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Jewish World Review Oct. 30, 2001 / 13 Mar-Cheshvan, 5762

Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom
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Dr. Dre: champ for First Amendment! -- Hip, hip, hooray for Dr. Dre! He sure showed those bullies who was boss.

He's a champion for the First Amendment! A hero for freedom of speech!

Let's pause for some Dre lyrics.

I don't give a f--- about the b-tch
Because I don't give a f---!
And I don't give a f---!

Yep. Old Dre really showed them. You remember Dre, the rap star who caused a ruckus in Detroit last summer? Police got word that he was going to show an explicit video before his "Up In Smoke" concert, a video that contained nudity and violence. They said he couldn't show it, because there would be minors there, and the tickets didn't warn about the video.

He sued them. Yep. He put those small-minded puritans in their place.

Let's hear some more Dre wisdom.

I'm a m------------ murderer
B-tch disses anyone, I'll murder her!
Yeah, n-----, all y'all murderer
Uh-uh, for real

Let's face it. The man's a poet.

But more importantly, the man has rights. That's what the First Amendment is all about. So even though the city of Detroit thought the video was sexually explicit, and even though it showed a violent liquor store robbery, which Detroit has enough of on its own, and even though parents called in advance to complain, the city didn't have the right to shut the video down.

A judge agreed. Dr. Dre wins.

I'll take that ho'
If she proper, I'ma pop her

No one stopped the concert from proceeding. Never mind that even by the most liberal standards, his lyrics are violent and pornographic. If people didn't want to see him, why did they buy tickets? And why did they book him?

Just the same, after Dre left Detroit with his box office money - and Auburn Hills, where he was issued a citation after performing the same concert the next night, but with the video -- he turned around and sued.

For $25 million.

Because our cities violated his rights.

As one of his lawyers said, "Dr. Dre has the ability -- and the inclination -- to teach the city of Detroit that they have to obey laws."

And Dr. Dre knows the law.

Things just ain't the same for gangstas
Cops is anxious to put n------ in handcuffs
N----- we started this gangsta s---
And this the m------------ thanks I get?
You can't touch that.

Oops. Wrong era.

Anyhow, last week, a settlement was announced. And you'd have to admit, Dr. Dre won! Here's how our hero really showed them!

He didn't get $25 million, but as part of Dre's inspirational legal victory, he got Detroit and Auburn Hills to pay him $53,000 in legal fees. (After all, an artist like Dre doesn't use country bumpkin lawyers.) That's $53,000 those cities now don't have to clean their streets or pay their cops.

And -- get this -- the settlement demanded letters of apology from the mayor of Detroit and the city of Auburn Hills, as well as training for police in First Amendment rights.

You got to hand it to Dre. He sings about killing cops, but in real life, he gets them to take classes. What a humanitarian!

Just a little more, please?

So whatcha gon' do, ya freak bi---?
You acting like you don't do d---
That's the kinda bi--- I hate f------ with

The First Amendment is a delicate thing. It protects Nazis marching in our streets and art that desecrates religious symbols. It is something we have fought and died for.

Obviously, it takes a role model like Dre to sue for its protection.

So to sum up, class, let's remember what we learned here. Singing about "bitches" and "ho's" is OK. Singing about killing cops is OK. Showing videos depicting both is OK.

Trying to shut them down is wrong. And if you do, you have to say you're sorry. You got that?

Y'all the reason Dre ain't been
getting no sleep
So f--- y'all, all of y'all
If y'all don't like me,
blow me!

Class dismissed.

Comment on JWR contributor Mitch Albom's column by clicking here. You may purchase his runaway bestseller, Tuesdays with Morrie, by clicking here.


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