Kid Rock likes to wave the Confederate flag around. And that hasn't gone over well with some African-American activists, who are upset now that the nation's most prominent civil rights organization plans to honor him.
A small group of NAACP supporters are boycotting the Detroit chapter's May 1 annual fundraising dinner and presentation of the Great Expectations Award to the rapper--who often uses the divisive symbol of the old slave-holding South in his act.
"It's a slap in the face for anyone who fought for civil rights in this country," Adolph Mongo, head of Detroiters for Progress, told the Detroit News. "It's a symbol of hate and bigotry."
Dubbed the Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner, approximately 10,000 people are due to attend the event at the Cobo Center. Kid is slated to give the keynote address, but as of press time not perform.
Rock's camp has declined to comment on the controversy. But in a 2008 interview with the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper, the Detroit rocker said his embrace of the Confederate flag had to do with his love of Dixie growing up in the '70s-- the good things like the Dukes of Hazzard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, trucker hats and Waffle House, not the South's history of racism.
"Sure, it's definitely got some scars," Kid Rock explained to the Guardian in 2008. "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."
But he's got strong cred with the African-American community, rapping for much of his youth with a local hip-hop outfit, The Beast Crew, which launched his career.
It was that and his devotion to Motor City that led the Detroit NAACP chapter to fete him.
"Kid Rock...has consistently lifted up the Great Expectations of many persons...concerning the future of the city," Donnell R. White, interim executive director of the organization's Detroit branch, said in a statement.
Just don't ask him about his rap sheet.