Sean Taylor

I came Jason Whitlock’s excellent and controversial article on the Sean Taylor shooting.

It’s absolutely worth reading.

We hear a lot of Soulja Boy in our house. We have two young boys, after all. Thankfully, they still have no idea what they’re actually listening to. But the predominance of hip hop in their music collection bothers me tremendously.

I tell myself that they’re young, that they’ll grow out of it, that somewhere along the line, their tastes and interests will broaden. When I was their age I went through a period where I listened to some rap music, and I think I may even have owned an Andrew Dice Clay album (shudder). I grew out of adolescence, and so will they.

I hope.

Some people don’t grow out of it, and as Whitlock reminds us, that can have dreadful consequences.

It should go without saying, but in case I’m misunderstood, Sean Taylor’s death was a tragedy. A young man, in the prime of his life, was brutally murdered — nothing should minimize or lessen the tragedy of that.

Neither Whitlock’s column, nor my brief comment, make light of the tragedy. Nor does Whitlock blame “hip hop” for Sean Taylor’s death. Nor do I. But Whitlock makes a point about a culture that celebrates violence and ignorance–and it’s that culture that is destroying young black men. And that culture finds its loudest voice in the lyrics and lifestyles of hip hop artists. It’s that culture that angers Whitlock, and it’s that culture that bothers me.