Music Censorship

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Music Censorship: The Circumstances Causing the Controversy

Imagine, if you will, a world where we are told what music to sing, what music to play, and even what we may listen to in the privacy of our own homes. That world already exists as a reality in more countries that you might imagine, and that very reality is knocking on our door: In the USA, lobbying groups have succeeded in keeping popular music off the concert stage, out of the media, and off of the shelves.

Of course, if presented with this contingency, any one of us would declare how horrible this reality would be. Why then, do we hear about citizens and organizations fearfully protesting the apparently-so-inalienable right to express ourselves though music.

As a society we want our young people to be literate, thoughtful, and caring human beings, however we also attempt to control what they read, listen to, and see–and ultimately what they think and care about. One can understand the instinct to need to "protect" children from dangerous or disturbing ideas and information, but this combination of the multiplicity of values and the concern for young people's minds keeps censorship alive in school, public libraries, and other common places.

"We favor music censorship? No, that's not true," says Wendy Wright of an organization, Concerned Women for America, on the enemy list of virtually all other anti-censorship supporters. "Censorship means that the government restrains speech. We are in favor of those in the music industry using common sense: In essence, that they don't promote behavior or activities that they wouldn't want committed against their wife or children." CWFA sees music the music in question as having potential to cultivate certain ideas in the minds of the youth."The argument that it does not affect kids, that it does not promote similar behavior, is ridiculous. If that were true, they would not advertise or rely on marketing – both fields depend on the fact that humans can be...
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