A Florida sheriff has his panties in a bunch over an upcoming Florida Gulf Coast University concert featuring Ludacris and Kendrick Lamar. Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott sent a series of emails to university president Wilson G. Bradshaw criticizing him for allowing performers with “rancid profanity, violence, gender and racial insensitivity” in their lyrics.
In one of his emails, he states, “I respect and like you more than you know, but I can’t for the life of me begin to imagine why a black university president would sanction such vile content; especially so proximate to the golden anniversary of Dr. King’s speech.”
Jeez! Tell ‘em why you mad! Don’t get me wrong, I know Luda and Kendrick aren’t exactly rated PG, but come on. As rappers go, they’re definitely on the lighter end of the “vile content” spectrum—we’re not talking Chief Keef here.
Scott cast a wide net with his gripes, emailing several staff members in the sheriff’s office, the public safety director of the school and groups like the NAACP.
In one email, he cites George Zimmerman and Paula Deen in his argument against the rappers. Personally, I don’t understand how someone who doesn’t see the Trayvon Martin case as racial can fins such racial discrimination in “Poetic Justice” or “Dirty Dancing”, but I digress.
For his part, Bradshaw basically says his hands are tied. “As a university president—black or white—periodically there are expressed views related to students and faculty that the president doesn’t personally or professionally sanction or share.”
Lee County’s NAACP chapter president James Muwakkil sided with the university saying, “FGCU, President Bradshaw and the student body have the right to choose the entertainers of their choice.
Baylor Johnson, head of the American Civil Liberties Union also questioned Scott’s position on the concert.
“This is a public school, so it therefore cannot favor one type of speech or another, or prohibit one type simply because it disagrees with the language in the lyrics.
Protect and serve’ is not conditional. Law enforcement doesn’t have the option to not do its job and keep the community safe because they don’t like or agree with a particular expression at an event.”
FGCU holds the concert, called Eaglepalooza, annually and this is the first time the sheriff’s office has objected to the performances. Past acts have included Busta Rhymes, Pitbull, Flo Rida and LMFAO. Kendrick and Ludacris are decidedly less pop-y than most of the aforementioned acts, but that should have no bearing on the sheriff’s decision.
The university is filing the permit this week for the concert slated for November 24th at Jet Blue Park.