“As a Tennessee lawmaker, as a youngest black lawmaker in our state, I felt like we had an obligation and a duty to condemn this heinous vile racist song that is really about harkening back to days past,” said Jones, 27. The lawmaker said in his mind it was “no accident” that the video was filmed at the Maury County Courthouse, “where the race riot happened and where as well as the 1927 lynching of a young man who was 18-years-old, Henry Choate, occurred.” Choate was lynched by a mob and hung from the courthouse’s second floor after accusations that he sexually assaulted a white girl; in February 1946, the city that houses the courthouse was the site of a race riot in which two Black men were killed.
Jones said he sees the song as an attempt to normalize “racist, violence, vigilantism and white nationalism,” while “glorifying” a vision of the South that he said the state is trying to move forward from.
Alleged Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is moaning about Ice T’s 1992 song “Cop Killer” and “sex and violence in hip-hop.” Frequent hatemonger Matt Walsh whines that “nearly every rap song for the past 30 years has directly and enthusiastically glorified murder, drug dealing, robbery and every other violent crime, and these people say nothing.” TV comedian turned far-right fringe voice Roseanne Barr got in on the act, too, with a salty tweet about “gangster rap” (and furries, for some reason).
This is a familiar pattern to anyone who’s paid attention to the past few decades of conservative punditry. When the heat gets too high on the right wing, they try to change the subject to hip-hop. It’s why, when shock jock Don Imus was under fire for his nasty, racist remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team in 2007, some people wanted to talk about rappers’ language instead. (In the immortal words of Jay-Z, “I missed the part where it stopped being about Imus/What do my lyrics got to do with this s***?”) It’s why Bill O’Reilly had Cam’Ron on his show in 2003, and why Geraldo said that a Kendrick Lamar awards-show performance was worse than racism in 2015. It’s why any time a critic today points out something questionable happening in the Nashville world, their social mentions are flooded with variations on “but what about hip-hop?” For that matter, it’s the same reason why former president George H.W. Bush denounced “Cop Killer” — which is not a rap song, by the way — when he was about to lose his bid for re-election back in ’92.
These talking heads go after hip-hop because it’s a convenient punching bag. It’s much easier to appeal to Americans’ latent fear of Black expression than it is to defend something like Jason Aldean’s video. Never mind that this is the same ideological movement that’s always talking about free speech — the hypocrisy is nothing new. Neither is the failure to consider hip-hop as a serious artform that deals with all aspects of human life, including the negative ones. In a follow-up tweet, Walsh took an ugly pot-shot at the late rapper King Von, who was killed just as his career was getting off to a promising start in 2020. Has he ever listened closely to King Von’s music, or thought about what it might mean for an artist to give voice to the people he grew up alongside in Chicago? It’s doubtful.
He's claimed he's being canceled. He is such a liar. The only thing worse are his idiot fans.
Keep worshiping the girly boy Jason who is fat and can't write his own songs, who's 'curvy' and wears necklaces and ear rings while pretending to want to be a small town boi.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Iraq has expelled Sweden's ambassador and recalled its top diplomatic representative from Sweden over the desecration of the Quran in the Nordic country.
The move came hours after protesters attacked the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad earlier Thursday, setting fire to part of the building.
The tensions between Iraq and Sweden began when an Iraqi national set fire to a copy of the Quran in the Swedish capital of Stockholm last month.
Eyewitnesses told CNN that the protesters withdrew from the perimeter of the Swedish Embassy after setting part of it on fire “after delivering their message of protest against the act of burning the Holy Book of God.”
Several journalists covering the protests were detained by security forces, and at least one was beaten, according to multiple organizations.
“Journalists should be free to report the news without fear of harassment or harm, wherever they are,” Reuters Iraq Bureau Chief Timour Azhari tweeted Thursday. Two detained Reuters journalists were released after several hours, the agency said.
Ziyad Al-Ajili, the head of the Iraq-based Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO) told CNN that three photojournalists working with international news agencies were arrested and another was beaten by security forces and his camera destroyed.
Lebanon's Shiite militant group Hezbollah also called for a demonstration Friday afternoon. Khamenei and Iran's theocracy serve as Hezbollah's main sponsor.
In Pakistan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the events in Sweden. He called on the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation to play a “historic role in expressing the sentiments of Muslims and stopping this demonization.” Meanwhile, Islamists in his country have been pushing Sharif, who faces an upcoming election, to cut diplomatic ties with Sweden.
"Raise your right hand, and repeat after me," an authoritative voice commanded.
I was 17 years old, in a room beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, and my parents had agreed to support my unwavering commitment to serve as a fresh recruit in the United States Army.
While a gleaming sense of honor enveloped me, there was an undeniable fear lingering in my eyes, stemming from the daunting task of standing tall as a queer soldier.
