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Thursday, June 21, 2007

The First Amendment Hypocrites, Part I

I’ve been inundated with e-mails saying that the protesters at D.L. Hughley’s Ft. Worth performance were wrong to protest because D.L. was just exercising his First Amendment rights when he called the women of Rutgers nappy-headed and the ugliest women he had ever seen in his life. One African American male blogger even wrote a three-part series of hand wringing posts where he concluded that the protesters were wrong to protest due to First Amendment. In fact, Hughley has been wrapping himself in the cloak of the First Amendment and deriding protesters in every interview where he has been forced to account for his what he said on the Tonight Show.

As a blog whose mission is to criticize negative portrayals of African American women in popular culture, we often receive e-mails and comments from folks who are torn over whether to criticize Hip Hop due to First Amendment criticisms. These well-meaning folks don’t like what Hughley or Hip Hop artist are saying, but they don’t want to trample on their First Amendment rights.

So I am going to take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to provide a First Amendment primer ( MY VERSION) so that all these well-meaning folk can be liberated from an erroneous conclusion that protesting or criticizing the degradation of Black women is violating these “artists’ rights. Shall we begin?

The next time you read a post, comment or article whining about this blog, protesters or critics of Hip Hop, Hughley, or popular culture’s assault on Black women remember this:

A. Those First Amendment Activists (FAAs)Have Probably NEVER actually read the First Amendment.( Part I.)
B. Those FAAs have never actually read THIS blog.(Part II)
C. Hughley and the FAAs are Hypocrites. ( Nah, I didn’t stutter., (Part III)
D. Hughley is His Ilk are Cowards. ( Yeah, I said it.)( Part IV)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

A. The First Amendment protects us from the “guv’ment,” not each other. It protects D-list comedians from being yanked off stage by the police ( agents of the guv’ment) and throwing the D-list comic in jail for telling offensive jokes. It protects the D-list comic from other guv’ment restrictions such as fines or permit denials for telling pitiful jokes.

The First Amendment does not make Hughley immune from criticism from me or the protesters. The First Amendment does not protect Hughley from any financial loss due to reduced ticket sales, cancelled tour dates ( a girl can dream), or being released from his contract to produce a television show ( looking at you BET) for his attack on a group of young Black women.

Remember Don Imus? What law enforcement agency went to Imus' studio to arrest him? Did the FCC fine him for his comments? Were station licenses pulled? Nope. Imus' ouster wasn't a Free Speech issue, it was a FREE MARKET issue. The guv'ment didn't pull him off the ait, his sponsors did by pulling their ads.

Chew on this. Part II , "First Amendment Activists Have Never Actually Read this Site"will be up tomorrow.

F.Y.I. Eddie just told me that Brian Williams is going to be in Ft. Worth today for NBC Nightly news. Please remind NBC Brian Williams of this national protest and campaign against indecency, and that we have international support. Leave a message on NBC Evening News blog at http://dailynightly.msnbc.com/
Get on it people! how NBC can ignore comments made on THEIR OWN NETWORK, I will NEVER KNOW