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Scoot's Blog

Tune in to "The Scoot Show" for lively, candid discussions about news, politics and culture with WWL's "Radical Moderate!"

Weekdays 1pm-4pm

Twitter: @scootwwl
Email: scoot@wwl.com
Facebook: Scoot on the Air

Scoot: How Kentucky Clerk differs from other freedom fighters

Passionate reaction continues to fill the airwaves following a Judge ordering a Kentucky county clerk to jail over her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis remains behind bars and insists she is acting under "God's authority." Some argue that Davis has a constitutional right to follow her religious conviction, while others say she took an oath to follow the law, which changed after the Supreme Court decision this summer.

As a talk show host, I witness first-hand how deep the passion runs on both sides of the argument. This topic is as hot and divisive as any topic I've discussed on the show.

One reason this issue has exploded is the desire to fight back against the Supreme Court's decision with many claiming the High Court stepped beyond its boundaries. But the argument can be made that the Supreme Court simply ruled that banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional just as it ruled that a ban on artificial birth control was unconstitutional in the early 1960s. More than ever, many Americans are selectively picking and choosing what they support under the law.

Disagreements over court rulings and laws are part of the American system of government, but working to change the law rather than refusing to perform sworn duties is not fair to those who benefit from the changes.

I didn't know the Kentucky County Clerk starred in "Misery!"

Posted by Scoot On The Air on Thursday, September 3, 2015

I have heard the argument that what Kim Davis is doing by going to jail rather than do her job is not different than the women who stood up and demanded their right to vote or the African-Americans that resisted laws and fought for their equal rights. Alabama Governor George Wallace refused to recognize new laws of equality and used Alabama state troopers to prevent integration and equality and he was ultimately defeated.

What seems to be the difference between what Kim Davis is doing and what so many others have done in a fight for what they believe is that history seems to favor those who fought for equality – not against it.

As a nation, we often struggle over equality, but equality seems to win out. Kim Davis is entitled to her religious freedom and her specific opinion of same-sex marriage, but she should not be allowed to decide which laws she will and will not follow. That is simply not her decision.

Davis has every right to stand up for her beliefs about same-sex marriage, but that might mean that she should resign her position instead of selecting which laws she will oppose.

The LGBT community and the government are not forcing their views on others – but they are saying that you under the Constitution and the spirit of America – you cannot use those religious freedom to discriminate.
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Topics : Law_Crime
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Locations : AlabamaKentuckyRowan County
People : Kim Davis


Scoot: Does God's law rule over your work duties?

Do you ever go against your religious beliefs in doing your job? A county clerk in Kentucky continues to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the Supreme Court decision that declared same-sex marriage legal in America.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has been ordered to face a federal judge Thursday to explain why she refused to perform an aspect of her job. Davis has said that she is acting "under God's authority." In another county in Kentucky, County Clerk Casey Davis, (do not know if related to Kim), said that he would refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses - even if it cost him his life! He says that he is fighting a "war on Christianity" and he will die before issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple.

County Clerks are elected to their position, so they cannot be immediately fired by a supervisor. Impeachment would be the course of action to remove a clerk from office, but that is a long process that rarely becomes reality.

A federal judge could fine a clerk for refusing to perform their legal duties or even sentence them to jail. Two gay couples are suing Kim Davis in Rowan County, but are not asking that she be sentenced to jail time.

Kim Davis defends her position, saying that she is not discriminating because she is refusing to issue all marriage licenses. That means that straight couples are no longer being serviced by the County Clerk's office.

Refusing to perform duties of the office one was elected to because of personal religious beliefs raises an ethical question: Does God's law rule over your duties at work? And if so, should you resign your position?

It was on this day, September 2, 1963, that Alabama Governor George Wallace prevented the integration of Tuskegee High School by surrounding the building with Alabama state troopers. In that case, an elected official ignored the law of the land because of his personal views.

Public officials should be expected to perform their duties regardless of their personal views and any refusal to do so should lead to consequences so severe that all elected officials are forced to do their job or resign.

