Thursday, August 18, 2005
Free Your Mind And The Rest Will Follow
If you aren't already aware of the plight of Anthony Latour, I hope that you will read about his case, and become justifiably angry. Latour is a 14-year-old kid from Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, who was arrested in April for posting battle raps on the internet that he had written at his home. Officials at the school he was attending were made aware of the content of his rhymes at some point in March, and decided to notify the police. The authorities ultimately viewed Latour's rhymes as "terroristic threats", due to the fact that they contained violent content. In May, he was also expelled from school, because it was perceived that he was threatening and harassing a few fellow students in the lyrics he wrote. The ACLU is currently fighting to get him back into school before classes begin on August 31st, but so far, there is no indication of when a decision will be rendered. Expert testimony is being presented to convince the court that battle rapping is an exercise of verbal skill, and rarely translates into subsequent acts of violence. Unfortunately, the judge presiding over the case freely admits to her own ignorance: "Probably, of anyone in this room, I am the least familiar with hip-hop culture," she said. Hmm...imagine that...
My whole thing is---fuck the thought police. Bear in mind that this kid didn't do anything to physically harm anyone---he's being prosecuted and persecuted merely on his suspected intentions. Some of the rhymes in question were written more than 2 years ago, so where's the logic in assuming that he planned to put his words into action? Due to our country's depraved post-9/11, George Bush administration mentality, we are being forced to trade our civil rights for a ridiculously false sense of security. Depriving this child of the fundamental right to an education is not going to resolve a damn thing---the school and judicial system's overreaction to his form of self-expression is misguided, unjust, and unconscionable in my opinion. Articles here: http://www.aclu.org/StudentsRights/StudentsRights.cfm?ID=18868&c=159
Before I jump the hell off my soapbox, please allow me to link you to a couple of politically-minded tracks by Black Market Militia (Killah Priest+Tragedy Khadafi): http://music.download.com/blackmarketmilitia/3600-8526_32-100760525.html?tag=listing_song_artist.
I promise to do another post very soon, provided that our authoritarian government doesn't find out about my open mind and very big mouth...