Country band loses gigs over Facebook post supporting white nationalists

Ever since the tragedy in Charlottesville, a number of people can’t help but get themselves in trouble on social media.  This time, it’s the leader of the country band Rodney Parker and Liberty Beach. A Facebook post by Mr. Parker has cost the band two gigs, one of which would have seen them open of a major country star.

On August 15, protesters in Durham, N.C. toppled a confederate statue.  Reacting to this, Rodney Parker wrote the following:

 

“Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Communists, Socialists; PURE TRASH, PERIOD. Certainly, in the face of this ongoing, relentless behavior from these leftist agitators, White Nationalists (who’re NOT White Supremacists, just so we’re clear) TOTALLY have a legitimate right to SPEAK, BE HEARD and retaliate. Mainstream media wants to manipulate and keep you timid and full of white guilt, and that empowers these leftist [a**]. Do NOT fall for that communist tactic EVER.”

The band was set to be the opening act at the 34th annual Northwest Ohio Rib Off.  That was, until the sponsor, The Toledo Blade, was made aware of this post.  Two days later, they were removed from the lineup, where they would have opened for country start Lee Brice.  Kurt Franck, executive vice president, interim general manager, and executive editor of The Blade state that Parker’s post may be perceived as white supremacist hate speech.  As a result,  he could not have him as part of their family event.

Members of the band insist that none of them, including Parker, is a racist.  Parker blames a political opponent he banned from his Facebook page for stirring up hysteria over his comments.

However, this incident may more to do with sensitivity than hysteria.  James Fields, the person alleged to have been the killer is Charlottesville, resided in Toledo.

It also seems that this post cost the band another gig.  According to the band’s Facebook page,  organizers of the Swanton Corn Festival (Swanton, Ohio) also canceled their appearance there, last weekend:

“It is with deep regret that I have to have to announce this but due to the issues at hand this week, The Swanton Corn Fest has decided that they will cancel us for this Saturday.”

 

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An opinionated technologist, JP launched Death By Social Media when he saw just how easily and how often people's misunderstanding/abuse of social media created personal catastrophes. As a result, he wanted to provide a resource that would provide cautionary tales for those seeking to avoid similar fates.