Many who would support these County Clerks in Kentucky because they, too, disagree with the Supreme Court's ruling, would probably be quick to argue that no one in public office should have the right to use their personal beliefs to deny the rights granted under the 2nd Amendment.

I can respect those who have strong convictions and are willing to take a stand, but the stand they take should be resigning from their position rather than defy the law of the land.

Are there any times that you suspend your personal beliefs in performing your job?

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Topics : Law_CrimeReligion_Belief
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Locations : AlabamaKentuckyRowan County
People : Casey DavisKim Davis


Scoot: Proud of New Orleans then, proud of New Orleans now

Hurricane Katrina hit and there was virtually nothing anyone could do to stop the destruction.  I was living in Denver, CO when Katrina destroyed my hometown and it was heartbreaking to witness the destruction - but the hardest thing to see was the human suffering.

For the native New Orleanians who were not here during Katrina, the emotions we felt for our city cannot be compared to actually dealing with the physical and mental devastation, but know that we were hurt because our hearts and souls were here and we felt the pain.

Having grown up in New Orleans and experienced other powerful hurricanes like Betsy, I knew what being in a hurricane felt like and was crushed to see the precious New Orleans landmarks so scarred by the storm and the flooding that followed.

New Orleans had been through setbacks before, but Katrina seemed to be the ultimate test.  Even watching the darkest moments of the impact of the storm and the rising waters, I had faith that our city would come back – and come back strong.

Moving back to New Orleans about 5 years ago was a blessing for me, both personally and professionally, and I rejoiced in experiencing significant changes in the city. The most obvious change I noticed was the evolution of downtown New Orleans.  There was a definitive new vibe about the city that was exciting!

For the first time in 50 years there was a major grocery store downtown and other businesses were geared to new downtown residents rather than only those who came into the city from the suburbs to work. I was also struck by a new influx of people who were moved by the visuals of the disaster to come to New Orleans to help after Katrina.  They fell in love with our city and they stayed to make it their home, too.  The new people in New Orleans chose to be here and they have contributed physically and emotionally to our culture and a bold new direction for New Orleans.

There will always be those who resist change – even a change in population, but the changes have contributed to the growth and current path of our city. New Orleans was built by many cultures and those who became part of our city in the aftermath of Katrina have reflected the diversity and the willingness to accept all that was the early and is now the current foundation of New Orleans.

No one would hope for a disaster – but the collective resolve of the greater New Orleans area turned tragedy into triumph!

Psalms 66:10-12
For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You laid an oppressive burden upon our loins. You made men ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water, Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance.

I was always proud of what New Orleans was – and today, I’m even prouder of what New Orleans is still to become!
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Locations : DenverNew Orleans


Scoot: Don't call me racist!

I have always said that judgmental hate comes from the political right AND the political left – and I now have a great opportunity to prove it.  This will be particularly revealing, and perhaps quickly rejected, by those who think only the right-wing conservatives judge and hate.

Friday on The Scoot Show on WWL, I talked about the armed robbery ambush at an upscale New Orleans restaurant.  I wrote a blog titled, “Was Patois restaurant robbery an act of revenge?”  The blog was picked up by a few Twitter trolls and I was shocked by many of the comments, which were based on denial of reality and perhaps an effort to justify membership in the extreme left.  It was obvious that many, if not all, of those Twitter trolls spewing their judgmental hate were quick to judge me based on the possibility of a motive I raised in the blog, rather than judge from knowing anything about The Scoot Show.  

In the blog and on the show last Friday, I raised the possibility that there was an added motive beyond the money and valuable items stolen from the uptown restaurant’s patrons.  I simply brought up a possible added motive in the robbery from conversations I have had with blacks, whites and law enforcement.  It was also based on my first-hand experience with being attacked by four young men in the CBD.

Here are a few excerpts from the blog:

The fact that an upscale restaurant in a predominantly white section of New Orleans was selected was not random.  Not only were these three black gunmen looking for victims that would likely have money and expensive jewelry, but there was quite possibly a motivation for attacking whites in a setting that would strike fear in the white community.