This fear was not new, but from past trauma from the experiences I had growing up. During my childhood, I was constantly reminded that being queer was not something to be proud of.
Being overcome with feelings of loneliness and abandonment was normal, especially when I heard the quiet whispers behind my back. I didn't feel like a man, but rather a complete outcast for one simple reason: I liked boys. I never could comprehend how something that seemed so small led to so much hate.
That was until I saw hate turn to murder.
I enlisted in the Army in 2017, shortly after the devastating Pulse nightclub shooting. During this moment, I couldn't help but be consumed by its harrowing aftermath. The thought relentlessly played over and over again in my mind.
A profound realization struck me: Love should be inconsequential, for we all wear the same uniform.
As a proud Army Officer, I have dedicated years of my life serving to protect the precious freedoms we hold so dear. But as a gay man, I have been fighting my whole life to enjoy the very privileges I am entitled to as both a beholder and protector of them.
According to CBS News, figures reveal there were 35,801 individuals discharged due to their sexual orientation from 1980 to 2011, and 81 percent of these soldiers were denied honorable discharges.
These soldiers were stripped of support systems that should have helped reintegrate them into society. Instead, these LGBTQ+ veterans have been abandoned by the very institutions they swore to protect.
According to the Texas judicial commission’s 2019 warning, Hensley referred gay couples who wanted her to preside over their marriage ceremony to other people who would officiate. The state’s judicial code requires judges to conduct “extra-judicial activities” in ways that don’t cast doubt on their impartiality on the bench. The commission issued a public warning, saying she cast doubt “on her capacity to act impartially to persons appearing before her as a judge due to the person’s sexual orientation.”
According to Dale Carpenter, chair of constitutional law at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, the U.S. Supreme Court case has little to do with Hensley’s case, since one is dealing with private businesses, and Hensley is a government official acting in an official capacity.
Johnathan Gooch, a spokesperson for Equality Texas and a University of Texas at Austin School of Law graduate reiterated Carpenter’s points on the differences between the two cases, and pointed to Hensley’s position as a purveyor of the law.
“The law of the land is marriage equality. It’s as simple as that,” Gooch said. “If judges and justices of the peace were empowered to only enforce the laws that they agreed with, we would quickly descend into anarchy.”
With the Supreme Court decision on Creative LLC vs. Elenis, businesses could now be permitted to refuse service to same-sex couples.
In writing that "our Nation's answer" to "ideas we consider 'unattractive'" is "tolerance, not coercion" in the majority opinion, I believe Supreme Court Justice Niel Gorsuch essentially enables and empowers Jim-Crow-era systems of segregation against the LGBTQ+ community on the basis of the First Amendment.
We cannot sit idly as our hard-fought progress erodes and our fundamental rights are trampled upon. While exercising our right to vote holds profound significance, it alone is insufficient.
As a society, if we do not fight back and demand change, we will continue to move backward.
We must boldly challenge our leaders, celebrate queer jobs, and affirm to every American that inclusivity knows no bounds. This belief is what fuels the spirit of our soldiers, including myself, who fight to safeguard this very freedom that is entitled to all.
+ Under the Florida Board of Education’s newly approved Black history standards students will be taught that slavery was a kind of apprenticeship for Western Civilization, where enslaved Black people developed life and trade skills that “could be applied for their personal benefit.”
+ Jason Aldean–the country singer who was on-stage during the mass shooting at a 2017 Las Vegas concert that killed 60 people and wounded over 400 more–has recorded a song called “Try That In A Small Town” about how he and his friends will shoot you if you try to take their guns. The video for this tribute to the righteous vigilantism of Sundown towns features Aldean singing in front of the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, where in 1927 a lynch mob of 300 white men strung up the body of Henry Coat from the second story window, after dragging his body through the streets of the town behind a car. According to historian Elizabeth Queene, around 20 Black men and boys were lynched, killed by other methods or “disappeared” by White mobs or the Ku Klux Klan in Maury County. In 1946, the town of Columbia was the site of a post-WW II “race riot,” where Thurgood Marshall, who was in town defending two of the black suspects, narrowly escaped being lynched himself.
+ Jason Aldean: “Try That in a Small Town, for me, refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up.” Aldean grew up in Macon, Georgia population 157,000.
+ This is something a reversal for Aldean, who just a couple of years ago released a song called “Rearview Town” about how he left a small town because it was so dull: “I could tough it out, but what’s the use? / A place that small, it’s hard to do.”
+ South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem: “I am shocked by what I’m seeing in this country, with people attempting to cancel the song and cancel Jason and his beliefs.” Uh, the Coup and the Dixie Chicks would like a word, Governor…
[. . .]
+ Aldean’s lynching “song” is now No. 1 on the charts. I wish someone would “cancel” one of my books.
+ Jason Isbell: “Dare Aldean to write his next single himself. That’s what we try in my small town.”