In a society where the media creates stereotypes, showcases imperfect celebrities as role models, and often hurts more than helps the public with its mad rush for ratings, musical expression is an indicator of the times, not a cause of crimes. If Ice-T’s violent and degrading song is offensive, it is because the listeners ask for offensive. They want to rebel, to shock the world, and musical artists are more than willing to help them out. The problems of broken homes, misled teens, and a culture too reliant on its own powers and not enough on God are therefore reflected in the type of music it listens to. Though the abusive lyrics of musicians, especially rappers, are intolerable to some, the musicians have the same constitutional rights that every other citizen of the United States possesses. The First Amendment was originally created to provide individuals with the freedom to speak out against the government, but it also includes every other type of speech that may be banned due to its offensive nature. In some countries, it is considered a crime to even express opinions that differ from the holdings of the group in power. In the United States, however, we have the Bill of Rights that guarantees every person with any opinions freedom of speech. That includes every kind of speech. How could the government make a law censoring all “offensive” language? The term “offensive” is too broad to be defined. The definition would certainly change over time, and a person or group of persons would make the definition depending on what they believe, based on their own predispositions, to be offensive.
Them there is the question of whether or not it really makes a difference and deserves take up the time of lawmakers battling over the decision of what will and will not be allowed. I believe that a person’s musical selection does not strongly influence his or her tendency toward violence. True, listening to garbage may not influence positive thinking, but it does not have the power to be the sole reason for a person’s delinquency. A person’s background and family life has far greater power of influence on personality than unrelated musical lyrics ever will. The key to the problem of violence and aggression that is seen in so many teenagers is a renewal of family values and morality. Children need to be taught that love is the most important tool they will ever learn to use; it solves so many problems. They need to be taught how to love. Instead of delegating so many funds to banning the creative expression of musicians, maybe we should be doing more to reach out to families in danger of teaching children the wrong ideals. Something needs to be done, and quickly, before the United States starts seriously considering taking away fundamental rights of the people.