Kid Rock's NAACP award leading to protest, threats of boycott

kid-rockImage Credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images Kid Rock is set to receive the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People‘s Detroit chapter’s Great Expectations Award this May.

The avid fan of soul and hip-hop music is under fire, however, for his use of the Confederate flag during his concerts, the Huffington Post reports. several NAACP members are protesting his impending recognition for that very reason.

The Confederate flag symbolizes plenty of things—none of which support the forward movement of African Americana in the post Civil Rights era. The NAACP is all about that, by the way. In an old interview Rock once did, the Post notes, he’s quoted saying, “Sure, [the Confederate flag’s] definitely got some scars, but I’ve never had an issue with it. To me it just represents pride in southern rock ‘n’ roll music, plus it just looks cool.” Apparently he’s yet to realize that it’s not about whether he has beef with what the flag represents, but what it means overall.

Rock’s rep have chosen not to comment about the protests and bubbling anger among the association.

What do you think about Rock’s use of the flag? Sound off in the comments section below.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)


Comments (95 total) Add your comment
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  • KC

    People should protest the end of his crappy music rather than the use of the Confederate Flag.

    • Dr. Tokenkoff

      I agree!

    • who cares

      so you don’t want his crappy music to end and you are going to protest it?

      • Lesley

        I love him and PA and HispanicMatch.net was brilliant

    • joebecca

      WORD!!!! he SUCKS!

    • jrock59100

      I’ll never buy another Kid Rock Cd or anything else he sells…I’m a black man and I use to be a big fan of Kid Rock until he started getting into politics and backing Mitt Romney, that move is a slap in Detroit’s Face.

  • Eli

    “Kid Rock is awesome!”

    — Said No One. Ever.

    • Jay

      Eli, thank you for my first true laugh of the day.

  • Bill

    It’s a slow media day outside of Charlie Sheen, so they’re trying to make something out of nothing. People are all excited to protest like all the other idiots in the world right now and will find anything to protest.

    Kid Rock is awesome!

  • jt

    LOL, KC, and amen. Everyone knows what that flag represents, so when someone says it means something else to them it’s total BS. It’s a symbol of hatred and intolerance plain and simple.

    • Virginia girl

      Here is my honest response to what you’ve said. I grew up in a suburb of Richmond, VA, which was the capital of the Confederacy. This area is VERY interested in Civil War history because so much of it happened there. (Same way/reason it’s also VERY interested in the Revolutionary War and Colonial history.) So I grew up in an area full of Civil War buffs and people whose ancestors served on the wrong side. I never saw anyone use the Confederate flag to mean anything other than “I am a twangy-voiced, hunting enthusiast, pickup truck-driving redneck and proud of it.” I mean that sincerely and truthfully. So I grew up thinking it was simply a sign of redneck pride. I knew its association with the Civil War, which in turn obviously revolved around slavery, but it was my understanding that people used it to mean something different nowadays. The meaning of symbols changes as people decide it does, like Hitler appropriating the swastika. The neighbor kids flew an American flag and a Confederate flag off their treehouse. Not a single person in that family had anything against black people and they were incredibly nice, good people. They just liked wearing camouflage and spending time outdoors in the country. I understand why the Confederate flag is seen as a hate symbol by many many people and I would never encourage anyone to display it, but I grew up viewing it as a historical symbol whose meaning had shifted to indicate that whoever was displaying it was something of a real life Larry the Cable Guy. Not a bad person, and not someone who meant anything racist by it. Once I grew up, I realized that there were still people using it as a sign of hate, but I honestly believe that a good many people who display it on their trucks or shirts or hats or whatever….they don’t mean it as having anything to do with race. So while it’s at least arguably insensitive of these people to continue using the flag, given what others tend to think it represents, I personally have a hard time condemning someone for it when they honestly don’t mean it to be racist. Kid Rock has sort of a redneck persona; I can see why he uses the flag, because it’s an identifier that marks him as someone who might appeal to the rednecky base he’s shooting for. I do understand why people are unhappy with Kid Rock displaying the Confederate flag, but I don’t think that you can make a sweeping declaration of “what [the Confederate flag] means overall” because there are honestly good people out there who give it a completely different meaning in their lives without intending to hurt anyone. Maybe in the future, opinions will consolidate more and everyone will see the Confederate flag as an unacceptable symbol, but for the time being, it has at least two completely different meanings in this country and I do believe it’s important to recognize and address that whenever the issue of the flag comes up. Otherwise, rednecks are just going to get more defensive about “their symbol” and it’ll be harder to convince them to give it up (which I think would be at least the easiest solution) because most people see it as a hate symbol.

