Country singer and possible Senate candidate Kid Rock sent out a message on Monday that his use of the Confederate flag had nothing to do with racism and that he “loved black people.” ESPN host Jemele Hill and Barstool Sports’ Michael Rapaport weren’t buying it though and slammed the music star on Twitter.
Hill tweeted on Monday that Rock, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, pandered to racists and dehumanized black people because he used the Confederate flag at his concerts. Rapaport agreed and called him a “racist” and a “scumbag,” who was a hip hop artist and then switched to country music to make money.
He loves black people so much that he pandered to racists by using a flag that unquestionably stands for dehumanizing black people. https://t.co/ukbl3RodoP— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017
hes a scumbag.use to rap until that shit wasn't sweet & now your singing about Tennessee mountains.— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) September 12, 2017
He is the worst— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 12, 2017
remember when he did that wack ass Badiddyba bullshit?Now he's a country singing racist yayoo sniffer— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) September 12, 2017
While it’s easy to criticize Ritchie’s love of the Confederate flag, it is symbolic of his persona as a rebel and pays tribute to the band Lynyrd Skynyrd.
There is no evidence of Ritchie personally harboring negative feelings towards black people. His critics should look no further than his love and commitment to his half-black, half-white son Robert Ritchie Jr.
Kid Rock has been a single father to his son most of his life. According to court documents, Richie Jr.’s mother had a substance abuse problems coupled with a violent temper and back in 1995 stabbed the singer in the leg with a knife during a fight, reported ABC News.
Ritchie’s loyalty to his son was so strong that he told Howard Stern that he divorced his then-wife Pamela Anderson because the relationship was negatively affecting his son.
He’s also been generous to people outside his own family. Ritchie received an award from the NAACP back in 2011 for aiding the city of Detroit by generously contributing money to build recreation centers, community theaters, and youth training centers that primarily benefited the city’s large black population.
So while critics looking for attention and fame can moan and groan that Ritchie’s on stage antics personally offends them, the singer’s personal life should be lauded and praised. He has never been a racist.