Saturday, November 26, 2005

Moral panic(s) and rap music

What's with the panic about rap music in Toronto and Paris?

In Toronto: Gun crime biggest fear

Poll: 87% say city is more violent compared to five years ago

Nicholas Kohler, National Post
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

TORONTO - Toronto residents are feeling "under siege" by gangs that draw their income from drug sales and their inspiration from urban rap music, says an Ipsos-Reid poll released yesterday.

Canadian MP calls for 50 Cent ban, Thursday, 24 November, 2005

Junior foreign minister Dan McTeague has called on officials to stop the performer (5o cent) from entering the country.

"This is not a question of censorship," he said. "This is a question of trying to protect impressionable young men."

Meanwhile, in France:

Rappers face rap for riots
23/11/2005 23:14 - (SA),,2-10-1462_1839472,00.html

Paris - Seven French rap outfits could face legal action after a complaint lodged by about 200 parliamentarians on Wednesday, accusing them of helping to provoke the country's recent riots through their lyrics.

"Sexism, racism and anti-Semitism are no more acceptable in lyrics than in written or spoken words," said the deputy behind the initiative, Francois Grosdidier of the ruling centre-right UMP.

"This is one of the factors that led to the violence in the suburbs," he said, arguing that rap music "conditions" listeners into a violent frame of mind that could spur them on to action.

In a petition co-signed by 152 deputies and 49 senators, the deputy drew the attention of justice minister Pascal Clement to seven rap singers and bands whom he accused of inciting racism and hatred.

Stop giving hip hop a bad rap

Nov. 24, 2005. 07:39 AM

As Ben Rayner states:

“It seems rather self-evident, but gun violence was thriving in Toronto long before Get Rich or Die Tryin' opened in theatres and 50 Cent threatened to visit.

This is the way crusades like the one launched this week by Liberal MP Dan McTeague to prevent the platinum-plated gangsta rapper from entering Canada next month usually work, though. They don't bother putting in the time to seek out real-world solutions to the complex social and fiscal predicaments that lead to gun violence; they settle for Band-Aid grandstanding that gives the impression of "doing something" for communities largely thrust into these situations by generations of government neglect in the first place, and that wins headlines for a junior foreign minister with an eye on re-election.”

Not all violence is created equal…

Rap music does not “cause” violence, any more than it “causes” misogyny, and this scapegoating of rap music results in little being done to change the violence many women, white and black, face in their day to day lives. What does this focus in the media on “stranger violence”, specifically, the threat of a black man with a gun, hide?

  • Half of Canadian women (51%) have been victims of at least one act of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.

  • Of all victims of crimes against the person in 2000, females made up the vast majority of victims of sexual assaults (86%), criminal harassment (78%) and kidnapping/hostage-taking or abduction (67%).

  • Of all female victims of violent crimes in 2000, 47% were victims of common assault, 9% of sexual assault, 9% of assault with a weapon causing bodily arm, 7% of robbery and 6% of criminal harassment.

  • Women are much more likely to be victimized by someone they know than by a stranger. In 2000, 77% of all female victims were victimized by someone they know (37% by a close friend or an acquaintance, 29% by a current or past partner, 11% by other family members - including parents) while 19% were victimized by a stranger. (link)

Intimate Femicide: An Analysis Of Men Who Kill Their Partners

By: Gregory P. Kerry M.A., Correctional Service of Canada & Carleton University

While there is a vast body of knowledge on violence against women, intimate femicide, the most severe form of violence, has received little attention. This is alarming since statistics show that when a woman is killed, the perpetrator is often a man who has been intimately involved with her (Campbell, l992; Crawford & Gartner, l992; Stout, l99l; Statistics Canada, l99l; l989; U.S. Department of Justice, l992).

To better understand intimate femicides, a binary model is proposed. Within this model, intimate femicide is understood as having two different origins: one involves the murder of an oppressed woman who attempted to emancipate herself and the other is an actual or attempted murder/suicide in which a socially inept and dependent man kills his liberated and independent partner. This model thus divides intimate murders into those who attempted or committed suicide immediately after killing their partner and those who did not.

Fighting Femicide

DENVER - Nearly 400 women have been murdered, and seventy more have disappeared, in a Mexican city that lies only miles from the U.S. border. In October 2003, the Bullhorn traveled to Ciudad Juarez to report on the femicides ravaging Mexico’s fourth-largest city ['Crosses of Despair,' October 16, 2003]. At the time, the motives behind the killings were a mystery, and Mexican authorities had not arrested any promising culprits.

More info:

cross-posted at afterthepurge


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