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from the desk of Dan Zanoza

Rap Star Insults the Wrong Group

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, February 21, 2001 (RFFM Commentary)--It is apparent rapper Eminem has offended the wrong group with his music. Saying anything negative about the gay and lesbian community these days will immediately get you tons of bad press.

Where the rapper made his mistake is he insulted the wrong group. If Eminem, like other musicians, had attacked Christians, Orthodox Jews or people of the Islamic faith, you can bet the media outcry would be nonexistent. For example, Marilyn Manson's music has been offensive to people of faith for many years, advocating things like suicide and celebrating the dark aspects of men's souls. Another hip-hop artist, Snoop Dogg, brags about being a pimp, having hundreds of women across the country under his control. Yet the social crusaders say nothing.

Even some Republicans, with their ear to the track of political correctness, have joined the condemnation of Eminem and his appearance at the Grammy Awards. Lynn Cheney, wife of the Vice-president, recently launched a crusade against the hip-hop star because of violent lyrics targeting gays and women in Eminem's songs.

The gay and lesbian community has a huge influence on the American mainstream media. When Eminem chose to say unflattering things about this social group, he crossed into dangerous territory, career-wise. From songs about cop killers to lyrics espousing satanic worship, for years, the music industry has insulted the senses of many Americans. However, when Eminem decided to include homosexuals in his sophomoric lyrics, suddenly he is a social pariah.

Eminem should take a lesson from institutions, like the Brooklyn Museum, where artists get praise for attacking religion and religious icons. 

For the record, any music advocating violence towards any group or individual is inappropriate. And social condemnation of artists who feel it is necessary to belittle or demean others should be widespread. But, at the same time, no one social group is more deserving of civil treatment than another.

You see, unfortunately, it's not what you say, it's who you say it about. Eminem has yet to learn that lesson.

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