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To the Editor:

In mid-July, Gov. J.B. Pritzker's office canceled a concert by country act Confederate Railroad, who were scheduled to play in August at the Du Quoin State Fair.

This seems to have not been good enough for Ms. Linda M. Roberson. Ms. Roberson recently expressed her outrage, on this very same page, at the fact that Confederate Railroad has been invited to play the concert at Black Diamond Harley-Davidson in Marion.

Ms. Roberson has decided that the band, and its supporters, are going to fill the area with symbols of "racism, bigotry, and white supremacy" (she uses these terms six times each in her letter). One has to wonder if she considers the band's fans themselves bigots and racists on a par with George Wallace and Bull Connor.

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As a rock 'n' roll guy, I was never going to attend a concert by Confederate Railroad in any location and the American flag is the only one I'll ever fly. But that's not what any of this is really about. It's about a local business having the right to invite a band to play at their private facility and to have anyone who wants to attend be allowed to do so, without being shamed by someone who thinks the concert shouldn't be allowed because she believes the entire event will be a celebration of "racism, bigotry, and white supremacy."

Above all, the issue at hand is about tolerance, and more importantly, the First Amendment.

Jim Toms

West Frankfort

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