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 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.”
“The band has never been accused of making a racist comment,” they add. “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.”
Confederate Railroad’s peers have come out in support of the band, declaring the decision to remove them from the lineup to be ridiculous.
Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys stated: “Canceling Confederate Railroad JUST because their name is CONFEDERATE RAILROAD is a crock of crap!!! These are good men singing good songs … God please help us all.”
Country music legend Charlie Daniels chimed in as well.
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
Gotta LOL on this all but why not ask one of the local Democrat Elected Officials about this?