Recent events of the past few weeks have got me thinking: Who are we? Who are we as Americans? What are our values, and what do we stand for? I think we have reached another critical point in our timeline as Americans. We need to stand up for what is right, not what is cool, politically expedient or popular. Five cops in Dallas killed for simply being white; race relations in this country haven’t been this bad since the 1960s. With that said we do not have a white or black problem, we have a values problem. We have shredded our values to a point where there are none left.
Some believe that gun violence can be stopped if we simply pass more gun regulation and restrict people from easily obtaining a gun. I have no problem with expanded background checks or denying people on the “no fly” list from obtaining a weapon. However, I do believe it is a fallacy to think that restricting what type of guns law-abiding citizens can own will result in reduced gun violence. If you want to stop gun violence, here is how you accomplish this. Teach your children values, which means turn off the reality TV shows and turn off the hip-hop and the rap — some of the lyrics of which are without values. What type of values can children be expected to pick up from that type of trash? For girls, they are taught that the only thing they have to offer to society is their bodies. For boys, they are growing up in a society where all they hear on the radio is a constant degradation of women and what they see on TV is the visualization of what they hear on the radio.
We judge people every day by the way they look, rather than the way they act. In our society today kindness is mistaken for weakness and desperation, and love is nonexistent. A loving society is a society that is caring and compassionate. That society doesn’t exist today. Our music industry can be blamed for this, for its lyrics talk about sex, but no mention of love. Its lyrics degrade women by calling them names, and call for police to be shot. That is not music; it is a legalized version of hate speech.
If we want to live in a better society, then what we support in terms of our entertainment needs to change. The values that reality TV and the music industry in 2016 promote are evil. If our society only supports entertainment that preaches love, not hate, maybe our society can begin to heal. Real love has become lost in the modern generation, and only when this generation rediscovers it will our society be at peace. So, instead of listening to music that devalues women and promotes hate, listen to Sinatra or some R&B from the ’70s and ’80s. You might even like it.
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Michael Greenway, of Eagle, is a recent graduate of Boise State University and a former candidate for the Idaho Legislature.