In 1990 I served the federal court here in South Florida as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the obscenity trial that determined Miami rap group 2 Live Crew’s album As Nasty As They Wanna Be was obscene and thus not protected by the First Amendment.
The verdict — the first in world history that a sound recording was obscene — was handed down by Jose A. Gonzalez, Jr., a liberal judge appointed by President Carter and who was hailed for his civil rights record by the ACLU and the rap group’s lawyer when the case was assigned to him.
Any successful effort to have the album declared not obscene had to rely upon the testimony of an expert brought in by the ACLU and the rap group’s lawyer. The expert’s name was Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Harvard professor arrested this week in Cambridge, Mass., by police officers who President Obama last week at his press conference said, “acted stupidly.” Obama said this after he first said he didn’t have all the facts. Does this make you wonder what else he is giving opinions on without "all the facts?"
With Gates’ shouted and now repeated assertions that the officer who arrested him is a “racist,” and the President’s ignorant assertion that Gates, whom Obama knows, is a victim of “racial profiling,” what you the reader need to know is that the only racist in this situation is most likely Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. I should know.
At the 2 Live Crew trial, Gates testified that the rap album which describes gleefully the raping and beating of black women was on a par with the art found in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The editorial policies of HUMAN EVENTS appropriately prevent me from sharing with you the sordid lyrics from that album, but I can tell you that when I appeared on Phil Donohue’s national television program with 2 Live Crew, one of the guests uttered just one line of the lyrics and the broadcast was immediately terminated all along the Eastern seaboard where it was airing live. This was art? Apparently the liberal network we were on didn’t think so.
At the trial, Gates explained to Judge Gonzalez that whites simply cannot comprehend the beauty and worth of such black art. He swore that the concerns about selling this pornographic album to adults and kids alike stemmed from white racism. Look online at Gates’ bio. His entire career is built upon the premise that whites are most likely racists and blacks are nearly always victims of those white racists. This guy plays the race card from a deck of 52 race cards.
You maybe had to be there at the trial to believe what you were hearing — or maybe not. Judge Gonzalez found the race-centric testimony of Professor Gates to be utterly unbelievable and absurd, and he indicated just that in his 62-page opinion.
After the verdict, the NAACP’s Dr. Benjamin Hooks weighed in on the controversy and rebutted with one sentence everything Professor Gates has built a career upon: “2 Live Crew apparently doesn’t understand that celebrating the raping of black women is not entertainment, and it is not art.” The vast majority of the phone calls and letters I got thanking me for my efforts in getting this album declared obscene were from African American parents, and one call I shall never forget was from a teenaged black girl whose friend was raped by a gang who played the album on their boom box during the rape.
So, as you behold the unfolding of this controversy that now has trapped the White House, and you hear Professor Gates’ and his surrogates’ charges that white racism is why he was arrested, take this word of advice from someone who saw this academic weirdo close up: Consider the source.