Ironically, the victims in the armed robbery have probably contributed nothing to create the depraved mentality of the gunmen.  If the gunmen were, in part, seeking to vent their frustration and anger over their positions in society, they should have targeted their own parents and their neighborhoods that subtly, over time, nurtured real-life monsters.

Generations of children having children, but not caring for or raising those children combined with a sense of hopelessness have greatly contributed to the disturbing proportion of crime in some neighborhoods in America.  

If too many young parents have become parents as a result of submitting to the instinct to have sex with no thought of consequences and if a system supports and even encourages having babies as a career choice, should we be surprised that we have reached this point?

And if there are Americans who will have sex with no consciousness about the children they biologically create, then can we also assume they don’t care about their children in the womb?  I would image that there is extensive substance abuse during pregnancy in many cases.  We know that a developing fetus can be physically and mentally effected by the over consumption of drugs and alcohol during pregnancy.  Where are the studies of the life history and life patterns of today’s young thugs?

The blog ended with these two thoughts:

The power to instill fear in others yields a sense of power to those who have no ambition to gain power on their own.

But the anger and frustration are misguided when the victims are not as directly responsible as their own parents and neighborhoods.

In that blog, I simply raised a possible additional motive, and that led to tweet and email comments that included calling me “vile,” “an idiot” and a “racist” and a demand for an apology.  I don’t often feel the need to defend myself for expressing an opinion and especially not for opening the discussion about another possible motive that is based on not just my opinion, but the observations of others.

What struck me most about some of the hateful reaction was people labeling me a “racist.”  Anyone who would use that ugly slur to label me must have no reference of the show I do on WWL.  I will not remain silent when the term “racist” is thrown around like a curse word in an effort to hurtfully label a talk show host, politician or any individual!  For too long, too many Americans have gotten away with casually using the term “racist” to put down others in an effort to make themselves feel righteous.  So, I am speaking out!

Here are a few of the tweets from what I consider hateful Twitter trolls looking to support their political ideology by misusing the political-charged word of “racist.”
There were those who criticized the blog as bad “journalism” and challenged the “facts.”  A blog should not be considered objective journalism – it is a blog and often blogs are the expression of opinions.  The only facts in the blog were the name of the restaurant and information about the suspects that came from NOPD.  The rest of the blog was my opinion – based soundly on the First Amendment – and raising a “possibility” was not presented as fact.  We should all be alarmed by the number of people who do not understand the fundamental definition of journalism or the difference between fact and opinion!

There were tweets that criticized me for describing the three suspects a “black males,” but here is the information that came directly from the office of NOPD Chief Michael Harrison:
[#H-25146-15                            64G/Armed Robbery (Gun)                Unit 234C
23:05 hours                               6074 Laurel Street                            P/O Castelin

Victims: 1) Patois Restaurant 
               2) Multiple Patrons 

Gist: Three armed black males entered the business and robbed the business and patrons. PIO notified via Outlook.

To point out how obvious the judgment of the Twitter trolls was not based on any knowledge of The Scoot Show or the blogs I write and my general compassion for all minorities, here are a few excerpts from a few previous blogs:

Scoot Blog: What does taking down the Confederate flag mean to you?  Thursday, July 9, 2015

“Why is it so important to flaunt a flag that no longer represents the mentality and direction of America?  Why is it so objectionable to remove a flag that offends a group of Americans that were gravely mistreated?  Is this not the time to conclude that if that flag is offensive to many Americans that it should come down?  It seems the calls to take down the Confederate flag are the voice of Americans who understand that we have been too divided and we need to act in ways that more accurately reflect what this nation stands for.”

“Recognizing the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate to many Americans and the support from both black and white Americans demonstrates a sense of coming together as Americans.  And isn’t that what we all are?”

Scoot Blog:  Should the Confederate flag come down? Monday, June 22, 2015

“I can argue that the Confederate flag should not fly because it should no longer represent the America we live in today and that supporting the flag must mean support for an America controlled by the white population.”

Scoot Blog:  Where does an honest conversation about race relations begin – Wednesday, December 3, 2014

“We have heard different stories about life from our parents and grandparents and our perspectives on many aspects of life may differ.”

