Public figures to give views on censorship

By Jayna Ronayne

Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series on a debate concerning censorship. Today’s story focuses on the views of one of the debaters, Jack Thompson.

The Sandburg Auditorium will become a forum for a heated debate next week as controversial public figures state their views on censorship.

Sponsored by the Campus Activities Board, the debate will start Tuesday at 8 p.m. with , a women’s rights activist known for his views on obscenity laws, and Professor Griff, a former manager and member of the group Public Enemy.

“I’m concerned with the enforcement of obscenity laws after they’ve been passed,” Thompson said. “I am a women’s rights activist, not a censor of the universe.”

Thompson also said that at record store chains like Peaches and Rose Records, some stores are displaying and selling obscene records to minors.

Because of a “sting” by Thompson, the approximate 1,000 Musicland chain of stores do not carry the 2 Live Crew albums anymore.

Thompson was also sued Wednesday by Luther Campbell, a member of 2 Live Crew, who is “seeking a permanant injunction to prevent me (Thompson) from ever speaking anywhere at anytime,” he said. “That is known as prior restraint, which is unconstitutional … (and) this shows where this thug really stands on freedom of speech.”

Thompson also said it is not an issue of race. “The first judge that declared the album obscene was black, and the nation-wide concert boycott was led by black Muslims. I’ve been accused of being a racist on Donohue and Nightline. I am not a racist,” he said.

“The main issue is that women are being viewed as second class citizens, and corporate America is in on it,” Thompson said.