The Politics of LDOC

A group of UNC students is using Facebook to protest Snoop Dog’s upcoming concert at UNC–a  free concert that the student body won for receiving the most online votes in an Electronic Arts contest.

Meanwhile, in just four weeks Ludacris will be headlining the Last Day of Classes Concert.  It’s not clear what Duke is paying him, (the LDOC committee made the decision this year not to release their budget), but the LDOC budget has in years past ran well upwards of $100,000.

Should our student activities money be used to line the pockets of a rapper with lyrics like:

  • You doin h* activities, with h* tendencies
  • B*tch ya’ p*ssy smell like Pepe Le Pew, (You filthy, nasty, sick in the head, Sittin’ in my dressing room with d*ck on ya’ bread)
  • Hilary [Clinton] hated on you so that b*tch is irrelevent
  • So move b*tch, get out the way h* , all you f*ggot motherf*ckers make way for 2-0

Not to say the issue is all black and white–in his song “Hey H*,” Ludacris points out the sexual double standard applied to men and women–despite the derogatory epithet in the title, the message is that words like “h*” are used for women but not men.

Nevertheless LDOC is supposed to represent all students, and create an inclusive, fun event for everyone to enjoy.  Ludacris will definitely be a popular performer, but many, if not all, of his songs definitely promote messages about women and sexuality that progressive activists at Duke are trying hard to subvert.

Published by Elena Botella

Elena Botella is a Duke Undergraduate in the Class of 2013, majoring in Economics and Math.

6 thoughts on “The Politics of LDOC

  1. How is it progressive to advocate censorship? Ludacris doesn’t actually harm women or gays — he just uses epithets (and frankly, this takes away their power in many ways). I doubt that anyone has ever been driven to violence against women or homosexuals because of his lyrics.

    Remember: if you’re liberal, you support _liberty_. That means all forms of speech and expression, offensive and not. And if you’re smart, you won’t let words ruin your day and let people have their fun.


  2. I see your point “empire” and I wouldn’t advocate censorship, but there is a big difference between censorshing Luda (that might entail blocking any radio frequencies that play his music, not allowing him to visit campus of his own accord, et. al), and PAYING Luda to come play at Duke.


    1. How’s Duke supposed to hire a rapper that’s never offended anyone? Virtually all of them have offended at one point or another. But those are just words, and words are not physically harmful (I doubt that anyone will be emotionally traumatized by Ludacris using derogatory terms for strangers a few times during an optional show, either).

      If you’re concerned about giving money to someone who’s said offensive things, you’ll have to dramatically change your lifestyle to avoid hypocrisy. Stop buying any newspaper with Billy Graham’s column in it; he’s an anti-semite. Don’t watch CNN; their reporters have made racist comments. We can’t put our lives on hold because of meaningless slurs. The only way that epithets are hurtful is if you give them meaning — by choosing to ignore slurs, they lose their power. By making a big deal, however, you promote sexism and discrimination more than the initial words themselves.


      1. I really disagree with your last statement: ” The only way that epithets are hurtful is if you give them meaning — by choosing to ignore slurs, they lose their power. By making a big deal, however, you promote sexism and discrimination more than the initial words themselves.”

        When slurs are normalized, when we think its normal to objectify women, to assume that women exist primarily for sexual pleasure of men, those ideas become entrenched. When we step back and critically examine and talk about it, we create space for other images of women (as leaders, as thinkers, et. al) to challenge the status quo.


  3. I thought you made some very good points Elena. Ludacris gave a free concert at N.C. State but strangely enough it was sponsored by the Air Force I believe (go figure). I attended and there were plenty of people there, and there was a very apparent paradox that I find is present at most rap concerts: the women there seemed to be really enjoying the most misogynistic of Ludacris’ songs. I agree that allowing the ideas presented in those songs to become ingrained in our society is dangerous. But, I think it is difficult to say if not allowing him to come at all is some sort of victory for gender equality. The best decision might have been to let him give the concert, and charge students, so the university is not facilitating his presence as much. I can say that when he gave the concert at State, all the promotional posters clearly stated that his lyrics may be considered offensive.

    Also, I have heard that the concert being given by Snoop Dogg at Chapel Hill will be free, because of something about it not adhering to university policy.

    Hope you are well.


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