Freedom of Speech Permitted Everywhere – Except Inaugaural Events

by Admin on January 23, 2013

It seems our First Amendment rights are applicable everywhere but at presidential inaugural events. Or more specifically, inaugural events for President Obama.

During rapper Lupe Fiasco’s performance Sunday night at an unofficial inaugural event, the rapper was pulled off stage during a song that contained anti-Obama , anti-war lyrics.

The StartUp RockOn event organizers later told The Hollywood Reporter that Fiasco wasn’t “kicked off” stage for his lyrics, but rather, urged to finish his set as it was becoming jarring and repetitive.

You have to admit – they should’ve seen this coming. The 30-year-old Fiasco, who’s father was a member of the Black Panther Party, has been vocal about his discontent with the Obama administration.  In 2011, Lupe called Obama the “biggest terrorist,” referring to drone strikes in Afghanistan and the resulting collateral damage. During a radio interview that same year he said, “One hand, you have someone who is a great speaker, but kills little children – our president.”

But it’s not the frustrated commentary that comes from Fiasco’s mouth that worries us. It was the awkward halting of Fiasco’s performance. The microphone was cut, the lights were dimmed, and security personnel then ushered the rapper offstage.

What happened to free speech? This wasn’t an attack on free speech, so said the event organizers. After the event, they stated that “We are staunch supporters of free speech, and free political speech.”

The event was a political celebration though – a party after putting the President in office. If free speech is silenced at events that are meant to celebrate democracy – albeit a private one – one still has to wonder how much the First Amendment matters to even this country’s citizens.

 

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