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Question of the day

Tuesday, Jul 2, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* They totally missed the news here

All-American Rejects will play the DuQuoin State Fair on Saturday, August 24.

Fair officials made the announcement Monday.

The pop rock band best known for songs “Swing Swing” and “Move Along” joins a mostly country lineup featuring Wynonna Judd, Shenandoah, and Restless Heart.

OK, now scroll through the fair’s lineup on the WSIL TV website. Here’s the Tuesday show

Tuesday, August 27: Shenandoah and Restless Heart

Here’s the Tuesday lineup as of June 17th

Tuesday, Aug. 27: Confederate Railroad, Shenandoah and Restless Heart. Confederate Railroad has been a hit-making force in Southern rock since the 1990s, with two releases going platinum in the ’90s.

I checked and was told the state canceled Confederate Railroad’s contract.

Last month, I asked you whether you thought booking a band named Confederate Railroad, which has Confederate battle flags on the cover of its latest album, for a show in Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, at a state-owned facility was appropriate.

* The Question: Is canceling this show appropriate? Make sure to explain your answer.


  1. - Perrid - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:23 pm:

    I’m leaning toward no, it’s not, but I don’t feel that strongly about it. Good music is good music, I don’t care how they want to romanticize the past to make themselves feel good, and I don’t like censorship, even relatively tame forms like this. Of course the fair can book whomever they want to book, but why they make the decisions matter and this, taking it back after the fact, seems cowardly to me. Especially just quietly taking them off the site.

  2. - Stormfield - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    Ugh. This is a tough one for me. I think its hard to judge art though the same lens as we judge other things in general. Also, the band has been around for decades, and is from a very different time and place in our history. Hard to surrender their trade name after all that time.

    Even still - the decision to keep rolling out that flag on their art is not in good taste. And that was 2016; they knew better. Got to go with the State cancelling being a good decision.

  3. - Eugene - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:28 pm:

    Yes! It would be wholly inappropriate to host this group, equivalent to hosting a Nazi heavy metal band. Remember the confederacy was organized as an act of treason against the United States, in an attempt to perpetuate the institution of slavery.

  4. - d. p. gumby - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:30 pm:

    Is it just a name or a philosophy? Are they any good?

  5. - Nonbeliever - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:33 pm:

    Unless this group has highly offensive words in their music (such as condoning slavery ) then this is just PC censorship.

    Increasingly typical and increasingly nauseating.

  6. - Nonbeliever - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:36 pm:

    What were the specific reason given by the state for this cancellation?

  7. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:36 pm:

    Not only will I boycott DuQuoin, but i will also boycott the state fair. I have rarely missed either.

  8. - Smitty Irving - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:37 pm:

    Yes. That is the Confederate Battle Flag, used in the Battle of Gettysburg when Robert E. Lee’s troops imprisoned free black citizens in PA and sent them South into slavery. Has no business in the Land of Lincoln.

  9. - Eugene - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:38 pm:

    To A State Employee Guy:

    Lincoln’s views on race evolved over the years. I think the words of the ex-slave and abolitionist say it best: “Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined…”

  10. - Anon - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    No. If only because of consistency when it comes to snoop dog. Not hard to find a disturbing lyric from him…

  11. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    Yes -
    If you have any questions about what the Confederacy was all about, read this …

  12. - Eugene - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    Frederick Douglass, that is.

  13. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    == Is canceling this show appropriate?==

    No. If this was a concern, it should have been considered and dealt with on the front end; as in Is booking this show appropriate?

    Canceling is a breach of good faith. Though, the band might consider a name change given the times.

  14. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:45 pm:

    In this day and age I suppose it was appropriate. You’d have all of those who get the vapors over the mention of the word Confederate out in full force and it would turn into a big fiasco.

    My personal feelings? No, it should not have been canceled.

  15. - lakeside - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:45 pm:

    ==highly offensive words in their music (such as condoning slavery )==

    Defining how/if their lyrics are offensive (or anyone’s) seems hard. But everybody knows what the confederate flag means. It’s reverence for the symbol of group of people who committed treason and broke up the United States to keep enslaving other people. We knew in the 70s what that flag meant, we know what it means now. It’s just that people are, i guess, finally more open about it on both sides.

