Kid Rock shouldn’t fly Confederate flag at Saginaw concert

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Saginaw News Letters By Community Voice

Voice: Kenneth Hreha, Dryden

With great pleasure, I read the Rev. Daniel Buttry’s commentary “Respect others in the new year” published in The Detroit News.

His enlightened opinion rightly points out, “We don’t like our buttons pushed by familiar code words that speak lightly of our suffering, that disparage our people or that limit our humanity to what is degrading and demeaning.”

Only the ignorant would disagree with Buttry’s perspective.

It also serves to ask why Michigan’s widely popular music star Kid Rock pay honor to the Confederate flag during his concert performances by flying it in front of thousands of impressionable fans. Does he not know of the fight for freedom in the U.S. civil rights movement?

Is it fair to ask if Kid Rock’s insensitive action is code for saying that his heart believes in what Jim Crow stood for? Because listening to Kid Rock sing “All Summer Long” and “Sweet Home Alabama” most certainly is.

In fairness, a close friend of the music star recently advised me Kid Rock flies the Confederate flag because he was innocently influenced by watching the “Dukes of Hazzard” as a youth and nothing more.

I suggested Kid Rock is now a quarter-century removed from adolescence and should know the unforgivable reality that for too many black Americans there was no sweet home Alabama, nor was being born free in America an equal and fair option as it was for him in his rural middle-class upbringing.

Not bringing the Confederate flag to his Jan. 21-22 Saginaw concert would not only heed the advice and words of Rev. Buttry, it would pay respect to the life and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I respectfully suggest Kid Rock put away his Confederate flag and that his legions of dedicated fans think long and hard when singing along with his signature song and new release “Born Free” and realize that the fight for  U.S. civil rights freedom came with tragic, sorrowful scars on our national history such as the 1965 Birmingham, Ala., church bombing that murderously ended the lives of four innocent little girls.