“Black and white Americans should be willing to admit that each does not know what it is like to be the other and it is unfair and destructive to base criticism on the premise that you know how they should feel – because you don’t.”

These were a few excerpts from blogs that also reflected on-air discussions on race relations and judgment of minorities in America and anyone familiar with The Scoot Show and the blogs I write daily would not be so quick to call me a racist.

Almost daily, I receive text messages from listeners who blatantly accuse me of being a “N***** lover” or that all I do on my show is cater to “the blacks.”  One text last week said that Mayor Landrieu and my show “give” the blacks everything they want!  I do a radio talk show and that person has elevated my show to a branch of the government!  How absurd!

The main reason I was so infuriated by the Twitter trolls calling me a “racist” was because I realized how casually that word is used as a slur or a curse word or a quick way to take a cheap shot at an individual.  It’s time for more people to stand up and challenge the hateful labels some are so eager to use, especially in those cases where the word or term are used to unfairly define an individual.  

There should be no doubt that baseless hate can come from the left just as quickly as it comes from the right.

Social media like Twitter and text lines have given prejudiced individuals with hate in their hearts a platform from which to spew their ignorant hate with the understanding that they are accountable to no one.

Over the years, I have received a lot of criticism because of my support of same-sex marriage and the idea of not stereotyping young black males – even though I was attacked by four young black males on a CBD street.  And I have promoted equal pay for women.  I have also been a champion on the air for not assuming that every Muslim is a terrorist.  I have been accused of being every kind of liberal there is and that’s why I was not going to stand by and not react to the senseless racist slur fired at me!

I have been called a lot of things and I realize that is part of my job, but it is time for us to absolutely call out those who are guilty of public cheap shots.  It’s only their opinion and often it is based on a hysterical reaction rather than the reality that defines an individual.

Before you call me, or anyone a “racist” – take pause to make sure they deserve it.  And who knows – the next person you call a “racist’ may not be as nice as I am!

Attempting to label me a “racist,” after being physically attacked by four young, black males and refusing to stereotype all young, black males is blatantly unjustified! 

And if my premise that instilling fear or seeking revenge against the white community by some African-Americans could never be a motive to be considered – then please explain to me why I was attacked by four young, black males – three of whom were laughing while the biggest one was punching me as I lie in the street and he patted my wallet and cellphone in my pockets but stole neither – explain to me what the motive might have been?  What was the purpose of the attacking a lone white male walking down the street on his way to work?

Can you see the possibility that instilling fear could be a motive?
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Scoot: Was Patois restaurant robbery an act of revenge?

Imagine dining at an upscale restaurant in the exclusive uptown section of New Orleans at 11:00 pm on a Thursday night.  Quiet conversations might have been about business, the kids or relationships.  

Suddenly, the most civil of settings is interrupted by three gunmen wearing hoodies.  It’s an armed robbery and you have become a victim by doing nothing other than leading your peaceful, civil life.

Three gunmen walked into the upscale restaurant, Patois, Uptown on Laurel Street and robbed the patrons.  In some cases, the gunmen pointed guns at the heads of diners, as they demanded money and other personal belongings.  One can only image the fear felt by those who were there and how that experience will haunt them and maybe even cause some Uptowners to consider moving.  And why?  Because three thug punks target a restaurant where they believe people with money and expensive jewelry will be completely taken by surprise.  It was an ambush!
The fact that an upscale restaurant in a predominantly white section of New Orleans was selected was not random.  Not only were these three black gunmen looking for victims that would likely have money and expensive jewelry, but there was quite possibly a motivation for attacking whites in a setting that would strike fear in the white community.

The prevailing idea that whatever plight is faced by young black males in America can be entirely blamed on white America seems to have been adopted by many young blacks and part of the motivation may be a sense of retaliation or revenge.

Ironically, the victims in the armed robbery have probably contributed nothing to create the depraved mentality of the gunmen.  If the gunmen were, in part, seeking to vent their frustration and anger over their positions in society, they should have targeted their own parents and their neighborhoods that subtly, over time, nurtured real-life monsters.

