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Confederate opinions

Thursday, Jul 11, 2019

* The Sun-Times editorial board says the Confederate flag is “about the South’s historic defense of slavery, Jim Crow segregation, white citizens’ councils, the Ku Klux Klan, American fascism, white supremacy, white nationalism and everyday off-the-rack bigotry.” But

The Illinois Department of Agriculture, working with its new local fair manager, Josh Gross, announced the entire lineup for the Du Quoin State Fair weeks ago — on June 17. It scheduled Confederate Railroad to play on a Tuesday, Aug. 27.

The time to take a pass on a band like Confederate Railroad was back then. It would have been entirely reasonable for state officials to decline to book the band just because of the art on the band’s album cover, which includes a small Confederate flag.

We wish they had.

But for Pritzker to reach down from his heights now, after all the contracts have been signed, and cancel the booking for this one band strikes us as excessive government involvement in matters of free expression.

The way these things usually work is the artist signs the final contract on the day of the show after negotiating terms with the fair and coming to an arrangement. So, technically, not all contracts had been signed.

But the governor’s people are pointing out that if the governor believes a lower-level person in his/her administration has made a big mistake, then shouldn’t the governor step in and change it? Regardless of what you may think of the decision, it’s Pritzker’s administration. So, if someone in his administration really messes up, he’s held responsible. Governors own.

* Daily Herald editorial

Support for the band has swelled amid appearances of an elitist double standard, while the serious issues underlying the debate go unacknowledged.

Thus has a legitimate swipe at racism been transformed into a false narrative of “fascism” — all flowing from matters ostensibly defined as simple entertainment. If nothing else, we hope that’s a lesson schedulers keep in mind for future events that will bear the imprint of the state of Illinois.

* The Du Quoin Call’s editor

Needless to say, social media was flooded this past weekend with statements from Southern Illinoisans berating the state’s decision. Some have even threatened to boycott this year’s Du Quoin State Fair. Such talk is a big-time overreaction.

What exactly would that accomplish?

A boycott might give some a personal sense of satisfaction, but what it would really accomplish is that it would hurt the vendors and all those hardworking lower-income employees who help make the fair a success each and every year. It would hurt the Southern Illinois economy plain and simple.

…Adding… Bernie

[Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield] described Monday’s meeting as “a good discussion” and said the administration’s reason for canceling the Du Quoin event was “they have a policy that they don’t allow anything with the Confederate flag or Nazi swastikas to be displayed.” He says he agrees with the concept, but he wondered if there is actually a written policy. He also wondered how far that policy goes when it comes to vendors at fairs — or even items sold in the gift shop at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield.

In a visit to that gift shop Tuesday, Butler said, there were items — including card games on the themes of Civil War generals and armaments — with pictures of American and Confederate flags on the packaging.

CHRIS WILLS, spokesman for the museum, said the shop doesn’t sell items that would prominently feature the flag, like hats or T-shirts.

That has to be the weakest argument on this topic I’ve yet seen. C’mon, Tim.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

57 Comments
  1. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:31 pm:

    “It would hurt the Southern Illinois economy plain and simple.”

    Since when has that stopped the good people of Southern Illinois?

    – MrJM


  2. - Blake - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:34 pm:

    The Sun-Times & DuQuoin Call both basically get it right. It’s best to avoid making midway changes because that often leaves people feeling jerked around & best to have politicians avoid cultural hotpoints where possible. Few would have known about their appearance in DuQuoin if Pritzker had said & done nothing public.


  3. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:38 pm:

    =But for Pritzker to reach down from his heights now=

    The governor is not a government spectator, he is the leader, and clearly this governor does not sit on high looking down on the little people. Yes, he has wealth the likes of which few will ever know, but he does not treat the average person (Joe and Jane Lunchbucket) as impediments like our last governor did. He is human and treats other with some level of human compassion. This has been evident in the short time he has been governor.

    He is in charge, I can understand how that is strange to them after the previous administration.

