The decision to put singer Kid Rock, who has openly supported the Confederate flag, as the opening act in the mainly black Detroit has placed the singer into an immense dispute regarding race and culture.
As reported by foxnews.com, Olympia Entertainment tapped Rock — whose real name is Robert James Ritchie — to be the opening performer for the new Little Caesars Arena with concerts scheduled for next week.
The singer has been praised for his generosity and support of Detroit, but his criticism of NFL star Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand up for the American Anthem, triggered Detroit civil rights groups to organize a protest and demand that his shows are called off.
Rock is from the Detroit suburbs and has proudly called the city his home. He has scheduled six concerts at the arena, starting Tuesday — something that Peter Hammer, director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Detroit’s Wayne State University, called “incredibly tone deaf.”
“Everything is different post-Charlottesville,” Hammer said, pointing to the violent white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Va.
“These are moments where you have to act as a matter of character and state what your values are,” Hammer added. “Everything now is becoming symbolic. That means we have to choose our symbols carefully.”
The call for the cancellation of Rock’s concerts came from the National Action Network’s Detroit chapter that has scheduled a demonstration next week. This is not the organization’s first aim at the singer as they’ve formerly condemned him for exhibiting the Confederate flag at his shows.
“This is the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said the president of the network’s Detroit chapter, Rev. Charles Williams II.
“When you hire Kid Rock, who is known to be dog-whistling and cat-calling to white supremacist organizations and the white supremacist community, alt-right, whatever you want to call them, and you take our tax dollars to do that? That’s wrong,” he added.
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