Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Racist Music Just a Download Away on Mainstream Music Sites

See UPDATE, appended.
------------------ - Racist Music Just a Download Away on Mainstream Music Sites

The relevant quotes:

You're unlikely to find CDs by groups like Skrewdriver and Brutal Attack sold alongside the latest hits from Rihanna and the Jonas Brothers at your local retailer.

But the white-power punk bands' ballads are just a click away online.
But there is a market for it — which leads to the question of whether online music retailers should screen what they sell, or if it should be up to the buyer to decide what's suitable.
"If you're going to be able to carry that hard-core Marxist stuff, what is the problem with someone saying, 'White pride, worldwide?'" Schoep asked.
Nora Flanagan, a spokeswoman for the activist group Turn It Down, which lobbies against objectionable music, said the companies have every right — and a social obligation — to remove the songs from being sold on their sites.
"It's absolutely their right to sell it," she said, "but it could be their choice not to — if they wanted to take a stand on it."
Chris Kennedy, director of the Cato Institute's Project on Criminal Justice, said the term censorship is "thrown around" too loosely.

"Censorship should only be applied when the government tries to censor someone," he said. "Otherwise, we're just talking about the choices that entrepreneurs and businesses make in a free society. When companies decide they're not going to accept their product, that's not censorship — that's just choices that they make."

First off, the last bit from the gentleman from the Cato Institute, reminds me of what I said back in April, 2007 about Free Speech, Imus, & the Free Market. It isn't censorship or a violation of anyone's free speech rights, unless it is done by a government entity. When a tv or radio station fires a member of their on air talent, or a music outlet chooses not to carry a particular group's music, no one is being censored--even if they do so because they object to something the on air person or musical group said. When the government comes in and arrests the on air talent for something s/he said, or confiscates the group's recordings because of lyrical content, THAT'S censorship.

I think online & brick & mortar music retailers ought to consider screening their offerings for content. I also think that if you believe they've mishandled an artist--either by offering the music when you think they should not, or by removing an artist you think should be available--you need to speak up, and be willing to shop elsewhere if they consistently don't see it your way. I've always been a big fan of shopping your values, and believe that when a lot of individuals are willing to write companies and buy products that in some way reflect the values of the society they want to live in, things can change.

The only thing that worries me is that music retailers will play it safe, and controversial music of any kind will be harder to find. While I agree with retailers removing Neo-Nazi white power music, I'd be quite sad if humorless Christianists were to scare them away from offering Monty Python's The Life of Brian, or the right complained about "commie folk singers" like Pete Seeger or something. Were things to really go bad, we could end up with nothing but a steady diet of the most vanilla pop stars, and if the Victorian era prudes had their way, even they would lose any hint of sexual appeal.

I have high hopes however, that there are enough heathens, Stalinist nihilists, and perverts--but not enough black/white/brown/??? racists [changed from "neo-Nazis" at UPDATE]--to curtail sales of the truly dangerous music being sold, but leave a little spice... But we should watch it, just in case...
UPDATE: While a little odd, my first commenter -anonymous- makes a good point. It isn't only white power music that's racist or otherwise objectionable, even to me. If thug rap or socialist folk or Christian/anti-Christian music offends you, by all means speak up and refuse to do business with those outlets that continue to sell that offensive crap (whatever you determine "that offensive crap" to be).


Anonymous said...

I see, rap music is not hate music? Its played loud for no reason at Gas Stations, neighborhoods and in traffic to intimidate White People. Give me a break whigger!

repsac3 said...

I see, rap music is not hate music?

I never really said either way, anonymous one, and I'm curious as to where you seem to think you see me defending it... In answer to your question, some of it is hateful, and some of it isn't. Just like almost any other kind of music. (The Fox article talks about some country singer's racist songs... I never woulda thunk it...)

Its played loud for no reason at Gas Stations, neighborhoods and in traffic to intimidate White People.

If that's what you think, you've got bigger issues than can or should be discussed here... Some people (including me, sometimes) just like it loud, and aren't giving much thought to the other folks on the road or whatever... (It's rude for sure, but I suspect it's seldom about intimidating anyone.)

Give me a break whigger!

Uh... yeah... Well... Hope you work out your issues with loud (rap) music in cars... They're not all out to get you, really...

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