Here comes Gucci Mane to the Civic Center, exercising his right of free speech. Stand up and exercise yours, by saying you don’t believe a taxpayer supported facility should be offering what you believe to be offensive and harmful messages, and prepare to be verbally assaulted by many. You will be called names and painted as an enemy of free speech.
Now, say what you really think, that Mr. Mane is a criminal (not an opinion, but court documented fact), a vile and repulsive man, pandering to the lowest common denominator for money, and a promoter of violence toward women and his own race, and you will probably be called much worse. I’ll let you know.
As Commissioner Bob Langstaff points out in his blog, we do regulate public entertainment offerings, particularly those that utilize public facilities and resources. If you enjoy pornography, something that is not illegal to purchase, you are out of luck if you go to the public library. We do not allow porn in our public libraries. Why not? Isn’t it a form of entertainment that some people like, and would check out if offered there?
We do not allow our children in to see R-rated movies. Why not? Are we not censoring their right to express their interests and spend their entertainment dollars as they see fit?
Again, to steal a point from Langstaff; when the KKK books a convention at the Civic Center, I expect a flurry of protests. When those voices of protest are heard, I also expect those now supporting Mr. Mane’s free speech performance rights, to step up and defend the Klan in its right to gather there. They will be putting on overcoats in Hell when that happens.
When you pick up the banner of free speech, you have to hold it up for everyone. If you do not, you reveal that your real motivations were not centered on free speech, but other things such as money and the politics of race in Albany, Georgia.
Written by Lon McNeil. Mr. McNeil is an Albany independent marketing consultant. Find him online at AlbanyOnPoint.