P. 8, AMERICAN
FREE PRESS * March 27, 2006...
News From the Foundation to Defend the First Amendment
at Rutgers University
Libertarian Patriotic Musical Performers
Banned from Playing at Political Convention for Supporting Free
Speech for All
By Michael Collins Piper
thought police are now turning into the music police, if a recent
incident at Rutgers University in New Jersey is any indication.
One of America’s brightest young entertainers was recently
barred from performing on the Rutgers campus, not because of any
“controversial” lyrics in his music, but simply because
his Internet web site contained political commentary that some people
deemed to be “offensive.”
Paul Topete and his rock band, Poker Face, have been entertaining
audiences — young and old and of all races and creeds —
at concerts and gatherings up and down the East Coast for over a
decade. But Topete and the band have also carved out a particular
niche in what has been called the “patriotic” movement
because there is a distinct pro-freedom slant in the lyrics to some
of their songs.
Paul Topote and his band Poker Face played
at the last AFP national conference. The band was
recently banned from playing at Rutgers University
for advocating freedom of speech.
Because of this — plus because the group’s
music is just plain great — Poker Face has become well-known
for its appearances at patriot gatherings. The Poker Face band members
believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and bring a message
of peace and liberty in their appearances.
Despite all this, Topete and Poker Face recently came under savage
assault from a tiny yet bellicose left-wing pressure group, calling
itself the One People’s Party (OPP). The OPP was determined
to keep the band from playing at the state convention of the Libertarian
Party of New Jersey, an event being held on the campus at Rutgers
University. In fact, this would have been a repeat performance for
Poker Face, which played at last year’s Libertarian convention.
OPP began a loud and aggressive smear campaign, raising a ruckus
not because of anything in the music of Poker Face. The group went
after Poker Face because its web site featured, among other things,
commentary critical of prosecutions of thousands of people in Europe
— including internationally-known best-selling historian,
David Irving, sentenced to three years in jail in Austria —
on thought control measures that level criminal charges and imprisonment
upon those found guilty of the ambiguous accusation of “denying
Topete — who has both Jewish and Israeli friends who are fully
aware of his opposition to laws prohibiting freedom of expression
— was accused by the OPP of being “anti-Semitic.”
And, perhaps even worse, Topete was accused of being a “Holocaust
denier” himself — not because he questioned the Holocaust,
but because he dared to defend the right of free speech for those
right folks, a couple of these guys have long hair. But
they are also just about the most devoted group of young
patriots in the musical industry today, playing at rallies
and conferences and composing music dedicated to exposing
all sorts of oppressive tyranny.
Ironically, Topete — who is the son of a
Mexican-born father who immigrated legally to the United States
— as also accused of “racism” because he has been
an outspoken critic of illegal immigration into the United States
and has defended the work of the Minutemen, the group that is rallying
grass-roots citizens to challenge public officials who refuse to
stop the immigration invasion.
Topete has dared to point out that one reason why the United States
is facing an immigration invasion is that international big money
corporate interests have foisted measures such as the North American
Free Trade Agreement and the Central American Free Trade Agreement
(part of the whole global “managed trade” scam) on the
people of the United States, Mexico and the whole Caribbean region.
He contends that this is the real cause of the economic turmoil
that is driving refugees north across the American border.
Topete comments: “The real haters hate the truth. Period.”
So the truth is that there was nothing “racist” or “hateful”
in the lyrics of the music of Poker Face that was deemed to be troublesome
— only the political views of the lead singer, Topete, which,
in truth, are simply oldfashioned Americanism and patriotism.
Predictably, local media picked up on the artificially generated
controversy and effectively gave the OPP agitators a propaganda
edge, drawing attention to the affair.
Despite the assault on Poker Face by the leftist agitators, the
Libertarian Party stood behind Poker Face, with one party spokesman
declaring, “Nothing in their music says anything about racism
Still, the OPP agitators prevailed. Because the Libertarian convention
was being held on the Rutgers campus, university officials canceled
the Poker Face appearance.
The publicly funded university’s official public position
— so as not to be accused of interfering with First Amendment
guarantees of freedom of expression — was that the Poker Face
participation had to be canceled for the ostensible reason that
the band’s music might interfere with other events being held
in the same campus facility that day. The university claimed that
Poker Face had been permitted to play last year because there were
no other events scheduled that day.
The real story, though, is that the thought police won the day and
the OPP had acted as their public “front” doing the
dirty work of behind the scenes smear-bunds such as the powerful
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith and the
allied Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Both well-funded private spy organizations, the ADL and the SPLC,
lent their expertise in heavy-handed censorship and defamation against
Topete and Poker Face. The ADL acts primarily as an intelligence
and propaganda conduit for the Israeli intelligence service, which
closely monitors American political dissent of all types, concerned
about possible opposition to Israel, whereas the SPLC is the plaything
and cash cow of veteran agitator and leftist fundraiser Morris Dees.
If anyone still has any doubt about the growing impact of efforts
to ban freedom of expression — now even freedom of music —
on American soil, the story of Poker Face is one that people need
to remember. But Topete and Poker Face refused to be silenced and
they are now even more committed than ever to speaking — and
singing — out.
(Issue #13, March 27, 2006, American