DETROIT (AP) - Grammy-nominated artist Kid Rock told nearly 10,000 people at the Detroit NAACP branch’s annual fundraising dinner that his use of the Confederate flag during on-stage performances has nothing to do with how he feels about blacks.
“I love America. I love Detroit, and I love black people,” the musician said Sunday night during the annual Fight for Freedom Fund dinner at Cobo Center.
The Macomb County, Mich., native said his use of the flag derives from a popular song by legendary Southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Earlier, a group of about 50 people picketed outside Cobo Center in protest of the decision to honor Ritchie. The group also burned a replica of the flag, considered a symbol of racism and oppression to blacks in the South. It was carried by secessionist Southern troops in the American Civil War.
Others also were honored Sunday night, but most of the attention was focused on Ritchie.
“We’re not lifting up the flag,” Anthony said earlier Sunday. “We’re lifting up a gentleman who has worked very hard to be a booster for Detroit.”
From the time it was first announced, the choice of Kid Rock as honoree has been criticized by some who said the use of the Confederate flag conflicts with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s message.
“It stands for hatred, bigotry, racism, murder,” Detroit political consultant Adolph Mongo said of the flag. “Every bigot and racist in this country loves that flag.”
Mongo helped ignite the flag about 5 p.m. It took several attempts with a cigarette lighter before the flag caught fire to chants of, “Burn, baby, burn.”
The Confederate flag symbolizes racial oppression, but also pride in the South for many Southerners, said Kirk Mayes, 35, of Detroit.
It “really is a symbol of the past,” Mayes said after attending the dinner. “Today, it’s about moving forward. We have to kind of be open to the spirit of forgiving. Not embracing its symbolism of hatred, but recognizing its relevance.”
Ritchie, who appeared at the event with his son, received loud applause when he was introduced and again when he stood to accept the award.View Entire Story
By Andrew P. Napolitano
The president's men trash the Constitution to pursue antagonists
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
We welcome you to the intimate and personal thoughts on the news and events we, as editors, watch, read, and discuss with our writers every day.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention