Jewish World Review March 8, 2004 / 15 Adar, 5764

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This Bud's not for me



http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | A couple of years ago, I chastised Pepsi for hiring "gangsta" rapper Ludacris as a pitchman. There was a public outcry, Pepsi folded, Ludacris was sacked.

Now, incredibly, Anheuser-Busch has done the same thing. The company will pay this guy Ludacris big bucks to push beer.

My basic objection to this is simple: Some American corporations are rewarding bad behavior in pursuit of more profit. Ludacris puts out rap that celebrates criminal activity (such as selling narcotics), general debauchery and violence against women. There is no question about that. Does Anheuser-Busch believe that kind of exposition is good for the USA? Does the company realize that millions of children, many of them unsupervised, digest the garbage Ludacris puts out? Does the company care?

Lest you think Ludacris is some kind of Ozzy Osborne, here are some of his lyrics:

"I got my twin glock .40's cocked back
Me and my homies, so drop that."
"My shotguns are cold and hard ...
My triggers are always talking about some squeeze me, squeeze me."

"Hollow bullets I pull it,
I'm about to live in vain
And then I drill 'em, refill 'em,
make sure they feel the pain."
"I smack b-tches with no (breasts) ... "


Talk to most educators in poor neighborhoods and they will tell you that the debasement of our culture, of which gangsta rap is a big part, has coarsened children in general and put high-risk kids in a dangerous place. Taking drugs, carrying guns and disrespecting human beings is now not only socially acceptable in many situations, it is downright glamorous.

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Anheuser-Busch has a gleaming headquarters in St. Louis. It is a place of wealth and power. But a few miles east across the Mississippi lies East St. Louis, a devastated city where drug gangs rule entire neighborhoods. Children as young as 10 work as lookouts for these gangs; 13-year-olds sell heroin and crack cocaine on the streets. Violence is as common as a garbage pickup.

Ludacris sells big in East St. Louis and other dangerous neighborhoods across the country. His rap is something these criminal kids can identify with. He understands and encourages the "life."

Isn't it time Americans demand corporations stop polluting the country? Whether it's dumping PCBs in waterways or promoting degenerate CDs, corporate chieftains should be held responsible by consumers. Hiring a person like Ludacris to push beer is reprehensible to me, and so I will exercise my right not to do business with Anheuser-Busch, which, by the way, owns a series of family theme parks across the country.

On his latest CD, 'ol Ludacris has a rap song called "Hoes In My Room."

It's a harsh diatribe about, well, women the man does not respect but who somehow inhabit his "space." The last few lines go like this:

"Then it got to my head, and somethin' reminded me

I know who let 'em in, it was Bill O'Reilly — faggot."

So add a gay slur to the list of crudities Ludacris embraces as he gleefully dances down the road to millionaire status. Anheuser-Busch should be very proud to be in business with a guy like this.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of, most recently, "Who's Looking Out for You?" Comments by clicking here.

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