The Driving Force Behind America's Decline

The Driving Force Behind America's Decline

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"Shots fired! Shots fired!" is what was heard through the Philadelphia police scanners on the morning of February 11, 2004. Many officers raced to the scene of T.M. Pierce Elementary in North Philadelphia. It was too late, one dead and another wounded. Yes, ten year old Faheem Thomas-Childs dead and the crossing guard wounded in the arm. It was 7:30 am when gunfire exploded through the school yard as parents/guardians took their children to school on what was supposed to be another beautiful school day. This scene and others like it are becoming more often in the US. What do many people see when they look at American society? Does it look satisfying? Or does seeing violence and other dehumanizing acts question what type of society we live in? Violence in mainstream media is the cause of many violent acts and crimes across the Untied States. Ten-year-old Faheem Thomas-Childs wasn't murdered by a gun, but by someone who used a gun as the instrument for his criminal act. This little boy was not only killed by a teenager who was trying to attack another teenager but also by the media whose main goal is to use the Second Amendment to the best of their ability.

A main factor in violence in the media is through video games. Many game companies make their game as "real" as possible. Teenagers no longer want two dimensional games; they want games that depict adult situations. Such as to pick up hookers (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City), gain access to a government information by killing guards (Metal Gear Solid), invade an innocent village with tanks (Command and Conquer: Red Alert) or kill your best friend with a chainsaw (Doom). The media is more concerned with selling a product than what a product actually does. When pre-teens and teens buy these games or shall I say when the parents buy these games for the children they are well aware of what the games are about and what type of violence are shown in the game. The games that show extreme violence also have parental ratings so the parent knows what the possibilities are when these games are purchased. I know these parents do not want their child to do any violent acts so what is the purpose of buying these games. The purpose is to keep peace and be considered a good parent.

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Then we ask what happened and where did we as parents went wrong as soon as something bad goes down. The music in society in not set aside either. Violence can be seen in almost all genres from hip-hop to rock. Marilyn Manson's song "Get Your Gunn" should make anyone wonder what the song is about. Some of the Manson's lyrics are:

The housewife I will beat the pro-life I will kill what you won't do I will I bash myself to sleep what you sow I will reap I scar myself you see I wish I wasn't me I am the little stick therefore I am Goddamn your righteous hand Goddamn, goddamn (oh, lord) Goddamn, goddamn Pseudo-morals work real well

Manson talks about beating women and constantly bashing all those who are pro-life saying he will kill them. He continues to say all things that "everyone" else is afraid to do he will do. Manson also degrades faith by saying God damn righteous hands. In all honesty with these types of lyrics I don't want to here them much less want him to do anything fro anybody in society. What is going on? Why would society allow such words and phrases to roam around the U.S. and be okay with it? We all understand freedom of speech but when is freedom of speech going to far. Freedom of speech has gone to far when children are inspired to do violent acts. When I see a child asking their parent to buy a toy gun I often wonder what the parent is thinking. The child may not be thinking about violence but engaging in the "Monkey See, Monkey Do" theory. Since Steve has a gun I want to have one too. Television programs such as "WWF" shows men bullying each other, insulting each other, and fighting dirty. Young children don't understand that this is pretend therefore they want to engage in these acts of violence. Is there anyone who wants their child to insult and bully other children and fight dirty just for fun? These might be good skills to have when you are in prison, but I doubt it. Unfortunately, there are many children taking after these professional wrestlers, who are pretending. Many television shows and video games use violence as a way to solve conflicts. The media is filled with evil people that are unable of making a compromise. Violence towards women is frequently seen as normal and a necessary action to gain a woman's love or attention.

Often times in a television show or movie a women is called a "bitch" by a man to get her attention or is smacked to show who is in control. Well known and controversial rap artist Eminem has become famous for his slurs against women. "Kim" is a song that continuously degrades his wife and calls her every name ever thought of by women. Violence towards women is also seen in advertisements. Sometimes you may see a women standing in a dark area by herself with a shadow near watching her or you may have seen a woman chopped dead with shoes around her along with blood. When I see a woman walking with a man that is cursing and yelling at her it makes my heart sink and it should also make your heart sink because no one deserves to be treated cruelly. When teenagers see this they want to be like adults therefore they will do this in order to be accepted by society.

Even though there are many songs and television shows that degrade women, there is also a number of shows and songs that do not degrade women. This can be seen in many R&B songs of the 1980s and 90s. Luther Vandross is a great singer that has never degraded women. Songs like "Take You Out" and the "Closer I Get To You" shows how women are supposed to be treated. In these songs Vandross talks about asking a girl out and if he is rejected he says at least he tried but if she does say yes he promises to have her home before dark. He doesn't call her out of her name or wishes her death if he gets rejected. Society is not concerned and does not pay attention to artist who show appreciation to women. Society doesn't encourage teenagers to be real human beings because society doesn't want everyone in the world to be nice people. Society doesn't believe that being nice is entertainment and therefore should not be talked about on television.

Society wants teenagers to be good individuals and be successful in the world but that is impossible if society continues to degrade and look at violence as good in some cases. According to the National Television Violence Study, issued by Mediascope, February, 2000 the average American child will witness over 200,000 acts of violence on television including 16,000 murders before age 18 and three-quarters of the public finds television entertainment too violent. Children that do kill other children can have mental problems and yes it could be from how they were raised but the majority of the time children kill other children for recognition of some sorts.

Many have asked over the years how to bring down the number of violent acts due to the media and this question can not be answered in just one answer. It will take time and we need to do it as a society together. We all want everyone to have an equal chance to express all feelings but we should want to do this in an organized way. Maybe we should censor those like Marilyn Manson and Eminem and maybe we should no longer allow every curse word to be on ABC, NBC, and CBS. These stations are supposed to be family stations that everyone can tune in to yet they show violent acts on their station and that surely is not family oriented.

Violence in the media always seems to be with black males and those in poverty. You often see a black male usually coming from a poor home that robs a bank or kills an enemy. You often see a white male in poverty that is slapping or raping another woman in a nearby ally. We all see this in television yet when we watch the news it has been top CEOs that have been stealing and killing others on the job. Martha Stewart, for example, is a popular Polish-American television and magazine personality known for her cooking, gardening, etiquette, arts and craft projects and as a general lifestyle guide and homemaker was rocked by a scandal involving her sale of shares in a drug company days before its application for a new drug was denied. She was eventually convicted of lying to investigators and sentenced to prison. Then we have those huge companies like Enron, where the company lied about its profits and stands accused of a range of shady dealings. The CEOs of this company are facing many years in prison. Society still can not figure out what is wrong with the many kids who are doing violent acts.

Well, I have figured it out what is wrong with the children in society as far as their likeness towards violence. The problem is SOCIETY. Society raises the kids and how they perceive everything else. It is the parents' job to make sure that their children do not go too far with their feelings. Society does not want to change what the kids are looking at and consuming in their minds. Parents are more like the Godparents or grandparents so if society dies then it is their job to take care of the children. Since society is not going to die and probably not going to change, the parents must try their best to have control on what happens in their kids' life. Society needs to understand that we can not function successfully without some belief in some sort of religious authority whether it is God or Allah. I guess something like this can never happen because everyone doesn't believe in Divine Authority. This problem will always leave society to slowly commit suicide and no one dialing 911.
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