A French rapper who goes by the name Nick Conrad has been hit with a $6,000 fine and is also on trial for incitement to murder after releasing a song and music video titled “Hang White People”. The video, which was pulled off youtube 10 days after being posted, shows the rapper and an accomplice kidnapping, torturing and killing a white man and is accompanied by lyrics saying “I go to the nurseries, I kill the white babies. Catch them quick and hang their parents!“. If found guilty he can receive up to five years in prison and $50,000 in fines. His lawyer is arguing his right to artistic expression and saying that the video is a play on the scene from American History X where a black man is curb stomped. The case is expected to resume on March 19th.
The fact that Conrad is being brought up on these charges should be a bit of a pause for those on the left who traditionally advocate against speech they disapprove of. As I said in a previous post about the rappers in the U.K. who had their lyrics censored by a court– “As much as I bring up the violent lyrics in rap music I am completely against this censorship. The left regularly tries to censor speech, but as this case shows, when they call for free speech restrictions they don’t think it could apply to them as well. No matter what your thoughts are on violent rap music if you’re “on the right”, you shouldn’t be celebrating this censorship either.”
And that is how I feel. Should Conrad be brought up on charges and face jail time for his lyrics? No. However, since these laws exist they need to be applied equally, so in my opinion I`m glad to see him being charged as things like this have traditionally been implemented by the left and used to target “white racists”. Hopefully this case will be a wake up call to the anti free speech left as well. That being said, I am completely against laws that restrict free speech and seek to fine or imprison people for it, no matter who it is. In all actuality American rappers have said the same thing in their lyrics and worse up to 20 years ago or so. That is the importance of the 1st Amendment that people on all sides need to realize- once it`s gone, everyone from right to left is fair game.