Ohio-based country music group Rodney Parker and Liberty Beach was forced to bow out of two upcoming shows — including one opening for country star Lee Brice — after the lead singer posted a message online about the news surrounding the recent Charlottesville, Virginia, protests.
Rodney Parker took to his personal Facebook page on Aug. 15 with a video featuring protesters destroying a Confederate statue in North Carolina, according to The [Toledo] Blade.
He also included a controversial statement that has since been taken down. In the statement, he reportedly wrote, “Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Communists — 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 [expletives]. Do not fall for that communist tactic ever.”
Due to a complaint over Rodney’s message, sponsors decided to remove the group from the opening slot, ahead of Lee’s show at The Blade’s 34th annual Northwest Ohio Rib Off.
“The Northwest Ohio Rib Off is a fun, family event,” Kurt Franck, executive vice president, interim general manager, and executive editor of The Blade, said. “There is no room for racism, bigotry or hate.”
In response to the complaint that led to the band’s cancellation, Rodney told The Blade that he had been targeted by a political opponent on Facebook, and added that he is in no way racist.
“The claims of racism against me are as false as dentures, period; end of story,” he explained. “There’s nothing else to say at this point. It’s very unfortunate that this happened. It’s unfortunate people are so hysterical and willing to accept lies over truth.”
John McAfee, who founded the band, also opened up about the issue, saying, “No one in the band, including Rodney, are racists. If anything, we’re about getting along and getting past this government crap.”
In light of the situation, Rodney Parker and Liberty Beach also got pulled from an upcoming gig at the Swanton Corn Fest, as noted on their Facebook page.