Generations of children having children, but not caring for or raising those children combined with a sense of hopelessness have greatly contributed to the disturbing proportion of crime in some neighborhoods in America.  

If too many young parents have become parents as a result of submitting to the instinct to have sex with no thought of consequences and if a system supports and even encourages having babies as a career choice, should we be surprised that we have reached this point?

And if there are Americans who will have sex with no consciousness about the children they biologically create, then can we also assume they don’t care about their children in the womb?  I would image that there is extensive substance abuse during pregnancy in many cases.  We know that a developing fetus can be physically and mentally effected by the over consumption of drugs and alcohol during pregnancy.  Where are the studies of the life history and life patterns of today’s young thugs?

The sense of entitlement reaches every segment of society and knows no socio-economic boundaries.  Generations that have been raised on the premise that the government owes them something put themselves as a severe disadvantage.  

On the affluent side of life, a sense of entitlement often comes from the benefits and expectations of wealth.

A sense of entitlement robs individuals of relying on own instincts and ambition to better themselves.  Can you think about times in your life when you expected something to be given to you – something that you did not have to work for?  A sense of accomplishment is lost when something is expected and given and it is the sense of accomplishment that builds the character of contributing citizens.

I fear that the entitlement mentality in America may have reached a point where some believe they are entitled to take what you have even if you worked for it and believe they are now entitled to instill fear in a community they falsely accuse for their position in life.

The power to instill fear in others yields a sense of power to those who have no ambition to gain power on their own.  

But the anger and frustration are misguided when the victims are not as directly responsible as their own parents and neighborhoods.
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Topics : Law_Crime
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Locations : New Orleans
People : Paul Murphy


Scoot: Jared Fogle is a child pornographer; now what?

The wholesome face of Subway spokesman, Jared Fogle, is the face of a child pornographer!

Jared, who became a national spokesman for a major fast food franchise, is pleading guilty to child pornography and sex with minors. There were at least 14 victims – one as young as 6.  Jared is pleading guilty to receipt of child porn and to one count of traveling to have sex with minors as young as 16.  The minors were apparently teen prostitutes.

Jared FogleJared is a white male.  Yesterday in our local news there was a story about a Gretna police officer arrested on child pornography charges.  He is a white male.  The overwhelming majority of those arrested on child pornography and child molestation charges appear to be white males. If it is justified to stereotype and judge black males or Muslims based on what we see on the news, is it fair to assume white males are sexual degenerates because “they” are the ones getting arrested?

Some will challenge this point-of-view claiming that I am defending “the Blacks” and “the Muslims.”  I consider this a case of simply recognizing the human tendency to harshly judge those who look differently from us.

I consistently talk about the flaw in judging black males or Muslims by the stories we see regularly on the news and if the majority of the child pornography stories on the news involve white males, then that should illustrate how unfair it is to judge groups by the stories that get attention on the news.  

We innately defend those who look like us while being quick to judge others.  As I white male, I don’t want to be included in the stereotype of child pornographers and sexual deviants any more than I imagine black males or Muslims want to be judged by those within their group that commit horrific acts.

The first step toward righting a wrong is to recognize the origin of what is wrong.  If human tendency makes it easy for us to judge others that we do not associate with, then we should all challenge ourselves to stop being quick to be judgmental.  If we argue that we do not want to be judged by the behavior and actions of those who appear to others to be like us, then why are we guilty to the same judgment?

The human tendency to judge does not excuse the injustice.
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Scoot: Archie Manning, Jimmy Buffet want Mississippi flag change

The recent crusade to remove the Confederate flag in 2015 is not part of a Northern Yankee liberal agenda. It was also supported by many, like myself, who are Southern natives.

Now, Archie Manning, Jimmy Buffett, author John Grisham and Morgan Freeman, all natives of Mississippi, have joined an effort to remove the Confederate emblem from the state flag of Mississippi.  All have signed a letter titled, “A Flag for All of Us,” which states that “It is simply not fair, or honorable, to ask black Mississippians to attend schools, compete in athletic events, work in the public sector, serve in the National Guard, and go about normal lives with a state flag that glorifies a war fought to keep their ancestors enslaved.”

