STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY FROM JELLO BIAFRA FOR R.O.C.'S OCTOBER 30TH ACTION IN WASHINGTON D.C.
I'm not voting for Bill Clinton on Tuesday. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to vote. Changing figureheads at the top won't change our country without increased pressure from the bottom up.
So I'll vote on the rest of the ballot; to try to elect as many progressive people as possible to Congress and State and Local offices. I'll especially keep a sharp eye on ballot initiatives; all in hopes of building a buffer zone to keep people like George Bush, Tipper Gore and Clarence Uncle Thomas out of our private lives.
Bill Clinton frightened me even before he picked Albert and Tipper Gore as his running mates. Only in times when people are so desperate for somebody-anybody-to get rid of a Republican problem is the so-called 'alternatives' near-Republican views and track record so eagerly ignored (remember Jimmy Carter?) Bill Clinton is the most right-wing candidate the Democrats have nominated in my lifetime-a sort of post '72 George Wallace repackaged for Yuppies.
On April 14, 1992, THE VILLAGE VOICE reported that after 11 years under Governor Clinton Arkansas ranked, among other states, "48th in employment, 49th in average weekly manufacturing wages and dead last in environmental policy" and had "the worst occupational safety record in the country." Just what we need for the future, right? Let's not forget Clinton supported the Gulf War.
In ROLLING STONE, Clinton repeated his enthusiasm for locking up drug offenders in what he'd earlier called, "community boot camps" - labor camps - let's call them what they are, concentration camps. As far as I'm concerned anyone who uses drug hysteria as an excuse to throw people in camps is just another Nazi. Will we really get any of our rights back from a Clinton Supreme Court?
This stinks all the more of Frank Snepp's article in the same VILLAGE VOICE alleging Bill Clinton has, at the very least, turned a blind eye toward government dope dealing. The VOICE reports that one of the favored landing strips for flying in cocaine shipments acquired in Oliver North's illegal contra-arms deals was in Mena, Arkansas. The report claims local prosecutor Joe Hardegee and his assistant Charles Black have tried to mount a full investigation for years, but Governor Clinton's office kept blocking the funding.
Clinton also has no problems executing a retarded Black man to show he's tough on crime or trashing Rap and Heavy Metal to suck up to the "family values" mob. So whether or not Mr. Bill becomes president, it's time to turn up the heat even more on the RIAA, the PMRC and their fundamentalist Christian supremacist allies. Even if you want Bush out bad enough to vote for Clinton doesn't mean you have to inhale Tipper Gore and the PMRC too. There's no reason to follow Danny Goldberg's example and let her off the hook.
Tipper Gore still comes off like Nancy Reagan; only smarter, more ambitious and therefore way more dangerous. She is a skilled and unrepentant liar, acting as a Trojan horse for the very religious right bigots responsible for the '92 Republican platform. She calls herself a liberal, a feminist even, and insists the PMRC is just a consumer advocate group in the spirit of Ralph Nader. If she kept her word (ha ha ha) and the PMRC concentrated on something like a CONSUMER REPORTS style magazine or newsletter reviewing albums for like-minded parents, I would have no problem with them. I might even offer to help review the records, in hope of providing a more balanced opinion.
But balanced opinion is not what the PMRC wants. Tipper Gore denied to my face on Oprah Winfrey that the PMRC has any connections with the religious right. Yet her main partner in the PMRC thought-crime is #1 Bush hatchet-man James Baker's wife, Susan. Mrs. Baker is a born-again fundamentalist Christian who told the NEW YORK TIMES, "I am God's instrument..." whose purpose in life is to "Live out the Gospel." More importantly she sits on the board of Focus On The Family, one of the most powerful religious right hate groups, whose agenda includes banning abortion, mandatory school prayer and Donald Wildmon-style boycott attacks aimed at TV shows they don't happen to like, such as Murphy Brown and even The Simpsons. The PMRC (Pushy Mothers of Rich Children?) has also been linked to Pat Robertson, Phyllis Schlafly, Rev. Wildmon and far-right hate groups with anti-semetic leanings such as Back In Control; a group founded by former L.A. cops that has claimed to cure wayward teenagers through "de-punk" and "de-metaling" techniques. Their late 80's brochure to parents called the Jewish Star of David "occult graffiti," and listed black clothing and high-top tennis shoes as signs of possible occult possession. Tipper Gore endorsed them in her book, RAISING PG KIDS IN AN X-RATED SOCIETY, a how-to-guide for cultural vigilantes, that is now reissued by Bantam Books.
