Fact: Contrary to Superintendent Laboy's comment, Malcolm X did not advocate violence even before he went to Mecca. What he said was
"We are nonviolent with people who are nonviolent with us."
This means that he would advocate violence only when violence was given, which is a lawful reaction.
Fact: After he went to Mecca, he said this:
Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and the overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as practiced by people of all colors and races here in this Ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammad and all other prophets of the Holy Scriptures. For the past week, I have been utterly speechless and spellbound by the graciousness I see displayed all around me by people of all colors.
But to Laboy it's "ghetto art."
The Superintendent owes Thuan Tran an apology, and I'm going to help see to it that it happens. Mr. Tran has basis for a lawsuit over it, no question. Students by law have less Constitutional rights than adults but that still does not allow for the sort of invidious content-based restriction meted out to Mr. Tran, who will be allowed to repaint his mural without Malcolm X. That's Stalinist activity.
I am furious that this happened, almost as disturbed as I am about the Franconia Shooting Tragedy and the coverup of that, so this post will be going out to as many Lawrence educators as possible. And yes, as recipient of a Mayoral First Amendment/Right-to-Know award here in NH I do know more than a bit about schools and First Amendment issues; read this post about the lawsuit I almost had to file in Nashua and watch the video at Justiceforkids.net.
And I welcome the Superintendent to meet me at Wally's for a beer and some cool Jazz music, often performed by the country's top students from Berklee, where my buddy Trent Berry teaches from time to time. And where Martin Luther King dined and Malcom X worked.
Mr. Tran: Do not compromise anything. Do your art and stand strong and shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Below that's me with the 1997 MLK award for Civil Rights in Columbus, Ohio, BTW and if there is one thing they don't want to do is to get me upset about Civil Rights or Free Speech. Not a Good Idea.
BTW the bottom/last rolling image is an LA Weekly story on SANO, a brother I knew from Cleveland when he was with Doin' Everything Funky (DEF); he helped my fiancee and me with the Education Coalition (rolling image before his) hip-hop benefit at Peabody's Down Under. Damn ghetto artists.
But did taxpayers eventually buy Laboy's SUV running boards?