Kid Rock accepted the ‘Great Expectations Award’ yesterday, reports Billboard.
While accepting the award at the Detroit branch of the NAACP’s 56th annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner, Rock announced $100,000 in donations — five $10,000 grants to Motor City-based organizations and $50,000 to the American Red Cross for tornado victims in U.S. Southern states. But not everything was a celebration.
Critics felt it was inappropriate for the NAACP to honor Rock, since he uses a Confederate flag in his stage shows and videos. Outside of Cobo Hall, where the dinner was held, a couple of dozen protesters marched with Say No To Kid Rock signs and at one point burned a Confederate flag over a garbage can.
Adolph Mongo, a Detroit political consultant, said that the flag “stands for hatred, bigotry, racism, murder. Every bigot and racist in this country loves that flag.” He added that, “If Kid Rock was alive in the 50s in Selma (Ala.) he would have beaten up John Lewis and waving the Confederate flag.”
Rock, who attended the dinner with his son, Bob Ritchie, Jr., brother Billy Ritchie and production manager Eric “Shakes” Gryzbowski, told the crowed that “I’ve never flown that flag with hate in my heart, not one ounce.” He explained that his use of the image was an ‘homage’ to Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, whose “Sweet Home Alabama” was an inspiration for his 2008 hit “‘All Summer Long.’
Rock explained that he made the donations to “turn a negative into a positive,” and concluded his speech by saying that, “I love America, I love Detroit and I love black people!”
Rock returns to the road this week with a pair of casino shows in Thackerville, Okla., before playing the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on Sunday. He begins a five-date Canadian tour on May 31, then starts a summer tour with Sheryl Crow on July 2 in Cincinnati.
I don’t think this is a big deal, just another case of extremist protestors ruining a night of celebration. Kid Rock is a legend in his own way, so the award was well deserved.