  16. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:45 pm:

    There are a lot of Southern Rock bands that have used that flag as part of their symbolism. In one way, it’s how you tell it’s a southern rock band in the first place.
    If band names are the offense, would Average White Band ever get an audience today?

  17. - A State Employee Guy - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    The Confederate flag is the ultimate symbol of white supremacy and oppression. It has no place anywhere aside from the history books. That this band is playing in the “Land of Lincoln,” whatever that’s supposed to imply, doesn’t make the flag any more obscene than it already is.

  18. - Groucho - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:51 pm:

    They should fire the person who hired the band in the first place. How racist and insensitive.

  19. - Nonbeliever - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:53 pm:

    “Defining how/if their lyrics are offensive (or anyone’s) seems hard.”

    Very true. And therein lies the problem.

    In this case, unless there is a very convincing argument as to why this group should have their contract cancelled, the State of Illinois has shown its true, selective censorship color.

  20. - lakeside - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:54 pm:

    ==Average White Band==

    Tbh, they sound hip and like they don’t take themselves too seriously. I’m into it.

  21. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:54 pm:

    If this band can sell a lot of tickets, the contract should be honored. The point is to book acts that generate strong tickets sales. The state’s interest is to generate as much revenue as possible so that fair exhibitors pay less in fees and prizes are higher.

    Don’t cancel an act unless the replacement can make as much or more. Given what I know of the DuQuoin fair, Confederate Railroad seemed like it should be a good draw there. That should be the primary consideration, but it wasn’t apparently.

  22. - lakeside - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:55 pm:

    ==very convincing argument ==

    It’s the flag. The flag. It’s on all their stuff and the band is named after it.

    That’s why I made other points after the first point.

  23. - Pundent - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:57 pm:

    I agree that cancelling was the right move. But it also draws more attention to the ineptness in booking the band in the first place. It’s not as if the name had any ambiguity associated with it. The litmus test is if you have the ask the question is this appropriate, it probably isn’t.

  24. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:59 pm:

    ===the State of Illinois has shown its true, selective censorship color===

    Nobody has a right to a state contract.

  25. - Ginhouse Tommy - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:59 pm:

    NO. If you youtube their music they sound like pure country to me. Not my type of music.

  26. - Perrid - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:59 pm:

    Pundent, I think the question is “Are there some people who will think this is inappropriate?”, which is a slightly different question.

  27. - Medvale School for the Gifted - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:01 pm:

    No one alive today lived under the confederate flag. The confederate flag and all the symbolism around it gives some people a bit of a ‘tingle’; albeit a harmless tingle.

  28. - Nonbeliever - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:04 pm:

    ===the State of Illinois has shown its true, selective censorship color===

    “Nobody has a right to a state contract.”

    This would be good court case. Don’t be so assured you are correct in this situation.

    Besides, it appears that they already gave out the contract. And if so, that could be another legal issue.

    But it would appear they gave the contract.

  29. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:07 pm:

    ===This would be good court case.===

    It’s been tried already right here in Illinois. Catholic Charities sued over its removal from the foster children program because they wouldn’t place children in gay homes. They lost.

  30. - A State Employee Guy - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:09 pm:

    ==Nobody has a right to a state contract.==

    True, but when the State cancels one based on viewpoint discrimination, that’s problematic.

  31. - SIUEalum - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:09 pm:

    Yes. Taxpayer dollars are being used; totally appropriate to cancel, although it should have never came to this. Don’t know why they were signed in the first place. Just my $.02.

  32. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:10 pm:

    ===based on viewpoint discrimination===

    There are tons of contract riders on these things. But, whatevs, let ‘em sue.

  33. - Nonbeliever - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:12 pm:

    ==This would be good court case.===

    It’s been tried already right here in Illinois. Catholic Charities sued over its removal from the foster children program because they wouldn’t place children in gay homes. They lost.

    Different situation entirely. And besides, as we all know, what one court rules another may not, based upon differences in the case laid out.

    Again, a good court case. Particularly if they cancelled the contract.

