flag should be acceptable.

Pritzker’s office drew a distinction between the two performers’ artwork, saying, “This symbol of hate, oppression and bloodshed is categorically different from political satire.”

In a statement, the band said, “This was very disappointing as we have played this fair before and enjoyed it very much.”

The band also urged angry fans not to follow through with their threats to boycott the fair, and encouraged them to still go see the other performers who are still on the schedule.

“Live concerts are how we pay our bills and feed our families,” Confederate Railroad said. “I would never want to see another act lose a payday because of this. Please go out to hear these two great bands.”

The Illinois Department of Agriculture will pay the band a fee of $7,500 to sever their performance contract.

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