    =after all the contracts have been signed, and cancel the booking for this one band strikes us as excessive government involvement in matters of free expression.=

    Such a lame piece of writing. The “government is inherently involved in the state fair (even a redundant one) as it is a government fair and the bands were booked by government. who else would be involved?


  4. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:45 pm:

    ===Few would have known about their appearance in DuQuoin if Pritzker had said & done nothing public===

    Totally disagree. I mean, what planet do you live on? There’d be press conferences with liberals and black people demanding he take action.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:47 pm:

    ===Regardless of what you may think of the decision, it’s Pritzker’s administration. So, if someone in his administration really messes up, he’s held responsible. Governors own.===

    They always do.

    ===Support for the band has swelled amid appearances of an elitist double standard, while the serious issues underlying the debate go unacknowledged.

    Thus has a legitimate swipe at racism been transformed into a false narrative of “fascism” — all flowing from matters ostensibly defined as simple entertainment. If nothing else, we hope that’s a lesson schedulers keep in mind for future events that will bear the imprint of the state of Illinois.===

    This is really well said.

    The new “normal”, besides “whataboutism”, is allowing the normalcy of things like the confederate flag and all it stands for be proponents of things like the flag to equate the negative of something to the opinion of something that isn’t of the same flavor.

    Snoop Dogg, you may not like his music, you may have legitimate issues with things around him. Ok.

    Snoop Dogg isn’t the symbol of racial injustice, slavery, and the rebellion against the United States.

    You’ve elevated Snoop, a cooking partner of Martha Stewart, to a symbol that cost the lives of Americans, on American soil, fighting for all to be free.

    When they make the ills of society an acceptable “whatabout” discussion, then those looking to tear down society win.


  6. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:48 pm:

    I…for one… applaud Governor Pritzker for his righteous stance against racism.


  7. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:57 pm:

    Sun Times looks silly
    Butler…..well he just did his typical last min jump in…should have thought twicw when it involved Rep Bryant.
    Black Diamond may be trying get GovJunk to MC


  8. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    This is the Land of Lincoln, for crying out loud. Confederate symbols should in no way be allowed at a state event. It’s better that the booking mistake was caught and reversed.


  9. - Because I said so... - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    Yet Rep. Butler has a Betsy Ross flag flying outside his house (which has also been used as a symbol of white nationalism). Just sayin’…


  10. - Blake - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:10 pm:

    Rich, the band said they’ve played in DuQuoin before & it passed without being a news story. Has that much changed since the last time? It seems like stories & press conferences pass constanly with few noticing.


  11. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:10 pm:

    ===Has that much changed since the last time?===

    Again, what planet do you live on? Yes, times have changed. A lot.


  12. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    Context matters Rep. Butler. Items with that flag in a historical Civil War context are fine because you know, that’s who the Union fought against. Perfectly fine for the library to sell Civil War related items with the flag on it. And doormats.


  13. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    I am embarrassed for Representative Butler. I feel the need to remind him he represents the seat once held by Abraham Lincoln, and I doubt his predecessor would be happy about his actions on this matter.


  14. - James Knell - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    I think the root problem here is that the Confederate Light alternative versions history has been tolerated and coddled for far too long. I’ve heard so many guys say, “The American Civil War was about competing economic systems, not the existence and spread of slavery.” You can tell they believe it… and they really want to believe it so they can keep being a “heritage confederate”. They are quick to tell us that their southern ancestors were very poor… way too poor to own slaves.

    Someone who knows what they are talking about needs to explain no one is guilty for the crimes of their ancestors. But Jim Crow lasted into the 1960s. People have to be allowed to live with the past.

    That’s not going to happen at the Harley Davidson dealership sponsored Confederate Railroad ho-down. The myths will be told & retold, and Fox News bubble will be strengthened.

    Maybe some will listen to a great civil war historian like James McPherson. Maybe they will listen to John Oliver ranting against this B.S. version of history. But that’s not going to happen because “the liberals tried to cancel their concert and erase their heritage.”

