Music “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of States Constitution) However, It seems almost everywhere; many forms of art are being unfairly censored. One such form that Is often overlooked as art is music. “Music Is probably the most censored of all art forms”(The Economist; p 73) There are hundreds of artists who have been unfairly censored, ranging from popular music from artists such as Mine, 2 Live Crew, and NNW, to classical music, such as Mozart Figaro.
However unfair and unconstitutional this censorship is, the fact is hat questionable music and lyrics are encouraging impressionable young children to follow their messages. Rappers like DIM or NNW, preaching gang violence often are “the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” and finally pushes a child looking for guidance into the world of gangs. The truth is that these children need to be protected from the harsh realities of the world surrounding them, but is censoring music the right way to do it? “No corporation can exist without authority of government.
Government shouldn’t allow corporations that Infect and contaminate the minds of children to be allowed to exist. ” (Dry. C. Dolores Tucker before senate subcommittee). This Is one solution that seems to make good sense to many to support the censorship of music. Music of artists such as NNW, who urges their listeners to say, “F*KC the Police,” or Mine, who says he’ll “Kill You,” surround children, especially in urban areas. This type of music encourages children to get into drugs and gang violence.
In the past eight years, the period in which “gangs” rap has been heavily promoted, teenage drug use has increased more than four-fold (Dry. C Dolores Tucker). The government is the underlying power that allows corporations to send messages like these to children, and the government is the only resource we can use to stop it. “Young people often look to performing artists for moral guidance and inspiration as well as entertainment, but when these artists glorify guns and beatings they are Injecting poison Into the veins of America’s future” (Correct Scott King).
This argument Is not Isolated to urban areas, or rap music. In fact, hard rock groups have been blamed as the cause of several school shootings. The shooting at Columbine High School In Littleton Colorado was attributed to the music of Marilyn Manson. The most recent shooting blamed on occurred in Senate California; the alleged shooter had said that he was listening to Link Park’s album, Hybrid Theory the night before the shooting. In 1985, Tipper Gore, wife of former Vice President AY Gore, as well as many other concerned parents came together to create the Parents’ Music Resource Center.
Mrs.. Gore quickly became one of the leading fugues in the fight against obscene lyrics in popular music. Soon thereafter, the MARC began campaigning to let parents everywhere know that the music their children were listening to was depraved. The MARC, as well as representatives from the recording studios, testified before the senate. They reached a compromise, In which the music would not be altered, however, there would be a label that read “Parental Advisory, Explicit Lyrics” adorning the covers of albums that the MARC found harmful to children.
The 1973 Supreme Court decision Miller v. California gave local government control over music they Luther Campbell, leader of the group 2 Live Crew, in 1990; during a concert in Miami Florida, after the group had performed their song “Nasty as We Want To Be,” authorities went on stage and arrested him. However, this did not work out in the Marcs favor; the controversy of the arrest sent 2 Live Crew’s sales skyrocketing, and in 1992, the group appealed the court decision and was given back the right to sing their song.
Although there seems to be so much good to be gained from censoring controversial artists, we are in essence taking away their fundamental right of freedom of speech; if certain groups get enough power that they can choose whose rights will be abridged, then America will no longer be the free country it was always intended to be. If certain song lyrics offend some listeners, that, though unfortunate, s not acceptable grounds for invoking blanket censorship. The truth is that even if laws were passed banning talk of guns, violence, and obscene words in music, it would still not stop the spread of this type of music.
Now with the Internet and file sharing programs like Anapest and ‘mesh, any type of censorship would not only be immoral, it would be next to impossible. “And even if words like Bogota’ or Ongoing’ were banned, it wouldn’t stop homophobia or racism in America. Banning gangs rap wouldn’t do anything, except hide the truths that lie in the inner cities” (Walsh, p. 1). All that could possibly do is keep it hidden, but Just because a problem is hidden, does not make it any less off problem.
There is no simple solution to all of America’s problems, and it seems that groups like MARC trying to do exactly that, to find one solution that will solve all of the problems we have in today’s society. Artists do not use these words to incite riots or hate in people. Their often controversial lyrics merely express their opinions, and there is no harm in self expression. For many, music carries with it a definite therapeutic value. Member of NNW, MS Rene said, “A record can’t make nobody do anything. Sometimes doing a record is Just my way of getting back I can speak out. When people listen to the record, that’s their way of speaking back.
They put it in their car and bump it up as loud as they can” (Seminar, p. 63) Censoring music seems like a great idea to solve a lot of the problems facing America today, but in fact suppressing the messages of these songs wouldn’t solve any problems, it would Just hide them and create more problems. If we start to rebel against our own Constitution, the document on which our countries values are based, who is to say America will remain a democracy for long? If we start changing certain aspects of the Constitution, what is stopping us from changing the whole thing and in essence the ideology of our entire country?
How long could any country last if it starts to go against the fundamentals on which it is based? Not very long. Censoring music seems like it could work, but if we look beyond the immediate problems, we see the real answer. Owe can Jettison all that stuff, everything that makes us feel squeamish or uneasy or anxious. We can shove it all underground, airbrush it over with a smiley-face finish, and then when we look in the mirror, all objects will appear to be more perfect than they actually are. ”