August 15, 2007

What does nice middle class moral panic look like these days?

Every generation of nice middle class people needs to find something to be scared of when the next generation is growing up, and in the last 50 years deviant teenage culture has fit the bill perfectly. From rockabilly Teds to Mods, skinheads, punks, ravers and goths. You can name them, you can remember them, maybe you still are one of them - hell, I even owe my sociology degree to them. Nowadays it's hip hop and rap with the added frisson of race thrown into the mix.
It's a very easy target for a City Journal columnist called Myron Magnet (I presumed a Christian white woman but with a name like a 1980s new wave artiste - apparently not, see update below) who, in a lengthy article, amply lets rip that he is scared of black cocks, resents them impregnating 'bitches' without getting hitched, and that there are too many black youths in jail not because the cops do racial profiling but because of the homeys' rap-induced badness. In his moral world no drugs or guns are causes (or even symptoms) of social deprivation or ghetto violence, moral turpitude in hip hop is.

He refuses to quote or link to a David Banner rap called "Play", so I looked up the lyrics myself. It doesn't sound "beyond pornography" to me: it's just about a sad guy who can't bring his girl to orgasm unless she does it herself. Hardly civilization-undermining stuff, but par for the sexual course instead.

UPDATE: Peter alerted me to the correct gender classification of Myron Magnet, who is a Manhattan Institute scholar and editor, but still sounds like a Mysteron to me. And he writes like a girl.

There is a local angle to this issue. Dick Quax, a Councillor and Mayoral candidate in Manukau City, which is a "new town" with a sprawling ethnic population - South Auckland has a connotation and likes itself to be known as Auckland's answer to South Central LA - has called for a ban on the performance of rap star Ice Cube:
He says gangsta rappers are idols to Manukau youth but promote violence, an attitude to women as sexual objects, crime and are 'not what I'd like to see at the centre'.
If it looks like a Dick, talks like a Dick and Quax like a Dick...

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