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Author Topic: Mardi Gras Floats Mock BLM  (Read 144 times)
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February 10, 2016, 09:11:15 PM

When does, "C'mon, it's the First Amendment," end, and vile, racist and misogynistic speech begin? Should a history of being offensive in the name of eclectic irreverence disappear like confederate monuments in New Orleans? Is satire out, and political correctness in? And can floats — and riders — flaunting male and female genitalia coexist in a parade that also has a dedicated alcohol-free, family-viewing zone?

These are among the questions facing those responsible for the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade, Baton Rouge's signature bacchanal event, after controversial floats for a second consecutive year sparked outrage and community-wide debate.

Jokes about race were the focus of ire this year, especially those poking fun at the "Black Lives Movement" with "Pink Lives Matter" slogans — a reference to the parade's pink flamingo mascot. The side of one float had a drawing of a flamingo, with an "I can't breathe" sign around its neck, being beaten with a police baton. Several other floats were decked out with confederate flags, and one had a joke about "Freddie Gray Goose," a reference to the African American whose 2015 death after being arrested sparked violent protests in Baltimore

Doug Cossman, a board member for the group that oversees the parade, told the Baton Rouge Advocate he's sorry if anyone was offended but "we're not about to start censoring anybody's free speech rights."
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