CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - Governor JB Pritzker on Wednesday defended his decision to cancel a state fair appearance by a band that uses Confederate flag imagery, and he dismissed calls to cancel another performer who has repeatedly posted images implying deadly violence against President Donald Trump.
After Pritzker dumped country rock band "Confederate Railroad" from the DuQuoin State Fair, some demanded he also cancel Snoop Dogg's planned August 16 appearance at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield -- pointing to provocative images that Snoop's posted, including one with a toe-tag reading "Trump." The governor said displaying the Confederate battle flag is far worse.
"Tens of millions of people were enslaved. We're talking about a history, a terrible history in the United States -- death and destruction that took place under that flag," Pritzker said.
On social media, critics of Pritzker's decision have revived the notion that Illinois should somehow kick the Chicago area out of the state.
Republican State Rep. Terri Bryant, of far southern Illinois, objected to a blanket prohibition on groups like "Confederate Railroad" displaying the Confederate flag at the fair. The governor said the flag is not just an historic symbol, but a modern one.
"It is today a symbol of racists, white nationalists, of the alt-right. And so I do not think that the state of Illinois should be sponsoring something that is amplifying that symbol," Pritzker said.
Attendance at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield has fallen dramatically in recent years. If this controversy has done nothing else, it has focused more attention on the fair than anything has in years.