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Freedom Of Speech This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I am 16 and a very concerned teenager. I am concerned about our freedom of speech. The first amendment states that "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech..." I feel that there is a new wave of concern over songs that glorify sex, violence, racial bigotry, and other acts. I am a listener and lover of rap music and enjoy it very much. I have heard (and understand) the lyrics that are supposedly promoting or encouraging sex, suicide, violence, or the use of drugs. These songs are only forms of entertainment, and not intended to brainwash kids.

This past summer I was appalled by the ruling of a federal judge in Broward County, Florida who found The The 2 Live Crew's album "As Nasty as They Wanna Be" obscene. It was the first such legal decision governing a sound recording. I own this record (the edited version.), but have heard the other one and do not find it so raunchy. I understand that there is no need for the use of some words but no one has the right to take away our freedom.

One entertainer willing to support The 2 Live Crew (dedicating his 1990 tour to them) is the respected rap artist M.C. Hammer. I am not only sticking up for The 2 Live Crew, but also for many others. In the seventies, comedian George Carlin's material got the Federal Communication Commission very angry in the infamous "seven dirty words" case.

I understand that there are concerned people who do not want the next generation (or even this generation) polluted with controversial music, but parents should teach their children morals at home and not in the music they listen to. You cannot take this privilege we have away from us; it would be the beginning of more government control. We do live in a democracy, not Russia or China. As soon as we start fighting for our fundamental right of speech, we are protecting our Bill of Rights. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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