Censorship issue subject of debate

By Jayna Ronayne

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series on the debate concerning censorship. Today’s story focuses on the views of the second debater, Professor Griff.

In every debate there are two sides, especially on the issues of obscenity and censorship.

Tuesday’s debate at the Sandburg Auditorium will feature the views of Jack Thompson, known for his views on obscenity laws and Professor Griff, a former manager and member of the group Public Enemy.

Mike Roberts, Speaker’s Committee coordinator for CAB, said the debate will prove to be very interesting.

“Griff is not a shrinking violet kind of person,” he said. “The whole debate is intensely political … there is also a question of if music is being repressed because of who’s making it.”

“My position is based on black people and so-called American’s freedom of speech we’re supposed to have,” Griff said. “I know there’s a racial double standard.”

Griff’s view on censorship is that he is not for it, except for a form in regards to young people. He also said it should be the musical artist’s responsibility, not the outsider’s view of what is obscene and what is not.

“If you don’t like 2 Live Crew, don’t go buy it,” he said.

Griff disagrees with Thompson’s view that it’s all an issue of obscenity.

“Jack Thompson wants to have 2 Live Crew put in jail … they have rights just like Madonna, Andrew Dice Clay and Guns ‘N Roses. If the double standard wasn’t so powerful, we’d have a chance,” Griff said.

In regards to Thompson’s idea that his position is not an issue of race, Griff felt this was also incorrect.

“He’s (Thompson) making it a racial issue.”

Griff also said the debate and issue of freedom of speech will not be solved until the younger people stand up for their rights.

“As a black man, I don’t expect justice from America,” Griff said. “When the Constitution was written, we weren’t even considered human beings.”

“My whole argument is that we as so-called Americans have a right to freedom of speech regardless of the Jack Thompsons of this world.”

“You don’t see anyone going after Hugh Hefner. It’s (music business) a billion-dollar industry, and little Jack Thompson isn’t going to stop them.”

The 8 p.m. debate will be preceded by a 2 p.m. listening session with deejaying by Griff, including controversial music such as 2 Live Crew’s newest album, “As Nasty As They Wanna Be Part Two: Sports Weekend.”

“We’re going to play albums (and videos) that have generated controversy and let people judge for themselves,” Roberts said.

There will also be a 6 p.m. panel discussion titled “The Plight of the Afro-American,” with Griff as a guest panelist.

Everyone is welcome to any of the events.