  34. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:13 pm:

    ===what one court rules another may not===

    Nobody has an inherent right to a state contract. Period.

  35. - Nonbeliever - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:14 pm:

    Opinions expressed are based upon different views.

    Hope it goes to the courts.

  36. - Katiedid - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:15 pm:

    ==No one alive today lived under the confederate flag. The confederate flag and all the symbolism around it gives some people a bit of a ‘tingle’; albeit a harmless tingle.==

    So, in 100 years, we’ll all say that a band that uses the Nazi flag is okay? That it’s No Big Deal because everyone who lived during the time when that was an official flag is no longer living, so it’s fine because all it does is “give a tingle” (I honestly may be misunderstanding what you’re saying here, though)?

    I think it’s fine to cancel and agree with previous commenters that the real issue is it being approved in the first place.

  37. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:16 pm:

    ==Canceling is a breach of good faith==

    Music can be diminished or impaired.

  38. - Nonbeliever - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:17 pm:

    “Nobody has an inherent right to a state contract. Period.”

    So you say. As we all know each situation is different and how courts will rule on such said situations is hardly the ability of ANYONE to predict.

  39. - Scamp640 - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:17 pm:

    Change the name “Confederate Railroad” to “White Supremacist Railroad ” and then decide if this is a band that should be playing in Illinois.

  40. - Perrid - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:19 pm:

    Rich, do fairgrounds have to go through any kind of procurement work to book bands? I doubt it. Obviously you need a good reason to award or withdraw contracts that do go through that process. I’m totally clueless on this subject though. And it would be silly if the band could sue over this.

  41. - ChicagoVinny - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:20 pm:

    If there were a band named “Sherman’s March to the Sea” I could see Georgia not wanting to have them play their state fair, I don’t see why the Land of Lincoln should have to book a Confederate band.

    It was a mistake to book them and they have corrected the mistake.

  42. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:21 pm:

    ===As we all know each situation is different===

    Nobody, but nobody has an inherent right to a state contract.

  43. - lakeside - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:23 pm:

    Really excited for all the folks here *finally* admitting that the state of IL makes all the best decisions and should never change course on anything, big or small.

  44. - Nonbeliever - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:30 pm:

    ‘Nobody, but nobody has an inherent right to a state contract.”

    So I ask again, what were the reasons given for the cancellation. How does this fit in with state law?

    And while no one has an inherent right to a state contract, to summarily deny one, and in this case issue it and then cancel, without given cause strains anyone’s legal credulity.

    Let the windows open and the sunshine in and lets get to the bottom of this situation. Healthier for everyone.

  45. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:31 pm:

    ===As we all know each situation is different===

    Nobody, but nobody has an inherent right to a state contract.

    So all they need to do is pass a Constitutional amendment to retroactively guarantee their contract and . . .

  46. - Bourbon Street - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:33 pm:

    Whether the band has a valid breach of contract lawsuit depends on the language of the contract. No sense in us speculating.
    I really don’t have much sympathy for those who adopt insensitive and offensive symbols and then suffer the consequences. As long as the First Amendment is not being violated or the contract breached by the State’s action, then I’m fine with the cancellation.

  47. - lakeside - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:37 pm:

    What do you suggest? Special session so we can hold hearings on the matter of which bands play at the DuQuoin State Fair? Seems intense, but - yeah - let’s run this thing down, see how. deep. it. really. goes.

    Or - feel like I’m watching the three endings of Clue here - someone at Ag booked this band for the fair. And, on second thought, it seemed like maybe not such a good idea, so they decided not to have the band play afterall.

  48. - Big Rock - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:51 pm:

    =Nobody, but nobody has an inherent right to a state contract.=

    Rebels without a clause./s

  49. - Bigtwich - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:53 pm:

    ==Music can be diminished or impaired.==

    So can a people. A decent respect for a part of the population of Illinois requires cancelation. Sue and

  50. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:54 pm:

    The people who actually defeated the Confederacy, losing family and friends in the war, forgave their foes and pardoned almost all of them. (I think the commandant at Andersonville was tried as a war criminal. )

    Why are we now more outraged than they were?

