A small town called Coeur d’Alene in Idaho is receiving pushback for its opposition to an upcoming performance featuring Nelly at the North Idaho State Fair.
Someone booked the St. Louis rapper and all holy hell broke loose and African Americans claim that the resistance to the rapper’s show is because of his race.
However, a local pastor released a statement to the Coeur d’Alene Press to explain to the public that it was not an act of racism— but because the content was vulgar.
Rev. Van Noy, the pastor of Candlelight Christian Fellowship Church, says that he and the city’s mayor Steve Widmyer have been receiving hate calls for the decision from people who believe that the GRAMMY award-winner is being discriminated against because of his race.
Van Noy said, “This I find appalling! To judge a person based upon their ethnicity is condemned in Scripture and is an insult to our Creator.”
He continued to say, “I have been asked for help in navigating through what may harm the local community reputation — and I will.”
The concert is slated for Aug. 23, but the people in the town are outraged. Rev. Van Noy said that he did not know of the artist but heard him after he found out that his presence was “had caused upset in the community.”
The preacher also said, “Moreover, I learned that Nelly has performed music of an extremely explicit nature and that he has been far less than the role model most would want for their children or community.”
Nelly does have explicit lyrics. In 2004, Spelman College students protested the artist doing a bone marrow drive on their campus after the release of his “Tip Drill” video.
Ultimately, the pastor had to admit that the fair producers “made a poor choice by inviting such entertainment to our local state fair.”
“The concerns related to both the shameful lyrical messaging and recent problems with the artist’s reputation, community upset, and how to navigate the problems. At the other end, I heard from panicked, frightened, broken, disturbed, and hurting persons — one of whom was wounded and crying — by what was perceived to be threats by ‘Conservatives and Christians on a mission to destroy,’” Rev. Van Noy wrote.
“At least one person has suggested the push back against this concert/performer is related to race.”
But Rev. Van Noy denies this claim.
“As I said earlier, the decision-makers made a poor choice by inviting such entertainment to our local state fair. However, that decision has now been made. Moving forward will require evaluation, truth, and grace.”
The good preacher was asked if he could be on the committee next year and he agreed.