Our culture in America has become increasingly violent; our children are locking themselves in their homes just to feel safe. Ralph, a young boy living on the Southside of Chicago has done just that, his Grandmother was shot and killed right outside his door, he now lives in fear everyday he could be next. Streets are filled with violence everyday; 419 people were murdered in Chicago alone last year, this was more than all the US troops in Afghanistan; According to Diane Sawyer’s (Hidden American war zones). Violence is all around us, our children should not be burdened with the large exposure of violence via television, internet, radio, and other media sources; this influences our children to be accepting of a violent culture in our society.
The media seems to feed off of violence in our city and country; television news stations and newspapers pursue stories that are violent in nature more often than positive and uplifting story lines. Tragic stories about violence in our neighborhoods are widely covered like;Woman and child die on their front porch in gang shootout, two teen boys are shot by police on the west side of the city, a woman is sexually assaulted on the north side; these are the stories you see on the news and all through the papers. For instance the Boston Marathon Bombing was on every news station and in every newspaper for weeks, all you saw was the death and destruction the bombing caused; people running in fear, bodies mangled, families in mourning for their loved ones, and the search for the perpetrators. It would be nice to see some more positive stories on television like; a child winning awards for academic achievements or volunteer workers helping children achieve goals in their community.
The music industry has a large influence on our youth, even though their are plenty of artists in the industry that have positive lyrics like; Kelly Clarkson, Burno Mars, and Selena Gomez to name a few, more of our kids are listening to negative songs promoting guns, drugs, gangs, and criminal behaviors for example; Chief Keef, a 17 year old rapper who raps about his life experiences growing up around gangs and violence in Englewood on the southside of Chicago; his music promotes Guns, Drugs, and violence with lyrics like “shooting on site” or “smoke dope all day and night” what kind of influence does this have on our children. An article (written by Mark Brown from the Sun Times in October 2012) about Chief Keef, discusses how the media coverage about his criminal activities has only made