Pat Robertson's 700 Club co-host Sheila Walsh sits on the PMRC's Board of Directors and helps answer their mail calling herself the PMRC's "pop music consultant." In the October 10, 1989 VILLAGE VOICE, then PMRC Executive Director Jennifer Norwood said, "We want music critics and organizations like Focus On The Family to disseminate this information to their constituencies..."
PMRC anti-music tracts are also finding their way to children's doctors officers, local PTA's and, most ominously, police departments. They circulate a "Satanism Research Packet" long after music-occult links have been proven false. ROCK & RAP CONFIDENTIAL reports, "The PMRC newsletter just increased its publishing frequency from quarterly to bimonthly. Sales of its video, "RISING TO THE CHALLENGE" are up nearly 400 percent."
It is Nixon-style half truth that the PMRC does not directly lobby government bodies for anti-music legislation. They don't have to. They have their cultural vigilante friends from the bigot networks mentioned earlier do it for them; often masquerading as concerned parents from the community.
For example, Missouri Project Rock's Shirley Marvin chose not to tell the press she was a registered lobbyist for Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum. On Oprah, Tipper Gore specifically denied any PMRC-Schlafly connection. But the September 2, 1988 B'NAI B'RITH MESSENGER reported Marvin was in personal contact with Mrs. Gore starting in 1985 and first met her when she addressed a conference held by Schlafly herself.
Why would any self-proclaimed feminist or liberal even want to be in the same room with these crackpots; especially without bringing a few stink bombs or grenades? Simple, Mrs. Gore's lying again.
It is the PMRC's agenda that's led to blacklisting artists and their music via labeling, concert shutdowns, attacks on retailers and radio stations, the state legislatures that would make mere use of a Tipper sticker label a legal admission of obscenity. People like myself, 2 Live Crew, GWAR and even Bobby Brown have been charged with obscenity and dragged through court because some self-proclaimed moral vicar doesn't like our music. It's obvious who got the ball rolling here and what their real motives behind record labeling are. When asked about my trial over the Dead Kennedy's "Frankenchrist" album, Tipper Gore told the METRO in Nashville (January 8, 1988), "I'd like to take credit for it." Gee thanks!
The Vice President's Mansion gave Marilyn Quayle far more power and visibility than she ever deserved. Expect the PMRC's anti-music war in what Pat Buchanan calls, "the Culture War" to be front and center in a Clinton administration. It is through Mrs. Gore that the religious right will keep their foot in the door of the White House. She does not deserve the time of day until she resigns and disavows the PMRC. And what about Hilary Clinton? Has anyone ever asked her if she's with the PMRC? Her WAL-MART ties are no secret, so I fear the worst.
But please don't sit out the whole election because of Clinton. Keep fighting back by electing cool people to state and local offices; boycott PMRC supporters like 7-UP, EXXON, COORS, AT&T, AMERICAN AIRLINES, HALLMARK GREETING CARDS and other religious right backers like BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO and DOMINO's PIZZA. Of course boycott all stores (especially chains) who won't stock controversial music and won't sell Tipper-stickered records to minors. The power is ours! Let's use it. Bigots don't keep music retailers in business, we do.
The other side are true believers ready to work as hard as they can for as long as it takes to get what they want. We must do the same, only harder. They learned their tactics from our side in the 60's and we have not yet begun to fight. Keep the heat on, and keep biting the ankles of the RIAA, the President, Tipper Gore and the PMRC. Don't settle for business as usual. Besides, it's fun.
"Let Freedom Ring (through a stack of Marshalls.)"