Archie Manning played quarterback for the Ole Miss Rebels when the Confederate flag and their mascot were offensive to many of their players and fans and many will disagree with Archie’s position on the Mississippi state flag.  And I’m sure there are many “Parrotheads” who completely disagree with Jimmy Buffett’s insistence that the state flag is offensive.  

Will anyone lose respect for Archie and Jimmy because of their position?  Interestingly, many of those who were quick to criticize radio talk show hosts or TV hosts that condemned the Confederate flag may not launch the same harsh criticism against Archie and Jimmy.

When beloved celebrities take positions on controversial issues some allow themselves to see a different side of the debate, but others will still love and admire the celebrity and yet not change their opinion.  

A willingness to accept the opinion of beloved celebrities without hating or condemning the person demonstrates how “hate” has become a common emotion in political debates.  If one can disagree, but not hate Archie Manning or Jimmy Buffett for their support of removing the Confederate flag from the Mississippi state flag, then it is possible to disagree with but not hate others with differing opinions. 
The growing tendency to condemn the person who expresses a different opinion on a controversial topic defies the basic respect we should all have for the spirit of the First Amendment.  

Too often, hate becomes the key element in political debates. Passion is great – but not when it turns into hate for those who simply have a different opinion.
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Scoot: "Straight Outta Compton" is one powerful movie!

There is a generally held belief that rap/hip hop music inspires much of the violence that lives in the communities where the music has a high concentration of popularity.  But does the genre inspire violent or negative behavior, or does it act more as a reflection of the violence and behavior that live in reality?

“Straight Outta Compton” was one of the movies that dominated the box office this past weekend and I would be surprised if the movie did not generate Academy Award nominations, including acting nominations.

The movie told the story of the controversial hip-hop group, N.W.A., which stands for “N***** With Attitudes.”  “Straight Outta Compton” is a biographical drama and even if you are not fan of the music, the movie is a compelling drama with excellent acting and direction and with N.W.A.’s hit song, “F*** the Police,” deals with the sensitive issue of First Amendment rights.

Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy-E were among the creative forces behind N.W.A., but often with creativity comes chaos.  N.W.A. was credited with telling the truth about violence in Compton, a rough area of Los Angeles and in particular, about the treatment of African-Americans by law enforcement and in one scene in the movie, even by a black cop.

The attitude by many in law enforcement toward young black males reflects the highly publicized news stories about white police officers using lethal, or in some cases questionable, tactics against young blacks.

The movie is honest about the backgrounds of some of the players and does not attempt to portray them as choirboys.  If the lyrics of violence and contempt for law enforcement represent a reality in the black community and the lyrics are written by individuals who live that realty, then it’s logical that the art imitates life.  But we also see how life can imitate art.

Of all the characters, Dr. Dre was portrayed as an artist who understood, but did not want to be part of the real violence.  When Ice Cube, known throughout the movie as “Cube,” realized he was not being treated fairly by the record company, he took a baseball bat and literally destroyed the gold records in the office of the head of the company.  And while you understood Cube’s anger, violence should not have been the manifestation of that anger.

N.W.A.’s honest message about their world resonated with white America as well, and on tour in Houston in 1989, the audience was filled with young whites and blacks all singing their anti-establishment lyrics.  N.W.A. tapped into a growing sentiment throughout America, even with suburban white youths.

Turmoil within the group led to Ice Cube’s departure for a solo career and a battle ensured with Cube and N.W.A. using lyrics as bullets against each other in songs that became popular.  At one point, Eazy-E suggested murder was a way of ending the lyric war.

One thing that stood out in the movie, “Straight Outta Compton,” was the tendency to resort to physical violence to settle problems, which was what the artists knew as the only way to resolve conflicts.  The music didn’t inspire violence, but some of those who created the music were violent by nature.

Later in the movie, “Suge” Knight, the owner of a record company, joins the story and Dr. Dre starts a new record company with Knight.  But Dre soon becomes critical of how “Suge” and his entourage are having fun while he creates the music.

