LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

It is time to change the music

In his writing titled The Republic, Plato, the great thinker and political philosopher wrote about many subjects, including education, poverty, and wealth. Keep in mind that Plato lived between 427-347 B.C. (Before Christ). Other works by Plato includes Phaedrus, Symposium, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Timaeus and Laws.

Plato felt that education, nurture, and gymnastics (exercise) were essential for the upbringing of youth. He went on to say that if men are well nurtured and educated, and grow into sensible men, they will easily see their way through other matters such as relationships with women and having children. Plato saw education and nurturing continuing to evolve and improve mankind. He seems to be saying that education and nurturing, if started well, should accumulate in a people and a State.  Nurture means to care for, raise, rear, foster or cultivate.  Educate means to teach, instruct, inform, tutor or edify.  Plato speaks at length, in his writings about gymnastics-gymnastics meaning physical exercise. He talks about the importance of the body getting adequate exercise, being in shape and physically fit.  The lack of exercise is plainly exhibited in our people, young and old. Obesity in out of hand and poor health is the result.  High blood pressure and diabetes are two of the most pronounced results of obesity in our children.

Plato had this to say about music.  When the modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the States always change with them. Plato and Adeimantus continued on and insinuated that changes in music seems innocent at first, but eventually lawlessness creep in with the changes. People will see it as simple amusement, and harmless.  Plato continued on by saying that at first, there is no harm, were it not for little by little this spirit of license finding a home and penetrating the customs and manners of a State and its inhabitants. Many of us remember when Elvis Presley came on the scene” Old swivel hips” in the early fifties. His hip gyrations were deemed vulgar and not shown on television. Germany had a problem with the introduced jazz into the country in the twenties and thirties.  Remember the uproar when Michael Jackson grabbed his crotch in one of his videos. Society changed to accommodate all of the above. 

Plato talks about the importance of youth beings trained in a stricter system, for if amusement becomes lawless and the youth become lawless, they will never grow up into well-conducted and virtuous citizens.  He spoke about the importance of the young being silent in the presence of their elders; how they were to show respect to the elders by standing and making them sit; what honor is due to parents; what garments or shoes are to be worn; the mode of dressing the hair; deportment and manners in general. Finally, Plato said it would seem that the direction in which education starts a man, would eventually determine his future life.

Fast-forward to today. What impact has Rap/Hip Hop music had on society? It has changed how society views lewdness and profanity?  It has changed how our children and many grownups talk, walk, dress, and think. A lot of our music has totally redefined what are acceptable behavior, respect and societal norms.  The lawlessness that is displayed in videos and sung about in rap music is played out daily on our streets, in our schools and in our homes. Plato was correct when he said that society changes with its music.  In his wildest imagination, he did not foresee what is taking place to day.

Plato wrote about how imitations, beginning in early youth and continuing into life, becomes habits and second nature and affecting all facets of life, including speech, mind and body.  Look around! See what the imitation of Rappers and the ladies who participate in the Rap videos have spawned.  Look at our children. Look at grown men and women.  Many in both age groups are caught up in the Rap scene, and spend a lot of time and money trying to look, act and generally behave like Rappers.  Folks, hear me! It is time to change the music.

Copyright 2006
This commentary written by L.C. Thornton, for The Peoples Voice Black Weekly News
For reprint permission contact:
L.C. Thornton at


September 15, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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