A little too much focus on material things? Here, Obama is gliding by the question of what material things are acquired. The rap shows included 205 depictions or discussions of drug sale or use and other illegal activity during the study period, for an average of 7.5 instances per hour, or roughly one instance every eight minutes.
Obama did not discuss the heavily sexualized world of rap in his answer. Sexually explicit scenes or lyrical references on these shows appeared 27 times an hour in December and 40 times an hour in March. No one could miss that drumbeat.
In just one week of programming -- 14 hours in March -- PTC analysts found 1,342 instances of offensive/adult content, or 95.8 instances per hour, or one instance of adult content every 38 seconds.
Who is being influenced by these messages? During the two-week December 2007 study period, children under 18 made up roughly 40 percent of the audience for these three BET and MTV rap programs. Because all of these programs re-air throughout the day, study results underestimate the percentage of unique children who are exposed to this flood of sexually explicit and violent and crime-glamorizing rapper swagger.
A year ago, Obama made an obvious point when he said Don Imus was fired by NBC for using degrading words that are all over rap radio, but rap mogul Russell Simmons cried foul: "What we need to reform is the conditions that create these lyrics. Obama needs to reform the conditions of poverty."
That is, of course, ludicrous. Poverty doesn't "cause" violent gangsta rap any more than road rage is caused by Toyota. These messages are vile and contemptible, and black leaders like former Gov. Doug Wilder and Bill Cosby are true heroes for saying so, while suffering the inevitable blowback.
And Barack Obama is dusting off his shoulders to the applause of the crowd.
Food for thought.
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