Cleaner Rhymes

Another Oprah-related Post!

In the wake of the Don Imus flare-up, Oprah hosted an "Oprah's Town Hall" discussion with Russell Simmons, Common, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, and Kevin Liles. The episode dealt with misogyny in hip-hop and forced the guests to admit that misogyny within the genre "is a problem." Most of the cats on the show did alright, except for Russell, who offered up this politician-like rhetoric: "I think it's important that we teach each one how they can be part of the solution. When they come out of a tremendous struggle and poverty and ignorance... and when they express that truth and it makes you uncomfortable then do something about it. Don't just point your finger at the messenger."

It was then that a student from Spelman College charged: "You're part of the problem." Doh. Poor Russell was called out. As a result, Russell comes out with this statement, saying the recording and broadcasting industries should consistently ban three racial and sexist epithets from all rap songs and the airwaves. So, whaddya think? Is this a step in the right direction, an insufficient response to a bigger problem, or another violation of free speech rights?

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