An Expository Essay On American Censorship (Rage Against The Machine, Bob Dylan)

780 words - 3 pages

Stop Censorship: Let It BeMusic censorship has been a major problem affecting America since the early nineteen forties. It came to a peak during the nineteen sixties with the Vietnam War and the radical hippie movement. Then, during the nineteen eighties, it was heavy metal and hard rock music that received the most censorship. Now in the year two thousand three the major focus of censorship is rap; mostly gangster rap. Some of the primary factors of music that cause legal problems are sexual content, death threats, and obscene language. Censorship is an attack against our first amendment right granting us the freedom of speech. However, if a song or album is dubbed obscene, the first amendment does not protect this. The attempted censorship of music is not just because people need a cause to fight. In fact, in today's society there are many problems that experts feel are directly related to music. Some of these problems are suicide, murder and sexual assault. This could be true but people don't understand that music is art and it shouldn't run anyone's life.For 50 years radio stations have been censoring songs deemed inappropriate. In 1940 NBC banned 147 songs. The rock and roll community could only expect some sort of limited censorship. The FCC, in an attempt to let radio stations know what types of songs were bad, sent a list of 22 drug related songs to radio stations. Three of these songs were "puff the magic dragon; "I get by with a little help from my friends" and Lucy in the sky with diamonds." These songs lost their broadcast privileges and were put on the "Do Not Play" list. To take matters one step further, President Nixon tried to have John Lennon deported for his "radical" behavior and anti-political messages in his songs. The federal government evidently linked artists like Lennon to the protest movements of the sixties and early seventies. There are still many other sides of music that has faced censorship. Take, for example, the sale and distribution of records. Many store chains like K-Mart and Wal-Mart refuse to sell any album with a warning label because of their reputation as a "wholesome store". If you asked me, I'd say that Fruity Pebbles are "wholesome," not Wal-Mart.However the most modern controversy over controversial politics and anti-police messages...

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