The Pink Issue of Bitch, which I should probably not read in public, features an article about Sarah Jones and her ongoing struggle with the FCC. The story's also been covered a few other places; FAIR's write-up gives the basic details:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently fined a community radio station for airing a political rap song that attacks sexual exploitation and degrading lyrics in popular music.
On May 17, the FCC issued a $7,000 fine to Portland, Oregon's KBOO, a listener-sponsored station, charging that Sarah Jones' "Your Revolution" violated the Commission's decency standards, which were revised in April. The song, which challenges the sexualization of women in rap, asserts that "your revolution will not happen between these thighs."
The FCC ruled that "Your Revolution" contained "unmistakable patently offensive sexual references" that "appear to be designed to pander and shock." This ruling came after the FCC issued an order, nearly seven years in the making, to "provide guidance to broadcast licensees regarding compliance with the Commission's indecency regulations."
Or find out why I'm making with the German all of a sudden.
Or there are several links at Sarah's unfortunately-flash-heavy site that'll let you Read All About It:
Forget about the melting pot. . . multicultural is not a buzz word. This is reality, not just a PC culture. Born mixed-raced, Jones finds the thread for her stage quilt from her own experience. Im taking large risks with the stereotypes. . . .Its easier that theyre based on real people. The Baltimore native attended Bryn Mawr College and then came to New york and began doing spoken word, winning the Nuyorican Poets Cafés Grand Slam Championship in 1997. Her anthem, Your Revolution, a sexually charged reworking of Gil Scott-Herons poem The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. clouts misogyny upside the head, while allowing women to celebrate hip-hop without having to be a bitch or a ho.
That first statement is silly, of course, as everyone knows that Multiculturalists are the real racists.
Duh. The article in Bitch describes Sarah's countersuit, which is at least as important:
In an unusual counteroffensive, a New York poet and performance artist filed suit yesterday against the Federal Communications Commission, charging that it violated her First Amendment rights when it fined a radio station for playing a spoken-word song by her with vivid sexual imagery.
The artist, Sarah Jones, asked for a judgment in federal district court in Manhattan that the 1999 song, "Your Revolution," is not indecent as the agency found; for an injunction preventing the commission from enforcing the $7,000 fine against KBOO-FM, a listener-supported station in Portland, Ore.; and for a finding that the commission's ruling violated her free-speech rights.
Lawyers who specialize in First Amendment cases said it was extremely rare for an artist to intervene legally in a case of this sort, which usually pits the F.C.C. against the station it has sanctioned. The suit also represents a further development in a debate about whether the commission is too strict or too lax in policing the airwaves.
Since this story only involves race, gender, sexuality, free speech and government control of the airwaves, it's not been talked about too much. Those are such boring topics, after all.