      • Virginia girl

        Holy crap, that turned out really long. I had no idea while I was writing it. Sorry about that!

      • johnnykagewins

        EXAAAACTLY my thoughts. I’m in south carolina, and white folks here hold on to that flag with such tenacity! So many blacks could care less about it; the racism we see today usually has no symbols to attach to it and say, “see that symbol on his truck? it means he hates allllll of us.”

        I’m seeing a turn of the flag to being a symbol of being a neoredneck (one who loves the activities often enjoyed by poor hicks) than being a real redneck (hate-filled southerner raised during the 50s-60s who hates everyone that doesnt look just-like them or believe in everything they do the way they do.)

      • Jasmine

        THe Confederate Flags has a very simple meaning, it means hatred. The people who honor this flag also honor slavery, lynching and murder. It’s that simple.

      • Julia Putnam

        I completely understand your point of view and believe that some can see the flag as just a symbol of pride in the things they like to do. However, I also see it as a sign that, while those people don’t mean to be racist, they also don’t support what it has meant to my history as an African-American. And therefore, it’s a big “sucks to be you, but I don’t care” sign. It might not be meant to be racist, but the message it sends is that they are indifferent to the racism that people who look like me have suffered under this flag.

    • ML

      I always wondered why the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was not offensive in name alone if not more than a historical flag?

  • tg

    I guess if he thinks the swastika looks cool then that’s OK too?

    • Typical Internet Guy

      Funny that you mention the swastika considering it was widely used in India and other Asian cultures before Nazi Germany.

      • Jimm

        It is still used in India and South East Asia.

    • Drew

      Yes. I happen to like the Nazi flag. Does that mean I am a Nazi? No it does not. People have to complain about everything they don’t like. They have that attitude of ” What I like is right and everthing else is wrong”. Grow up people!!!!

  • lily

    Wow, when I thought my opinion of him couldn’t get any lower…

  • Hip Hop

    When I think of the long and storied history of my life: DJ Kool Herc, The Sugarhill Gang, Def Jam records, “The Message”, De La Soul, Rakim, EPMD, Run DMC, NWA, Jay Z, “The Chronic”, how can I not look back in absolute pride at what I would have to say is my magnum opus. My Moby Dick. My Godfather. My version of The Beatles and The Stones combined – Kid Rock. A no talent “artist” who quickly moved to making horrible southern rock albums once people stopped buying his rap-rock crap. Truly a great day for Hip Hop and African American culture.

  • Dee Jones

    He is just ridiculous and yes his music is tired!

