Music and Violence
Each generation of adolescents has an artist or type of music that parents vehemently disapprove. The current generation has rap and alternative rock music. Many adults make the claim that some of this music causes violence, such as "Big Man with a Gun" by Nine Inch Nails (Palumbo 2). Some music has violent and explicit content, but a violent song, itself does not cause physical harm. Other songs of rap and alternative music have content of simple things, like cars or other materialistic items. Children listen to music that they have access to at home or in stores. Until a child is eighteen years of age, the parents can decide what the child can listen to on the radio, the television, or CDs ("Bennett bashes..." 6; Palumbo 4). A popular claim about rap music is that songs reflect the lives of many African Americans (Medved 21; "Time to squash..." 33). A violent life is only true for some African Americans, but others relate to the culture because society treats many African Americans as if they are directly causing the violence. Violent music may possibly make a path for violence, but it does not and can not cause violence.(Mcfadyen 17; Lieberman 2). Violent music can only stir emotions in a person, and if that person commits a crime, then it is that person's own fault. For the song did not go into the street and rob a person or shoot a person opening a door. This article gives the reactions of National Political Congress of Black Woman Chairwoman C. Delores Tucker, Empower America Co-Director William Bennett and Senator Joseph Lieberman on the topic of MCA releasing CDs that promote "violence, degrade women and contain liberal doses of profanity and sexually explicit language." Their main focus was upon the releases of Marilyn Manson and Tupac Shakur. Some music containing lyrics that m ay offend people is a good point, but a statistic showing the amount of new releases containing parental advisory would be stronger. The National Association of Recording Merchandisers made the best point of the argument that "parents are best positioned to make informed decisions about music purchases." A parent that interacts with his or her child would not allow such a graphic CD to be purchased especially if the child is under the age of sixteen or seventeen. Many stores that sell CDs containing parental advisory do not sell such CDs to minors because of possible legal liability. These examples make Tucker, Bennett and Lieberman's argument of banning all explicit music very weak. There needs to be more evidence of how bad explicit lyrics can be to children. Also Tucker makes a comment of selling pornography to children is illegal, this is agreeable, but that all explicit lyrics are pornographic is very disagreeable; she does not specifically make this claim, but it can be understood by her comment. Tucker , Bennett and Lieberman could be so headstrong against Shakur and Manson because neither can relate to the message in the lyrics. Tupac Shakur is known for his lyrics to reflect his life experiences on the West Coast in California, and it is highly probable that Ms. Tucker, Mr. Bennett and Senator Lieberman have not had a full experience of living in the ghetto surrounded by warring gangs. Senator Lieberman's focus is America's "broken culture and the risk it presents to our children and our country." His next point addressed to the subcommittee is about children carrying weapons and well-known businesses giving the children violent celebrating music. He believes that society's worst problem is the belief "that anything goes." This belief exists because of the power of trendsetters and their lack of responsibility of this power on impressionable children. Lieberman believes songs by some trendsetters are very disgusting and offensive, which creates a culture of violence that desensitizes children. Lieberman also mentions the dispute between Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. The life portrayed by these two...
Bibliography: Bennett bashes Bronfman for Satanic Rock." Human Events 20 Dec. 1996: 6
Lieberman, Senator Joseph I. "The Social Impact of Music Violence." Subcommittee on Oversight. Senate, Washington, D.C. 6 Nov. 1997. 26 Nov. 2002
Mcfadyen, Warwick. "When Music Turns to a Howl of Hatred." Sunday Age [Melbourne] 6 Oct. 2002, News: 17.
Medved, Michael. "Glorification of rapper Shakur degrades African Americans." USA Today 21 Nov. 2002, News: 21A.
Palumbo, Frank, M.D., FAAP. "The Social Impact of Music Violence." Subcommittee on Oversight. Senate, Washington, D.C. 6 Nov.1997 26 Nov.2002.
Time to squash violence in rap." Editorial. Chicago Sun-Times 4 Nov. 2002: 33.
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