Warning to Toronto's Ward 7 residents. Your city councillor is a racist fuckhead. I heard on the CBC yesterday, I think on Here and Now, that Mammoliti wants to make bars' and clubs' liquor licenses contingent on a commitment from the owners/managers that they will not allow entrance to people wearing gang colours, or play gangster rap. Mammoliti's justification is that the music glorifies violence, specifically violence against women and cops*, and that it is therefore a legitimate question of safety.
The interviewer at least seemed to recognize the racist fuckheadery and challenged the councillor by a) pointing out that violence in clubs is bad for business, so club owners already take steps to discourage it by installing metal detectors and often banning gang colours of their own volition and b) asking the councillor if there was any evidence that listening to the type of music in question actually increases the incidence of violence. Mammoliti succeeded in avoiding this question, among others about whether the club owners themselves supported the new rules, and whether he was worried that this might constitute an unacceptable level of censorship.
At one point during the interview, Mammoliti showed his true colours by admitting that part of the point of the rule was that if clubs weren't allowed to play "music that glorifies guns and violence," then "those sorts of people" would be less likely to go to the clubs and cause problems. I kind of thought that everyone knew what "those sorts of people" meant, to the point that it had stopped being a useable euphemism for racist fuckheads who don't want to appear racist. Using that phrase in a discussion about rap music is about equivalent to using the phrase "money and the ethnic vote" in a discussion of Quebec elections, isn't it?
I have a question for Mr. Mammoliti. Sir, if you're so fucking worried about violence against women that you're willing to ban a music style to help prevent it, may we assume that you'll soon be banning The Beatles as well? After all a little glorification of stalking was not exactly uncommon in their lyrics, and stalking victims are often in serious danger from their stalkers. Or if we're talking generally dangerous, how about banning most American country music? I mean surely, in the long run, nationalistic pride and American exceptionallism are more dangerous than a few individuals with guns or knives, aren't they? Because, after all, this is about increasing safety, and not about keeping Black people out of bars, right?
Mr. Mammoliti, you're a racist fuckhead.
*Not usually a natural class