October 9, 2007

Plain Brown Rapper: Let the nooses swing

This is my premise: As noted by others, only UNPOPULAR speech needs the protection of the First Amendment.Seque to the nooses hanged from the “Whites Only” tree in Jena, La.I have no difficulty whatsoever envisioning vanilla-faced teen-aged Southern rednecks, still fighting pimples, peach fuzz on their faces, brave on Budweiser, wanting to “make a statement,” pushing almost to the edge, KKK-lite.Such white trash pollute the gene pool. But the answer is not cutting down and slaughtering an ancient tree that just thought it was wearing a necktie.The creative response would be to saturate Jena with nooses of all colors, all sizes, all textures. Blanket Jena with nooses.Skip a rope with a noose, and it drives the boogie man away.This is akin to the Confederate flag controversy. That flag is a piece of cloth that sparks passion and prompts some to salute. And some to spit.It is an emblem of slavery. But one cannot wipe history away with the sponge of political correctness. Kentucky WAS one of the stars in the Stars and Bars. I am unashamed to salute that flag in honor of my ancestor, Stonewall Jackson Brown, whose father named him after the Confederate General for whom he fought with valor.I’ll always remember that kid at the Kentucky State Fair a few years ago. The front of his T-shirt was a brazen Confederate flag with these words underneath: YOU’VE GOT YOUR X (as in Malcolm) AND I’VE GOT MINE.Was the sentiment defensible?  Beware the double standard.The creative solution would be for those so inclined to put American flags on their front license plate, right? One should be able to fly the flag of any empire or country of one’s choice: say, the German flag of red, white and black.Seque to the swastika, an ancient symbol believed to impart good fortune. Hitler hijacked it because he wanted a symbol that would resonate throughout nationality and cultures to make the concept of world domination easier to take — and a reality. Do an Internet search and you’ll find Hindu swastikas, Aztec swastikas and, yes, even Jewish swastikas.It is a crime in Germany to possess anything bearing the dreaded crooked cross. eBay refuses to market Nazi medals. THAT’s the crime, this withering assault on our freedom of expression as guaranteed by the FIRST AMENDMENT.At the Longest Avenue Heine Bros., I asked approval of my Che belt buckle and got it. Asked what they thought about the Soviet Militia Man medal on my red beret, they all but applauded my chic radical ensemble. Then I flipped a medallion end over end and it bounced flat on one of the outside rock tables. All mouths dropped when they saw the authentic WWII hand-to-hand Nazi combat medal, complete with the dreaded swastika.A radical friend, whom I’ll call John (since that is his name), almost threw a punch. People started to drift away. They looked upon me with loathing and disgust.“Gentlemen,” I said, “the hammer and sickle and the swastika are both symbols of dead empires.” That is the reality.Parting observations:1) The best way to oppose free speech is to counter with more free speech;2) Only really ugly speech symbols like nooses, Confederate flags and swastikas need the protection of the First Amendment;3) Harmless speech needs no protection, because nobody gets pissed off.But anyway, I’m Carl Brown, Louisville’s Plain Brown Rapper, and that’s just my own damn opinion.  If you don’t like it, sue me. Just hang 100 nooses, fly flashy flags of whatever persuasion and sport the emblem that goes best with your beret. Contact the writer at plainbrownrapper2001@yahoo.com