Of all the characters in the movie, “Suge” Knight was the most violent.  Knight is currently in jail held on a $10 million bond charged with murder.  If his character were accurately portrayed in the movie, then no one would be surprised that “Suge” Knight might be in jail on a murder charge.

N.W.A.’s lyrics took on more meaning after the video of the Los Angeles Police officers beating Rodney King in 1991 and their message was the soundtrack for the attitudes that led to the L.A. riots after the 4 police officers were found “not guilty” of using excessive force.

Any music genre can become the music that leads the cheering crowd of any generation, but that does not mean the music is responsible for the crowd’s behavior. 

It’s easy to blame rap/hip hop for real world violence, but doing so ignores the bigger issue of individual accountability for one’s behavior.  “Straight Outta Compton” showed that some of the artists came from violent backgrounds and their behavior before and after becoming stars did not change.  But the music did not turn them or their audience violent.

Cheerleaders lead the crowd at a sporting event, but the cheerleaders are not responsible for the crowd’s desire to cheer for their team to win – the crowd came to the stadium or arena with that attitude and the cheerleaders only reflected what they were already feeling inside.

“Straight Outta Compton” is an exciting drama with a lot of action, and for those who knwo nothing about the rap/hip hop culture, “Straight Outta Compton” is a lesson in sociology and explains the relationship between music and its audience.

Be warned:  The running time of the movie is 2 hours and 27 minutes, but if they edited out the use of the N-word and the F-word – the movie would have been about 17 minutes!
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Topics : Entertainment_Culture
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Locations : HoustonL.a.Los Angeles
People : Dr. DreIce CubeRodney King


Scoot: Confederate statue controversy reflects divide in America

The debate over Confederate-era statues around New Orleans is as hot as the temperatures right now. The Historic District Landmark Commission and the Human Relations Commission both voted to recommend to the New Orleans City Council that four monuments be moved.

During the recent controversy over removing the Confederate flag that flew over the Capitol grounds in Columbia, South Carolina, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu promoted the idea of removing the statues of Robert E. Lee at Lee Circle, Jefferson Davis on Jeff Davis Parkway, P.G.T. Beauregard at the beginning of City Park and the Battle of Liberty Place monument on Iberville from public view.

Mayor Landrieu seems to have made a controversy over something that was not previously part of mainstream conversations, but now, it is clearly a divisive debate in New Orleans.  

Many have speculated that Landrieu is pandering to black constituents to secure his voting base for future elections.  Only Mayor Landrieu knows for sure if he was motived by politics or a strong sense of equality, but the door of this debate has been opened and will not go away.

We’ve all heard the two primary arguments.  One side argues that the statues are part of history and history cannot be rewritten to fit these politically correct times we live in.  The other side argues that the statues represent repression of a race and serve as an offensive reminder of a terrible past.  Who’s right?

Both sides have legitimate arguments based on their perspective of life, but that doesn’t mean that both sides are willing to look at the other side’s point-of-view.  And that is typical of so many of the passionate debates we have in America.  

The first and biggest step toward uniting as a community and a nation is for both sides to understand that the other side has a point, even if it is a point that one disagrees with.  Our opinions about politics and social issues are shaped by our specific perspectives of life and it’s important to recognize that our perspectives are not the only way to view controversial issues.

It is true that the statues represent part of our history and history, by definition, cannot be rewritten.  But the statues represent an oppressive part of our history and their presence is a daily, even if subconscious, reinforcement of that painful past.

It appears certain that the City Council will follow the recommendation of the Commissions and vote to have the statues moved to a museum setting.  That decision will raise the very important question of how does a city that cannot afford to pay police officers and others what they deserve justify spending money to remove statues?  Even those who argue that removing the statues is important would have to agree that removing the statues is merely a gesture in a city plagued by a rising murder rate. Perhaps money can be raised to pay for the removal of the statues so the city, itself, is not financing the project.

The controversy over removing the Confederate-era statues in New Orleans is a microcosm of the divide in America that is only perpetuated by such controversies. 

