# no more … than usage and explanation

The spirited defense of 2 Live Crew was no more about defending the entire black community than the prosecution was about defending black women

The first part of the sentence is clear that "X is no more Y". However, after the that part i am a little confused.

• A was no more about B then C was about D. The speaker wants you to draw a parallel between the statement A-B and the statement C-D. You should expect the speaker to provide supporting evidence about why this should be so for any A-B and C-D. – MikeJRamsey56 Apr 19 at 20:43

The prosecution, allegedly, wanted to "defend black women"

The defense (adj: spirited), allegedly, wanted to "defend the entire black community"

This sentence is saying that neither of these were the case, and as "spirited" and believable as the defense was, it was not genuinely about 'defending the black community,' but then again, neither was the prosecution genuine about "defending black women" (by prosecuting the alleged perpetrators).

[The spirited defense of 2 Live Crew was--] [no more] [--about defending the entire black community] [than] [the prosecution was about defending black women]

The purpose of this complicated construction is for rhetoric.

It's a comparison of these two propositions:

a. the spirited defense of 2 Live Crew was about defending the entire black community

b. the prosecution was about defending black women

The comparison can mean two different things depending on the truth value of proposition b.

Normally, you'd have a context where b. is not true. In such a context, it's a given that the prosecution was NOT about defending black women. Thus, the OP's sentence would not be a prototypical comparison of a. and b., but it would simply mean that proposition a. is not true either. Accordingly, the OP's sentence would mean:

The spirited defense of 2 Live Crew was not about defending the entire black community, just as the prosecution was not about defending black women.

Although the above context is "normal", it is entirely possible for the same sentence to be a prototypical comparison of a. and b., if the context does not dictate that b. is not true. In this unusual context, it would mean:

The degree of the spirited defense of 2 Live Crew being about defending the entire black community is no more than that of the prosecution being about defending black women.