Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lil Wayne defends himself on Twitter and Facebook; says trampling of the U.S. flag was an accident

Rapper Lil Wayne was filmed trampling all over the American flag while shooting a new music video for the song “God Bless Amerika" in New Orleans last weekend (video embedded). After a huge uproar, on Tuesday he took to Twitter to defend himself, saying it was all an accident.

Video of his "trampling act" was uploaded to YouTube.

His tweet reads:
I didn't step on the flag on purpose! It's a scene in a video where the flag drops behind me and after it drop it's just there as I perform
He also took to his Facebook page, where he posted a lengthier explanation.
It was never my intention to desecrate the flag of the United States of America. I was shooting a video for a song off my album entitled "God Bless Amerika". The clip that surfaced on the Internet was a camera trick clip that revealed that behind the American Flag was the Hoods of America. In the final edit of the video you will see the flag fall to reveal what is behind it but will never see it on the ground.

In most people eyes including my own who were raised in that environment, the Hood is the only America they know and the only America I knew growing up. I was fortunate from my God giving talents to escape the Hood and see the other beautiful places this country has to offer but most people who are born in that environment don't get that chance. That's their view of their America. That was Dwayne M Carter from Hollygrove New Orleans view of America. That's who I'm speaking for in this song.
Among the lyrics of the song are:
My country 'his of thee
Sweet land of kill 'em all and let 'em die
God bless Amerika
This ole' godless Amerika.
Lil Wayne's assertion of it being an accident seems, at the very least, a little lame.  The rapper appears to be looking down much of the time in the video, meaning he knew precisely what he was doing.

To be clear, though, Lil Wayne's act was not a crime. In Texas v. Johnson, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that desecration of the flag is a protected expression of political speech.

Some have called for a boycott of Lil Wayne. Media critic and author of the “Death of Free Speech," John Ziegler, said that a boycott would be perfectly appropriate. It would be a form of free speech, in response to Wayne's own free speech. However, he didn't think it would make much of a difference to Wayne's bottom line.
A boycott here would be perfectly appropriate, but unlikely to be effective because his fan base will not see any negative coverage of this act from the news sources they are likely to consume.

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