Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pretty sure the "I didn't mean it like that" defense didn't work for Edward II.

Back in the early middle ages, a king appointed one of his courtiers to the office of Archbishop of Canterbury.  He assumed that his man would represent the interests of the crown rather than that of the Church. 

It backfired spectacularly.  Thomas Becket was ordained, and began representing the interests of the Church, which pissed off the the point where Becket fled to the Continent for a few years.  Once he returned, during the reign of the following king (who broke tradition and was crowned elsewhere--a bad sign), things got worse: the king, Edward II, said something along the lines of "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?"  The exact wording is under dispute, but what happened was that four knights, freshly returned from the Crusades, decided that this was a Royal Command, and went to confront Becket.  And then, they murdered him in the cathedral. 

Three years later, he was canonized.  No, the king wasn't directly punished, but that was pretty much a slap in the face, a "we don't believe you didn't mean it" from Rome. 

I see shades of that happening in San Diego, now.  San Diego has passed an anti-gang law that states that even those inciting gang violence, knowingly or unknowingly, or profiting from it in some way, are liable as conspirators.  And now, they've arrested a rapper--Brandon Duncan, aka Tiny Doo--under said law.  He faces prison for life with all of the charges laid against him.

The ACLU are protecting him, stating that he has a right to rap about whatever he wants--that the first amendment protects him and his art. 

I can, on the one hand, see their point. 

On the other hand, Duncan's defense strikes me as a cross between that of Edward II who implied that he wanted the Archbishop of Canterbury murdered, and that of the type of idiot that screams "fire!" in a crowded theater, then tries claiming that it was his right under the freedom of speech. 

Pretty much all of the gangsta rappers tend to incite violence, crime, and rioting.  Why shouldn't they be prosecuted under similar laws that normal people inciting riots are prosecuted under?


  1. That is a hard one, but having said that, Duncan seems to know a little TOO much about certain gang related actions...

  2. The person you are thinking of was Henry II (Henry Plantagenet) not Edward II. Eddie was the son of Longshanks and got a red hot poker up the backside.for being less than manly.

    1. Ah. Thanks. I actually looked it up, and the site was wrong. I did remember the story, just not the king.


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