Lifestyle

Rap music dishonors the police

It is always a tragedy when a police officer is killed on duty. Earlier this month, officer Patrick Maher of the Federal Way Police Department died from his own gun while trying to break up a fight. His death was the first for the six-year-old department.

When the rest of us are in danger, who do we look to for help? The police. Without those brave men and women who protect us, the order of society would break down and none of us would feel safe. Without a doubt, the police are our dear friends and neighbors.

However, some people not only dislike the police but consider them as enemies. People who disrespect the police are the ones who, through their immoral behavior, cause grief to good, law-abiding citizens. Naturally, those who do not take the law seriously tend to take jail seriously, which is why they do everything they can to escape the police. And sometimes, when the criminals are caught, they fight to the extent of killing a police officer, which happened to officer Maher.

Those who run from the police sing songs like “F—- tha Police.” Recently, I heard that rap song and was disgusted. Who will be slandered next? Teachers? If naïve children were to hear such disgraceful music (Can it be classified as music?), then they, too, will hate the police, because music is a powerful influence.

Police officers must be portrayed as heroes. When they come to schools for career days, and when they talk to children about drugs and violence, they must be respected, not be the subject of hate.

Speaking of rap music, something needs to be done with the sex, violence and drugs that rap songs glorify. With songs like “F—- tha Police” and countless others, children will become entangled in drugs, violence and improper sex. Youngsters will find themselves suddenly becoming druggies. They will feel solace from depravities and face bleak futures. (Heck, the artists themselves commit crimes!)

On March 14, 2003, Associated Press reported on a research conducted by Emory University linking rap music videos to violence and sex among girls. According to the research, teen girls who watched many rap music videos were more likely to be promiscuous, use drugs, be arrested and hit teachers. The article ended with, “Emory researchers were quick to say that their study does not mean rap music videos are the cause of unhealthy behavior.” But we know what those researchers really meant.

The government needs to regulate the explicit content in rap songs. Freedom of speech shouldn’t be an issue, because for freedom to exist, limits need to be set on the freedoms we have. Those who smoke have the freedom to do so, but it is their responsibility to not affect those who don’t. Similarly, those who want to sing and hear songs where every other word is an expletive have the freedom to do so, but they don’t have the right to corrupt others.

There are plenty of good words to be sung. Life is short as it is, even if we lived saying only positive things. Why not sing “Praise the Police” or “Thank the Police”?

Rap didn’t start as the gangsta rap in mainstream music today. Instead, rap was meant to be a creative way to express strong emotions of individuals and of the issues in urban areas. Alternative rappers with independent labels still sing about various societal issues, politics and morals. Alternative developed underground in the early 1990s. Alternative rappers aren’t well-known because they don’t make enough money to promote themselves.

Even the alternative rappers don’t like what is happening to mainstream rap. Big record labels know that songs about money, sex, violence and drugs attract crowds. Maybe it’s because we all have a little “bad” inside of us. But we aren’t that bad. Anyway, when those record labels are making so much money, they wouldn’t want to promote alternative rappers who sing about standing up for one’s beliefs and fighting for one’s rights. Ultimately, rap can influence everyone positively. A better kind of rap is out there –– it just needs to be brought to mainstream music. I wouldn’t mind my 9-year old brother hearing a positive rap praising the police.

Praise officer Maher. May his soul be at peace in heaven.

Sovereigna Jun is a student at Thomas Jefferson High School.

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