    Johnny Reb has cut off his nose to spite his face so many times, he’s a nose-less wonder.


  15. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    ===Maybe some will listen to a great civil war historian ===

    As MisterJayEm said the other day on Twitter about a different topic, this isn’t about thinking, it’s about believing.


  16. - Norseman - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:26 pm:

    Yes, it would have been better if this had been caught at the lower staff level. It wasn’t and the Governor took action as leaders should. Illinois has been sorely needing a leader who leads. Rest assured, now the standard has been set state workers will know to avoid this mistake.

    Good job JB on this one. (P.S. Now rectify your pay supplement mistake.)


  17. - Steve - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:33 pm:

    OW

    Governor Pritzker must be so proud of defending Snoop.

    https://www.elitedaily.com/music/music-news/the-20-most-misogynist-lines-in-rap-history


  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    ===Governor Pritzker must be so proud of…===

    … standing up against a racist symbol of not only slavery, but treason.

    I dunno if he’s proud. I’d guess he would be, and should be.

    I’m proud he stood up to the Confederate flag. How about you?


  19. - IllinoisBoi - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:46 pm:

    Maybe the band could temporarily change its name to Union Railroad — or Illinois Central Railroad.


  20. - Steve - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:48 pm:

    It really is insignificant. But, if you believe it is: Jimmy Carter must repent for restoring Jefferson Davis’ citizenship .

    https://time.com/4802270/jefferson-davis-day-2017/


  21. - Tim - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    For goodness sake it’s a country music show. As is typical, the libs are overthinking it. If I lived downstate I wouldn’t go to the fair either. I would go see these guys play somewhere else.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    - Steve -

    Maybe you should see about Congress in 1978 as well.

    https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/jefferson-davis

    ===Davis’s life after the war was bleak. Charged with treason, he went to prison in Fort Monroe, Virginia, where he remained for two years. In prison his physical and emotional health deteriorated, and he was never the same after he was released in May 1867. He and his family traveled abroad for two years. When he returned to America, he had trouble making a living. He worked for an insurance company in Memphis, but the company went bankrupt, and when he published a history of the Confederacy, it did not sell well. He lived off the charity of friends and relatives until his death in New Orleans in 1889. He refused to take the oath of allegiance to regain his citizenship, which was restored only posthumously by the U.S. Congress in 1978.===

    Are you sure you want to be known here as the defender of the confederacy?

    Up to you, sure, but…


  23. - Soccermom - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:54 pm:

    Steve — with the ability to make leaps of that magnitude, you should be running the 110m hurdles for the US Olympic team.


  24. - Big Rock - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 2:07 pm:

    =Maybe the band could temporarily change its name to Union Railroad — or Illinois Central Railroad.=

    The Confederate Air Force changed its name to the Commemorative Air Force in 2002. Very smart move.


  25. - Fantasma - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    Hey Tim! This isn’t about how the “liberals” feel. It’s about how people of color feel when they see that symbol. I’m glad you have your white privilege, but not everyone can say the same.


  26. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 2:21 pm:

    I have ancestors who owned slaves in the American South. I can’t do anything about that except admit it and be very embarrassed about it. Oh, and light that flag on fire if anyone waves one in my presence.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 2:49 pm:

    ===He (Butler) says he agrees with the concept, but he wondered if there is actually a written policy.===

    That’s your wonder?

    My wonder would be “why ya wanting to fly the confederate flag?”

    This is pathetic on its face;

    ===He (Butler) says he agrees with the concept===

    Just the concept or do you see the flag as a symbol of hate and racism?

    The concept? Well, if it’s the concept…

    Who speaks like that about a symbol of hate?


  28. - Klaus VonBulow - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    Butler has brought up a point regarding policy. Where is the policy? In government policies are not arbitrary.

    I would suggest the Governor issue an EO making it official policy.