    To the question, would not have signed them in the first place nor have cancelled them now.

  51. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:58 pm:

    I don’t know. I’ve never listened to their music. However, if Confederate Railroad can’t play, then there is no way Lynyrd Skynyrd can play. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  52. - Leslie K - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 5:07 pm:

    Never should have signed them, so I’m fine with them being canceled. It’s not just the confederate part, but the clear smack at the underground _railroad_ that helped slaves reach freedom. Just unbelievably offensive.

  53. - Jake From Elwood - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 5:12 pm:

    I really enjoy a Canadian band called “New Pornographers” but I am queasy every time one of my teens reads the song title on one of my audio devices and comments.
    Do we penalize a band because of their inappropriate name choice?

  54. - Flapdoodle - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 5:22 pm:

    You can’t wrap yourself in the flag of treason and expect not to catch some flack. I have no trouble with this cancellation. People are too lenient toward the glorification of the Confederacy. Stopping now before rant gets out of control.

  55. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 5:27 pm:

    The name is not a deal breaker, but they the flag sends a message that is offensive. If the band were named “Storm Troopers,” we might give them a pass based on the content of their lyrics but not if they used the symbology of the Third Reich.

  56. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 5:53 pm:

    It’s Confederate, which is treason. Cancel.

  57. - Tim - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 6:10 pm:

    No. Just no.

  58. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 6:24 pm:

    “Is canceling this show appropriate?”


    And for the same reasons that I don’t believe that a band named “American Taliban” should be allowed to play at the State Fair, i.e. in matters of treason against the United States of America, the State of Illinois should be permitted to pick a side.

    – MrJM

  59. - PartiPoodle - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 6:26 pm:

    I think the band is inappropriate for a state affair (and more than a little tone deaf). Cancellation approved. But all is not lost; they can probably pick up the gig for the ‘Eastern Bloc party.

  60. - Token Conservative - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 6:45 pm:

    The battle flag is an issue, the music is not. The homophobia and sexism in many rap lyrics is far more offensive than anything this band has ever put out. It’s very selective.

  61. - Anono - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:21 pm:

    They should use the real Confederate flag - a white flag of surrender.

  62. - concerned citizen - Wednesday, Jul 3, 19 @ 8:02 am:

    I am offended by lyrics sung by Snoop Dogg who is playing at the fair in Springfield. I choose not to go, not cry and rant that he be outlawed from playing there. He raps about offensive things and uses horrible, demeaning language toward women and about drug use and criminals using guns.

  63. - Pundent - Wednesday, Jul 3, 19 @ 8:27 am:

    @concerned citizen

  64. - pool boy - Wednesday, Jul 3, 19 @ 9:47 am:

    Civil rights vs free speech rights? Whose civil rights have they violated? I vote with free speech rights every time, whether I like what is being said or not.

  65. - DeseDemDose - Wednesday, Jul 3, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    The confederate flag as a memento died in Charlottesville. It has been usurped by extremists. Bye.

  66. - Sosia - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 2:41 pm:

    No it is not appropriate. It is people/groups like this that make the name Confederate an issue. Instead of dredging up HISTORY and keeping it a hotbed issue, make appropriate changes for the future. In using the word appropriate, I mean non-racial all across the board. Racial division is alive because of people/groups wanting their 15 minutes of fame by creating issues such as this. Raise awareness and work together educating others in a more positive light. it is beyond tired of having to be PC for those who have no respect for the rights of others.

  67. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 3:05 pm:

    So A band called All American Rejects is ok but Confederate Railroad offends you. This country is becoming a nation of fame seeking cry babies. Why can’t we just enjoy the music??

  68. - Sheri Boller - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 8:12 pm:

    I think it is wrong. Just because of their name. I have seen them for free in my neck of the country. They are awesome I love their songs. What is this world coming to.

  69. - George Blackard - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 10:50 am:

    Obviously, Rich Miller is now trying to rally those who think like him to his side so he doesn’t feel like such a heel for the nonsense story he published that caused all of this silliness. If people are offended by a simple word or a name, they really need to take stock of their lives as being offended will not make them happier and it does not make the earth a better place.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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