Tag Archives: Rap

Shaming as strategy

So there is a new imaginary problem that people are complaining about on the Internet.  A summary of the complaint for context, but I really don’t want to engage in it. Understand, based on my calling in life I have no problem defending misguided people,

Racist Misogynist Poster

The Poster in Question

but what is happening is that a few people are angry that an insensitive person used specific imagery designed to “shock and awe” in order to get attention for his event. He used what is understandably called a racist image to promote a completely ordinary, otherwise uninteresting music show. He did this with the goal of getting exactly what he is getting: attention!

And to be clear, there’s no suggestion that he is consciously racist or misogynistic, simple that he is insensitive.

I’ve already talked about that more than I want to. As this blog has long been centered on *how* to argue, or *why* to choose certain rhetorical strategies more than *what* to argue, the interesting part to me is the techniques in the arguments, not against the racist, misogynistic poster creator, but against the people who say “Racism?  I Just don’t see it!“  I want to talk about the shaming of the people who are simply saying “it’s art”, “it’s stupid, not racist”, or “it’s really unimportant”. Because the argument against these people spueaking is very very scary to me. what’s more so, it is much more frequent than I imagine it should be.  Look at these screen captures so I don’t take anything out of context (to be clear, these are two separate comments — click more):



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Body Count

Ice-T looking like a serious Honolulu criminalHere’s a story I choose to believe is true, about one of the original “Gangster Rappers” named Ice-T.  Now he is an actor on Law and Order:

Ice-T had a meeting with a record exec once. The exec said he wanted to hear a sample of a proposed song before signing a contract. Ice-T says, “If I was selling hand grenades in an alley, I’m not gonna let you throw one to see if they’re any good. You either believe I’m selling good grenades or you don’t! So you either believe I can give you good records or you don’t!”

The exec says, “You’ve got good business sense. Did you go to business school?”

Ice-T replies, “Naw, but I did sell hand grenades in an alley once.”

So, as clients come in my office, I try to let them know exactly how well I can perform in court.  Ethically, it’s illegal for me to guarantee a client anything.  I am not allowed to tell them how many trials, or jury trials I’ve done.  I am also not allowed to tell them my win-loss record.

My feeling is, these ethical rules were created by someone not as proud of their record as I am.

The two or three most important questions any of my potential clients have for me, the two or three top sales points I absolutely have (and would like to put on a billboard) are the two or three things I am absolutely not allowed to say.  Hopefully, they believe what I’m doing is upholding justice and enforcing the rule of law to their benefit.   Unfortunately more often the defendant starts to think I’m hiding the ball and that I’m in bed with the prosecutor, the police, and the judge and that I’m trying to lock them up.

Only nothing could be farther from the truth.  What I want to do is set them free so they can tell their friends, “Wow, this guy the best!”

I can show them the newspaper articles I have around the office. I can tell them about the “Oh Wow!” cases Daryl Huff covered on KHON and that they remember.  I can explain to them the “Oh Wow!” cases no one ever heard about because our plan was to keep them as low key as possible.  I say that no results are guaranteed, and each one of these cases had a peculiar situation that I was able to ferret out.  That their case may or may not have these situations, but that’s what I’m trained to find, or expand if these situations are microscopic.  And we won’t know what that situation is until they hire me, and I’m able to read the police report and go through their entire case, page by page.

And the whole time I feel like:

Ice-T believes in the First Amendment in Honolulu Hawaii

And I’m thinking:

Wow, I never realized being an attorney was so much like selling hand grenades.

Acoustic honesty


“But he wouldn’t stop and I ain’t Ice Cube
So I had to take the brother out for being rude.
And like I said before I was mad by then
It took three or four cops to pull me off of him
But that’s the story y’all…”

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Hawaii Criminal Defense: The Legal Blog

Issues in Hawaii Law.

Below is a collection of Articles I've written about Hawaii law.  Most are about criminal defense, Honolulu trial work, or future legal trends. Courtroom experience is probably the most common.  Others are comments on local or national law.  Hopefully there is something for you to find and enjoy.  If nothing else, you'll see the way I feel about certain issues, and the thought processes I put into legal problems we solve.

And some stories are just too funny NOT to tell.......

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