  29. - phenom_Anon - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 2:56 pm:

    =When they make the ills of society an acceptable “whatabout” discussion, then those looking to tear down society win.=

    I fully support the decision of the Pritzker administration to cancel Confederate Railroad. I think it’s good that a line is being drawn on what will be promoted by or associated with state government. That said, this wasn’t the type of thing that was really part of the booking policy before. Now that it is, it’s worth looking at the baggage that comes with other artists. I agree that most of the comparisons being made on social media and in statements between Snoop and CR are just whataboutism over CR. But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look at potential issues with other artists as well.


  30. - the old man - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 4:23 pm:

    Butler’s argument is not WEAK, it is just plain common sense, where does the policy begin, where does this all end?


  31. - Dome Gnome - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 4:34 pm:

    The Confederate flag is never going to be okay.


  32. - Captain Obvious - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 4:50 pm:

    Weak argument? Is not this whole kerfluffle over the Confederate flag on an album cover, i.e. packaging?


  33. - A guy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 4:50 pm:

    When news is slow, the hang time of stories like this increase. Should’ve steamed through in one news cycle, but no.

    The Band will get $7500 to not play OR play somewhere else and doubledip for the day…How Illinoisish that would be.

    Bound to run into more trouble with that band name. So, Change it to BO Railroad, quit showering and go on tour. You don’t need a flag or a towel. It’ll be fun.


  34. - Norseman - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 5:02 pm:

    Butler is lame and his argument is lame. Either you oppose symbols and words of hate or you don’t. The GOP and its sycophants are throwing up smokescreens because they don’t want to offend parts of their base.


  35. - Nonbeliever - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 5:27 pm:

    “The GOP and its sycophants are throwing up smokescreens because they don’t want to offend parts of their base.”

    So this is not political on the DEMS side. Get real.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 5:30 pm:

    ===So this is not political on the DEMS side. Get real.===

    I’d hope so.

    Being anti-slavery, and taking a stand against racism seems to be a good political position.

    So you support the confederate flag?


  37. - Nonbeliever - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 5:32 pm:

    Being a ’selective censor’ seems to be a good idea to the DEMS.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 5:33 pm:

    ===Being a ’selective censor’ seems to be a good idea to the DEMS.===

    So…. you support the confederate flag?


  39. - Nonbeliever - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 5:36 pm:

    I support anyone’s right to display it.

    Personally I would not do it.

    Question answered for you Willy or are you going to go on and on and on like you so often foolishly do.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 5:40 pm:

    ===Question answered for you Willy or are you going to go on and on and on like you so often foolishly do.===

    Only if you continually think everything is a partisan war against you… personally.

    I need the laughs.


  41. - Nonbeliever - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 5:41 pm:

    Willy, thanks for proving my point.


  42. - My thoughts - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 5:43 pm:

    And yet we have a rapper performing who is on record making homophobic statements and supporting antisemitic leaders.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 5:46 pm:

    ===thanks for proving my point.===

    … that you can be utterly ridiculous at times thinking partisan folks are out to personally offend you?

    Nah, my pleasure. I should thank you, you give me some great belly-type laughs.

    :)


  44. - Generation X - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 6:00 pm:

    My post didn’t go through but my basic point is that art/music is supposed to be provocative. Plus artists intentionally provoke one side to sell tickets on the other.

    Whether it’s Lynard Skynard, Eminem, NWA, Marilyn Manson, or Madonna. There is racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-authority pro-authority in music. Once we start banning one, the next is soon to follow. J.B. bans Confederate Railroad and then the Gov of Kentucky bans Eminem and so on.

    There are opinions on both side of almost every issue and once one side decides they have the ultimate moral authority to decide right from wrong and deny free expression, then we have a problem.

    It’s why the Klan had a right to march in Skokie and people have the right to burn a flag. If people want to boycott the Fair and protest Confederate Railroad then fine. When the Government silences them, or a Red State bans Snoop for sexism then we have a problem.


