Wake Up Surrey’s wish-list, in part calling on the feds to deny entry visas to musicians and artists who idealize gangsters, violence or illegal drugs, reveals a palpable frustration with society and authorities’ apparent inability to deal with gun violence on our streets.
On the face of it, there is little redeeming quality to music or films that glorify gangsters, but once you start this ball rolling, where do you stop? Might as well ban television.
It reminds one of the congressional hearings conducted in Washington, D.C., in 1985, over the perceived evils of certain rock music.
Drugs dealers, and criminals shooting at each other on city streets, are probably not doing so because some musician told them it’s cool.
But some so-called art no doubt has the heinous effect of normalizing such abhorrent behaviour in the minds of some youngsters, and this is where more parents must take seriously their responsibility to keep an eye on what their children are watching, listening to and doing.
While it’s always an uphill battle to effect rapid change at the federal level, it is much easier to do so at the local level. Wake Up Surrey’s asking local banquet halls to prohibit acts that promote gangs, drug use or violence from their establishments is a good idea, and likely doable where there’s a common will.
The grassroots anti-gang group is throwing many recommendations at authorities, likely hoping some might stick. It will be interesting to see what comes of this effort.