    • Jurig

      Here’s the about the rally:The comments are a mix of pro-flag:CarolinaSpirit wrote on 06/28/2010 08:58:53 AM:If If you staneerly look at the flag of the Confederacy for what it stood for you’ll find no oppression, hate, or terrorism as stated in some of these comments. This comes from a good liberal Black-washing of the truth.Now if you look at the flag of the United States; who interned a whole group of people because they were the same etnicity as those we were at war with (America), who dropped atomic bombs murdering thousands of these people (America), who is presently planted around the world forcing our western ways on others (America).Again; my people fought for the north, but I don’t look at the Confederate flag for what groups well after the Civil War turned it into supporting their rebelious views I look at it in respect for those who would stand up against the federal government and fight for what is merely written in the Constituion States Rights . Remember, Lincoln could have cared less about the slavery issues until it became a ralleying point during the war.And; as we see our liberties eroding today under the socialist federal government I think it’s time we reflect on those who once took up protecting their rights with their lives and respect this flag. Then reach down and pull back up the strength to defend the true American way of life And anti: RepublicanAGAINSTlibertarians wrote on 06/28/2010 04:16:57 PM:CarolinaSpirit, there are people who think that about the American flag and they burn it or stomp on it, etc. but that doesn’t change the fact that it is the country’s flag and legally belongs on the dome. We are talking about an extraneous symbol from history with a powerful message. In its time it stood for lots of things, some good and some bad. The same goes for the Nazi flag. It was simply the flag for Hitler’s political party that rebuilt Germany. It didn’t begin with the baggage it would soon acquire. But both symbols can’t escape their meaning in THIS time period. It isn’t the symbols’ fault .it isn’t how they began their life, but it doesn’t change how they ended up. They are no longer benign and have no place as ACTIVE symbols here and now. They can be placed in museums to tell us about history.

  • SamJ

    I used to think rainbows were coll until I found out they were gay. Now I have to find something else to represent my love of the color spectrum.

    • JoeC

      Not all rainbows are gay. Some are just confused or exploring.

    • JEFF EASTWOOD

      SamJ, have you tried turning your affections towards Roy G. Biv? I know he’s not as coll as a rainbow.

  • Tim

    So the NAACP awards to whiggers now?

    • D

      What a wonderfully racist thing to say. You must be a tolerant liberal!

      • JEFF EASTWOOD

        Since when is calling someone what they are racist??

    • Shaolin Shadowboxer

      I hate that term! You are an idiot, and also racist, for using it.

  • Elizabeth

    maybe the “great expectation” is they hope he moves beyond “it looks cool” and just ditches the use of the flag?

    He does stay loyal to Detroit, can’t fault him for that. Just think somethings that he does could be dialed back just a smidge.

  • Colin

    NAACP just found something else to cry about! I would never be a part of their hate group!

  • Ana170

    I don’t understand why the NAACP chose to award him anything in the first place. Instead of rewarding confederate flag-bearing idiots, why don’t they try making themselves actually useful to black people for a change?

  • jthunders

    He’s not even southern!

    • UGH

      Haha. True that. He’s a wannabe-poser. Started out a rap-rock idiot and now he thinks bringing back Southern Rock is hip.

      • Troy Soldier

        He’s a major poser and a fake. He actually grew up a rich kid in the suburbs. He first tried to pass himself off as a thug from the inner city (Vanilla Ice 2.0). When that got old, he tried to pass himself off as a redneck from a trailer park. He’s really just a spoiled brat who doesn’t bathe on a regular basis.

  • johnnykagewins

    I think Kid Rock’s use of it is spot on with his beliefs. In fact, I’ve seen how many of today’s whites who identify with the confederate flag dont identify it as the symbol of hatred and oppression it was turned into by the Klan. Some see it as a symbol of their southern pride, some see it as a symbol of their traditional roots, some see it as a symbol of their extremist views, and some dont see it as a symbol at all; its just a thing of fashion. It’s up to the person identifying it to define its meaning to them. Like wearing an afro. If Kid Rock waved the Conf Flag while screaming, “white power” then the NAACP should protest his recognition.

    But instead of boycotting him, maybe they should take him through a Civil Rights museum so he can learn what the symbol represents to the group recognizing him. Their is a chance he will use the learning opportunity to grow from it.

    • Virginia girl

      I love the idea of the NAACP taking him to a Civil Rights museum and helping him see their perspective on his use of the Confederate flag. I really, really think the best way to go about resolving this kind of situation is to say “I know you’re a good person and you don’t see this symbol in the same way, but this is why it hurts us…” rather than just yelling at him about how racist it is to show a Confederate flag. People cling to their positions so much more tenaciously when they start feeling defensive.

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