Nikki Giovanni, whoever the hell you are - Dead To Me

So I’m sure everyone has heard about the flap that “poet” Nikki Giovanni caused with her “poem” that she recited at the re-opening of Fountain Square, where she referred to gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell as a “son of a bitch” and a “political whore”. Well from a liberal’s perspective, let me just say this: Ms. Giovanni, you were WRONG! WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG!

I don’t think anyone that runs in liberal circles is going to dispute the content of her comments. But I am going to argue with the context of those remarks.

The event was supposed to mark a new beginning for the city, something to unite Cincinnatians. Political remarks of that sort had absolutely no place in that setting. And she knew that, because the draft copy of her poem that she gave to 3CDC did not contain those controversial remarks. If she felt they were suitable for the occasion, she would have included them in the draft so they knew what was coming.

There are such things as decorum, decency, and knowing your audience. Ms. Giovanni displayed none of those Saturday. Instead, she decided to be “shocking” and “thought provoking”, or whatever the hell monikers artists are giving themselves these days. I thought artists were supposed to have stand up for their beliefs and defend them. Apparently she decided it was better to hide them until the very last minute. In my book that doesn’t make her “thought provoking”, it makes her a coward.

And all of you whiny artsy 1st amendment preaching ass munches seriously need to step back for a minute. Her 1st amendment rights weren’t violated; she’s not going to be prosecuted for anything she said, and that’s all that she’s owed under the amendment. So quit your whining and shut your piehole on that one.

Two local English professors have said that the poem (and Giovanni’s work in general) was like the weather forecast for Strongbadia: total crap. I’ll defer to their knowledge on that. UC professor James Cummins also said that she’s more of a “poet/activist”, and that 3CDC should have known what they were getting into. He’s probably right; it still doesn’t absolve her of any of the blame in this situation.

One last thing for those of you that still think she was in the right to say what she did: what would you be saying if she made these same remarks about Strickland? Yeah, I thought so.

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