Here’s my perspective.  If money can be raised for the removal project that does not tap into the city’s budget, then the issue centers on the meaning and importance of the statues.  

If the argument is that the statues represent history, our past, and should not be offensive to anyone because we have changed, then I could also argue that the absence of the statues should also not be offensive.  Unfortunately, rigid positions of both sides fail to recognize the other side and each side is fighting as if removing the statues or keeping the statues represents some kind of victory for their ideology.

It’s true – the statues represent our past and a past that can’t be forgotten, but must be understood for the injustice it represented.  No one today should view the statues as representative of who we are as a community or a nation.  But while the statues should not be offensive, the absence of the statues should not be interpreted as offensive either.

And if the statues are removed, then where is the line drawn?  Do we research everything everyone in history did or stood for?  Surely, we can find negative things about the most honored heroes and positive things about the most hated.  Do we change street names?  Do people have their names legally changed?  And the list goes on.

This controversy over the statues reflects the divide in America that prevents us from truly recognizing the past and moving on and living up to our name – the United States of America.

If the argument is that the statues should not be offensive, then the argument should be that the absence of the statues doesn’t change anyone’s Southern heritage or what lives in their hearts and minds.
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Scoot: Time for a "gut check" on the 2015 Saints

At this time last year, as the Saints prepared for the new season in the posh surroundings of The Greenbrier in the mountains of West Virginia, there was great optimism – not only in the WHO DAT NATION – but many in the national sports media were calling the Saints a legitimate Super Bowl contender.  Last year ended with a 7-9 season and the Saints missed the playoffs.

As this new preseason begins tonight, it’s time for a ‘gut check’ on the Saints for 2015.  ‘Gut check’ is defined as an assessment of courage, character and determination.  

One of the unknown variables with every team is injuries, and the Saints had their share last season.  Injuries cannot be predicted, so based on the moves the Saints made in the offseason and the attitude of the coaches and the players so far, I have confidence in the Saints this season.

When the Saints appeared to be playing with a lackluster attitude, even during home games in the Dome, there was widespread criticism of the Saints moving their training camp to a resort in West Virginia, where the surroundings were luxurious and the temperature was pleasant.  Was training camp not tough enough and was that the reason the Saints appeared complacent at times?

Saints Coach Sean Payton addressed that possibility when he said that there would be a new attitude and the players echoed that there would be a new sense of urgency at training camp this year.  Today is the 46th consecutive day of temperatures in the 90s – the heat this summer has been brutal.  It is logical to believe that the team will get more accomplished in their current environment than at their facility on Airline Drive.  

Maybe the team was affected by training at a resort, but I don’t think that will happen this year.

Last season, I saw the Saints play, even at home, without passion – almost as if they believed all the positive publicity from the local and national media.  Knowing what I know about Sean Payton, I do not expect that to happen this season.  Recognizing a fault is the first step toward correcting it and it appears that the Saints will not enter this season with any sense of complacency.

There is every reason to trust that the Saints front office and Coach Payton have made the moves they feel are necessary to build a winning season.  The trade of TE Jimmy Graham shocked Saints fans and Drew Brees, but the team has made moves to build a potent offense without Graham.

New linemen, running backs and wide receivers and the return of players like Brandon Cooks and a new determination from Mark Ingram are signs that the Saints could have an explosive offense this season.
Last year, the Black and Gold defense was embarrassing and that did not go unnoticed by the Saints.  Decisions were made to change the defense and there is reason for optimism on that side of the ball as well.
But let’s remember that tonight’s game is just the 1st preseason game and no one should get too excited or too discouraged with the outcome.

This 1st preseason game is similar to the early primaries in the presidential election.  Those who do well in the early primaries will not necessarily be the ones who will make a serious run for the top spot. Preseason is a time for real football fans to pay close attention to the play of the players, especially the new ones.  I realize we all care about the score – but the score is less important than the individual play of the players and the sense of organization of the team.

Enjoy the game, but we will all know a lot more about the Saints this season in the 3rd preseason game! At this point – I am very optimistic!
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