In this controversy, many people who are for censorship say that there should be censorship in music because lyrics from songs are telling youth that participating in illegal actions such as murder, rape or drugs is acceptable. For years, various government departments have passed, or have tried to pass, bills to strengthen music censorship. Censors believe these “explicit” content should be banned because they Jeopardize the society.
However, these censors maybe ignore our basic right: freedom of speech, which states Congress shall make no law representing an establishment of religion, or orbiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people peaceable to assemble, and petition the government for a redress of grievances (Magnum). In the United States, the First Amendment is aimed to prevent the government from controlling the media. The First Amendment gives everybody, include musicians, the equal right to speak freely about anything, in any way.
Creating lyrics is Just a way of expressing feelings on some certain things, considered as those artists’ basic right, regardless whether their creatures are appropriate or not. If censorship on music is adopted, a violation on our basic right and an unconstitutional action then occur. For many people who support censorship such as the American Family Association (FAA) and the Christian Coalition, it may be a matter of personal disagreement with what that person is advocating.
For example, if some one Just wants Marilyn Manson banned Just because that one disagreed with Mason’s attitude about sex and religion, then that one would be sacrificing his own freedom of speech under the First Amendment (Mass Mimic 1). Thomas C. Grey explained that if some people are going to regulate beech, then “those people are going to create the danger of suppressing debate, (and) suppressing ideas” (59). Meanwhile, some censors suggested that the “explicit” lyrics from rock ‘n’ roll and rap music is the major cause of social violence and some inappropriate behaviors, driving people to become social deviants.
Parents and politicians use music as a scapegoat to blame the problems of societies actions upon. In one case, the parents of John and encouraged” McCullough suicide (Magnum 1). The heavy metal band, Judas Priest, faced a similar lawsuit in 1990. In all of these cases, the courts rejected the idea that Caucasians can be held responsible for the acts of unstable individuals. Unfortunately, these censors Just look at one side of things. Yes, some music do content some “explicit” lyrics. However, no strong evidence can prove that those lyrics link the social violence directly.
The Journal of American Medical Association has stated that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to establish a correlation between violent behavior, suicide, and homicide with rock themes Oaken EAI). Censors, again, ignore the fact that economic state and education level may affect people’s behaviors more. When people talk about the inner city, the first impression appear in their minds may be extremely high crime rate. From a sociological perspective, crime in America could be seen as being on the rise because of an increase in underlying problems in the lives of individuals and in the community.
These problems are typically economic, social, and/or psychological in nature (Anonymous, 2). Nobody will think the cause of high crime rate is “explicit” lyrics. If people are really eager to solve the high crime rate of this society, the best result may occur when they pay more attention on meliorating the economic and educational level of this society, but not to violate our constitution and civil rights, such as censoring music. Moreover, some censors claim that the lyrics of the music are inappropriate, even vulgar.
They believe the content of the music cannot exhibit the civilization of our society. According to those censors’ morality, because some music cannot even be categorized to art, music should be censored. Objection! Take Picasso paintings for example, many of his works depict nude subjects. Those pieces are displayed to the public in galleries and museums wrought the world. Art is something that the viewer or listener observes and interprets himself or herself. Nobody has the right to tell someone what he or she are and are not allowed to see or hear.
One may find it educational for a child, while another may think that it is not appropriate for anyone to see. This is where the line is drawn, in people’s own Judgments. Judgment is the issue at hand, not censorship. If a person, like me, does not like rock’ n’ roll or rap music, then turn it off. Just like sculptures and paintings, music is also a type of art and therefore should not be encored. Let’s say, if people censor music, they should also censor TV shows and movies, considering so many violent screens appear in TV shows and movies (even cartoons).