English composition I Cause and Effect September 12, 2010 Abstract In this paper I will explain the cause and effect of music censorship. This is a very touchy subject all over the world and especially in the music industry. Censorship is a practice that restricts what a person can and cannot say. Particularly profanity is what is censored in the music that we listen to today. The objective is to figure out if censorship at all violates a person’s freedom of speech and expression, and what can rtist do to still express their ideas and feelings, but without the negative remarks.
There have always been people trying to silence or censor what artist has to say for as long as we can remember. This time range is from the 1950’s to present. Usually, if the record company does not control the content of music and album covers, the government will step in. (Barczak, 2001). The allowance of controversial lyrics in songs will forever remain in a heated debate along with the inalienable right which we call freedom of expression. The author Priscilla Thompson’s has an article called “Decency vs. Censorship”.
This article was one that I could relate to personally because of the cultural background. Although the author Kate D’lmperio had very valid points in her article called “Music Censorship”, such as rock music is a common target of censors alongside rap music especially because of the allusions to sex, drugs and booze, not to mention its indecipherable lyrics. Rock music has largely been seen as a form of rebellious music for Just about as long as it has existed. (D’lmperio, 2002). She elaborated on how the decency initiative, directed by human rights activist
Tamika Mallory to place a ban on three offensive words such as the “n, ” b” and “h” word has sparked a debate in the music industry. According to Mallory, any slurs referring to Blacks or women should not be used in recorded music. This should be views of all cultures when it comes to music and freedom of speech. In April 2007, Rev. A1 Sharpton’s organization, the National Action Network, launched their Decency Initiative in an effort to wipe out the use of the “n,” “b” and “h” words. When President Barrack Obama alongside Hilary Clinton was Just presidential andidates, they publicly supported the initiative.
On Aug 7th 2007, the Decency Initiative Committee organized A Day of Outrage. to use degrading terms to remove them. (Thompson, 2007). The event was a huge success. This ban was truly put in place to better the community and to help gain an amount of respect that people should have for one another, especially in the Black community. Using those three words Just help feed the negativity of the many stereotypes that Black people face presently. Just as the Rock & Roll stereotypes owards Whites make things even worse for that race of people as well.
There should be an allowance of freedom of expression, but when it goes too far such as belittling a certain race, sex, lifestyle, inciting violence and sex when you know that most of the listeners are impressionable young kids, then that is crossing the line. Many artists seem to want to lose their souls in pursuit to gain the world and riches. This shows no respect for the next generation. We as adults should know that what we allow small children and teens to see is often what they will reflect if they think hat the image that rappers and rock & rollers put out is 0k.
Encouraging all censorship that is appropriate should be welcomed by more than the majority. We must learn to have a sense of decency when it comes to children especially. Morals and values are no longer intact in people’s minds any longer it seems. There will always be a debate on censoring an artist’s music. They will argue that their freedom of expression is being violated. There are ways to express yourself in a more respectful manner of others, that way your freedom of expression cannot be aken away or you won’t feel like it has been taken away.
It all boils down to thinking of someone other than Just yourself when you are an artist. Conclusion Every artist or individual seems to be focused on losing freedom of speech instead of looking at the problems that arise in the world when they add negativity to their music or craft. The law is the law; no one will ever take away ones freedom of speech indefinitely. All most American’s want is for artist and individuals or groups to Just express themselves in a more respect way. There are so many ways to go about doing so without the negativity.