  45. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 6:17 pm:

    ===It’s why the Klan had a right to march in Skokie===

    So you are deciding to compare Confederate Junction to… the Klan?

    I’m sure they’ll thank you.


  46. - Generation X - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 6:41 pm:

    No Oswego please try to keep up.

    The point is that when you start to limit unpopular speech to some, even a majority, you risk losing it all, even those you make enjoy or agree with.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 6:48 pm:

    - Generation X -

    I’m keeping up fine.

    You equated the right of the Klan to the same tier as Confederate Junction.

    I’d send that off to their press flack.

    “We should have the same rights as the Klan”

    I’ve noticed they haven’t done that. Wonder why.

    ===The point is that when you start to limit unpopular speech to some, even a majority, you risk losing it all, even those you make enjoy or agree with.===

    I’m very much in favor of free speech.

    Your sentence, again, equates the band with the most heinous of those seeking free speech.

    You think they want that? Is that worth $7500 to them?


  48. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 7:37 pm:

    “The point is that when you start to limit unpopular speech to some, even a majority, you risk losing it all, even those you make enjoy or agree with.”

    This is a state fair, not a private concert. This is Illinois, a former Union state and home to Lincoln, not a former Confederate state. Confederate Railroad can play at private venues in Illinois at their pleasure and for whoever wants to book them.


  49. - Generation X - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 8:45 pm:

    No I’m not equating Confederate Railroad with the KKK any more than I’m equating Eminem’s homophobic lyrics with the KKK. I’m grouping them all with provocative speech.

    I want Springfield and Duquoin to have the freedom to book acts that sell tickets even if something about those acts offends some people.

    Confederate Railroad isn’t protesting because this is the best thing that ever happened to them, just like Too Live Crew didn’t really care that Tipper Gore slapped a sticker on their album.

    @ Grandson. I know Illinois is well within their legal rights not to book certain acts. I can probably find something offensive in every act booked this year. Snoop has a long history of misogynistic lyrics which sort of transcends the whole North v South thing, so how do you demarcate that?


  50. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 9:16 pm:

    ===I’m grouping them all with provocative speech.===

    Ugh. Go with that.

    ===Confederate Railroad isn’t protesting because this is the best thing that ever happened to them, just like Too Live Crew didn’t really care that Tipper Gore slapped a sticker on their album.===

    Oh boy.

    Lyrics chosen, versus a symbol of hatred, racism, slavery and treason is like bad words on a rap album?

    Whew.

    I’m willing to bet you might say a bad word or three in your life… but will ya randomly fly a confederate flag outside your house?

    Is that equating enough for ya?


  51. - Wondering Wendy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 9:56 pm:

    Thank you thank you Generation X for saying what many of us are thinking Thank you.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 9:59 pm:

    ===Thank you thank you Generation X for saying what many of us are thinking Thank you.===

    #SilentMajority

    “Many”

    Are you speaking for the many?


  53. - My thoughts - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:48 pm:

    ~I’m willing to bet you might say a bad word or three in your life… but will ya randomly fly a confederate flag outside your house?

    Do you randomly praise Louis Farrakhan like Snoop Dogg?


  54. - SaulGoodman - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 12:01 am:

    **the whole North v South thing**

    Sigh…


  55. - Just me - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 9:51 am:

    I have to admit. I didn’t think it was a big deal and an over reaction to the Conferderate flag. I’ve read other sources and get it. But I still think the reaction to the Betsy Ross flag is overblown. That flag represents the original colonies, not an uprising or symbol of racial beliefs. So. Am I wrong there too?


  56. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    The question isn’t whether white supremecists have a right to march in Skokie. They do.

    The question is whether the State of Illinois should buy them hoods.


  57. - Norseman - Friday, Jul 12, 19 @ 11:28 am:

    Just me, thank you for researching the issue. If only all folks did that before drawing lines in the sand.

    I also agree with you on the 1777 flag. I would expand on it but Rich likes us to stay on topic.


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