Though Collins makes clear his belief that the Festival International board would never add language to its contracts restricting political expression, he does state that the organization will impose restrictions on "vulgar language, sexually explicit lyrics, hate mongering, and the advocacy of violence." Most people agree that these things require limitation, and thus there are laws on the books restricting them. If the festival's restrictions are intended merely to point out that the law must be obeyed, they are redundant and unnecessary. If they are to be stronger than the law, then individuals will end up making moral judgments they have no right to make. It is precisely for the protection of our diverse community that no one should be allowed to impose standards other than those made by elected officials and expressed in law.
I can think of several local and international artists who might be banned from the festival under the "sexually explicit lyrics" heading. There are many important acts who could be considered "hate mongers" if one disagreed strongly enough with their politics. Plenty of artists could be shut down under the "advocacy of violence" ruling. For instance, many reggae artists refer to violence in powerful songs like "Burnin' and Lootin'." Should they not be hired, or should they be told to play only non-controversial songs? Who decides what is and isn't controversial?
To provide a local example that will seem silly at first, what would happen if someone were to sing the line "I'm gonna break your face!" in the popular song "Don't Mess With My Toot Toot"? I'm certain that my 3-year-old daughter would be distraught at hearing those words. Do I want someone at FIL imposing a limitation on it for her sake? Absolutely not. Not in this case, not in any case.
Or, ask yourself what would happen if a punk rock or hip hop group got up on stage and chanted "I'm gonna break your face" aggressively for five minutes straight, pumping their fists in the air with angry looks on their faces? Would that be different, even though the words are the same? Who would decide? Who has the right to judge?
I know the answer to that question. Judges. The elected ones.
An abortion rights organization has filed the first court challenge to a Louisiana law that would require doctors who perform abortions to be able to admit patients to a nearby hospital.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister started his sign-up for re-election Friday the same as any other candidate, filling out paperwork and handing over cash to pay his qualifying fee. But he finished it quite differently, doused with ice.
The recent release of Victor White III’s autopsy report could spell trouble, as it tells a much different story of his death than the one told five months ago by the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“Candidates for Congress and members of Congress spend between 30 and 70 percent of their time raising money to get back to Congress or to get their party back into power.”
Over the last four days of the trial against attorney Daniel Stanford, there’s been one notable absence from Judge Elizabeth Foote’s courtroom: attorney Bill Goode.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees and wide receiver Nick Toon are not on the same page yet, and time is running short for Toon to get it right.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister started his sign-up for re-election the same as other candidates, filling out paperwork and handing over qualifying money. But he finished it like no other, doused with ice.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Jell-o sales plummet; Hamas kills suspected informers; bodies arrive in Malaysia and more national and international news for Friday, August 22, 2014.
That’s what Lafayette Parish has obtained in Pentagon surplus since 2006.
Qualifying continues through Friday.
The political tilt of the Senate during President Barack Obama's final two years in office is likely to hinge on a handful of female contenders in tight and costly races.
A former BP executive will be allowed to travel to the United Kingdom later this month while he awaits trial on charges relating to an investigation of the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
Friends and family will celebrate Spider's life in September.
Saints safety Jairus Byrd has rarely been so eager to hit and be hit, if only to reassure himself that his surgically repaired back is as healed as doctors believe.
Jindal privatized nearly all the LSU hospitals without waiting for federal officials to sign off on financing arrangements that rely on millions of federal Medicaid dollars.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her main Republican challenger, Congressman Bill Cassidy, verbally sparred as they officially signed up on the opening day of qualifying for Louisiana's November election.
Superintendent tells crowd he'd just emerged from a four-hour meeting with the attorney hired to investigate him.
The start of the three-day qualifying period for November’s elections has so far yielded 10 official bids and one new announcement from candidates seeking a seat on the school board.
It’s been just over four months since attorney Barry Domingue committed suicide the morning before he was to stand trial for a second day in the federal Curious Goods case, leaving his fellow attorney/co-defendant Daniel Stanford with a temporary mistrial and awaiting his day in court.
Candidates for Louisiana's Nov. 4 election must officially sign up for the ballot this week.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's effort to derail Louisiana's use of the Common Core education standards was halted Tuesday by a state judge who said the governor's actions were harmful to parents, teachers and students.
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram isn't letting a humbling start to his pro career lower his opinion of what he can still accomplish in the NFL.
Visualize Lafayette’s next great thing from 3,000 feet.
A Baton Rouge judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday against enforcing a law that prohibits anyone 70 or older from running for justice of the peace or constable.