Killer Mike Writes Op-Ed for CNN on Hip-Hop Case in Supreme Court
Killer Mike and Erik Nielson, an assistant professor at the University of Richmond, have penned a new op-ed piece for CNN called "Free speech: unless it's rap." The piece is about Bell v. Itawamba County School Board, a case that is under consideration for being heard by the Supreme Court.
The piece explains that Taylor Bell was suspended when he was a high school senior for recording a rap song that accused two coaches at his school of sexual misconduct. Female students told Bell that the coaches were engaging in sexual misbehavior. Bell felt any report on the matter would not be dismissed and went public with his concerns via a rap song.
Killer Mike and Nielson open up their piece with a question.
"If your child attended a school where male athletic coaches were accused of sexually harassing female students, would you want school administrators to investigate the allegations or punish the young man who made them public?"
Taylor Bell previously challenged his suspension using the First Amendment and his case made it to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. But Bell received no redemption there as the school board's original decision was upheld.
In their piece, Killer Mike and Nielson argue that Bell's profane lyrics are in line with a tradition of social protest in rap music.
"Drawing on the long tradition of social protest in rap music, as well as the profane and violent rhetoric that is common to the genre, the song takes (metaphorical) aim at the coaches with phrases like 'f***ing with the wrong one gon' get a pistol down your mouth (Boww!)"
Killer Mike and Nielson come to the conclusion that Bell was punished for using rap as his way to protest.
"Bell wasn't being punished for making threats against school employees, even if that was the school's justification. Instead, he was being punished for using the wrong art form, rap music, as his voice of protest."
You can read the entire piece now at CNN's website.
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